Doctrinal Traditions and Cultural Heritage in the Newly Discovered Homilies of Origen on the Psalms


  • Lorenzo Perrone



The 29 Homilies of Origen on the Psalms discovered in 2012 by Marina Molin Pradel in a Munich Codex (Cod. Graec. 314) constitute an unexpected and very important source for retracing the doctrinal traditions and the cultural heritage that support the Alexandrian’s biblical interpretation. The article first investigates the presence of Philo, much more discernible than the doctrinal influence of other Alexandrian predecessors such as Clement. Origen occasionally pays homage to Philo and reuses independently his exegeses. Further, as far as the Hellenistic culture of Alexandria is concerned, the Homilies reveal its influence under several aspects, especially with regard to music and astronomy. Scholarly notions concur to elaborate a vision of the cosmos which is now considered by Origen more fundamentally as a source for attaining the knowledge of God next to the witness of the Scriptures. Since the homilies are to be dated in the final period of Origen’s activity, we are allowed to see in them a new emphasis, probably dictated by the preacher’s concerns regarding the Marcionite criticism of the Old Testament.