This dissertation is divided into two Parts. Its center of gravity is found in Part II, which comprises an annotated translation of Origen of Alexandria’s fourteen surviving Homilies on Ezekiel. The commentary found in the notes is designed to draw attention to significant aspects of Origen’s preaching, including his use of scripture, points of contact with other texts in his own corpus and with other ancient thinkers, and his development of key theological themes.
Part I begins with a general introduction to the project and the text of the Homilies. There follows a chapter detailing the background relevant to Origen’s original preaching of the Homilies. The next four chapters are interpretive essays, each of which takes up a particular theological question raised in the Homilies on Ezekiel. Chapter 2 looks more closely at Origen’s biblical hermeneutics and connects it with his doctrines of Christology, providential creation, human redemption, prophecy, and preaching. Chapter 3 considers Origen’s preached exegesis of an exceptionally difficult chapter in the book of Ezekiel, and puts him in explicit and critical conversation with contemporary interpreters. Chapter 4 asks what the Homilies on Ezekiel reveal about Origen’s doctrine of the Church, and relates his ecclesiological convictions to difficult historical questions about his own ecclesiastical experience. Chapter 5 describes Origen’s doctrine of the suffering of God, and brings it to bear on modern discussions concerning divine impassibility and the relationship between biblical revelation and Hellenistic philosophy. A brief Conclusion ends Part I by gesturing at the integral nature of the diverse and seemingly disparate issues broached in the preceding chapters. These concluding remarks are only suggestive, for the true work of integration is left for Origen himself to perform in the translation that follows in Part II.