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26. Origen: The Song of Songs, Commentary and Homilies (Ancient Christian Writers) Hardcover – June 1, 1957

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26. Origen: The Song of Songs, Commentary and Homilies (Ancient Christian Writers) + On First Principles + Origen of Alexandria: Against Celsus (Contra Celsum)
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Product Details

  • Series: Ancient Christian Writers (Book 26)
  • Hardcover: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Pr; First edition (June 1957)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809102617
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809102617
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By C Dub on December 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Before reviewing this text, I want to make a few notes about it. First, this is not a direct translation of Origen's work. Much of his writing--that is, in the original Greek--is lost, among them the works in this volume. As a result, this text is based on later Latin translations. To its credit, the book's introduction contains a nice summary of the limitations of relying on an intermediate translation to capture Origen's original meaning.

This book contains two works. First is Origen's Commentary on the Song of Songs, translated from Rufinus' Latin version. The second is Two Homilies on the Song of Songs, from St. Jerome's Latin version.

Origen opens the Commentary with a relatively concise prologue that describes the meaning and themes he finds in the Song of Songs, which is followed by detailed (verse-by-verse) explanation of the mystical meaning of the text. Unfortunately, large portions of the Commentary are lost (i.e., not preserved by Rufinus or others), so the existing text of the Commentary covers "only" through 2:15. The Homilies repeat in general terms many of the themes in the Commentary, though with far less detail. According to the book's introduction, the Commentary is "the first great work of Christian mysticism." I must admit that I do not know enough to confirm or deny the claim that this is the first such work, but I can say that the Commentary certainly deserves to be described as "great."

I love the Commentary, thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and have already re-read several sections. I find it spiritually moving and though provoking. Although it is a meticulously detailed and profound theological exposition of the soul and its relationship to God, it is not a difficult book to read.
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