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Prophecy And History

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Chapter Summary

Prophecy is attributed a critical significance in view of two salient characteristics of Origen’s philosophy of history. First, the eschatological direction in time. Secondly, time being not unbounded in both directions, since it had a beginning and will come to an end. This finite ‘extension’ is dotted by fixed points, which determine temporal extension of each aeon. These points can be spoken of as ‘beginning’ or ‘end’ only relatively, referring to beginning or end of certain aeon. The non-infinity of time is what makes it comprehensible; and it is because of non-infinity that a conceptual ‘before time’ could make some sense, meaning timelessness in state of time not having been created yet. This chapter considers that meaning of prophecy which is related to a specific philosophy of history. Origen considers meaning of prophecy in close connection with his conception of a non-beginningless world and direction of it towards an end.

Keywords: aeon; eschatological direction; non-beginningless world; Origen; philosophy of history; prophecy; timelessness



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