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Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum / Journal of Ancient Christianity

Ed. by Brennecke, Hanns Christof / Drecoll, Volker Henning / Heil, Uta / Markschies, Christoph

Together with Elm, Susanna / Gemeinhardt, Peter / Meier, Mischa / Perrone, Lorenzo / Pollmann, Karla / Riedweg, Christoph / Schöllgen, Georg / Williams, Rowan / Wischmeyer, Wolfgang

CiteScore 2018: 0.21

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.130
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.563

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Volume 23, Issue 1


Natural Law in Origen’s Anthropology

Anne Achternkamp
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  • Katholisch-Theologische Fakultät Münster, Forschungsstelle Origenes Domplatz 23 48143 Münster Münster, Germany,
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Published Online: 2019-04-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zac-2019-0008


The term of natural law plays an important role in the anthropology of the great theologian and philosopher Origen of Alexandria. By distinguishing a great variety of notions of law in the scripture, Origen locates the specific notion of natural law in the guiding part of the soul called the heart and the ἡγεμονικόν or νοῦς in the Bible and philosophy, respectively. The natural law enables man with this location and in interaction with λόγος to distinguish between good and evil and to act ethically. Natural law therefore is the foundation of responsibility and the imputation of sin.

Keywords: Origen; natural law; φύσις; νόμος; soul; λόγος; conscience

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Published Online: 2019-04-02

Published in Print: 2019-04-01

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum / Journal of Ancient Christianity, Volume 23, Issue 1, Pages 138–148, ISSN (Online) 1612-961X, ISSN (Print) 0949-9571, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zac-2019-0008.

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