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Hearing Love’s Language: The Letter Of The Text In Origen’s Commentary On The Song Of Songs

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Chapter Summary

This chapter inquires how the dramatic interpretation contributes to either the eschatological marriage of Christ and church or the potential union of soul and Logos. The relationship between the dramatic and spiritual registers of reading has been subject to a range of interpretations. Until recently, the most common view has been that Origen advances his allegorical interpretation by suppressing or sublimating the text?s literal content, which itself is judged to be overtly erotic. Torjesen?s analysis within the hermeneutical framework of On First Principles permits the relationship between letter and spirit to be evaluated on principles internal to Origen?s own exegetical practice. In the Songs commentary, Origen adduces the polarity of the infant and the mature to effect a unique distinction. To the extent that Origen seeks to delineate a doctrine of the spiritual senses, he articulates their reality in a twofold way that comprises an irreducible ambiguity.

Keywords: Origen; Songs commentary; spiritual registers; Torjesen?s analysis



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