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By Alan Scott

From the times of antiquity to the time of the center a while, intellectuals have broadly assumed that stars have been alive, a trust that gave the cosmos an enormous place not just in Greek faith, but in addition in discussions of human psychology and eschatology. within the 3rd century advert, the Christian theologian Origen integrated such Hellenistic theories at the lifestyles and nature of the celebs in his cosmology, a concept that may have very important implications for early Christian theology. relocating via a variety of Greek, Latin, and Oriental resources from antiquity to medieval occasions, this is often the 1st thorough therapy of Origen's biblical theology. the second one booklet within the new Oxford Early Christian experiences sequence, Origen and the lifetime of the Stars presents a brand new examine the roots of early Christian thought.

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F u r t h e r m o r e , Cherniss a n d Ross h a v e argued t h a t a t r a n s c e n d e n t m o v e r w a s present e v e n in such early w o r k s as De Philosophia a n d De Caelo. Such a m o v e r is necessary since in Aristotelian t e r m s t h e m o t i o n of t h e h e a v e n s requires a n u n m o v e d being w h o is not part of t h e h e a v e n s . In t h e Metaphysics w e see that this being m o v e s only as t h e object of desire, a n d if this is so t h e n t h e h e a v e n l y body (or sphere) must possess a soul w h i c h is actualized by this m o v e r .

This was common in the Academy, see Frank Plato. Frag. 115 (Wehrli). 1 3 8 1 3 9 1 4 0 1 4 1 b b 1 4 2 1 4 3 c 1 4 4 1 4 5 1 4 6 1 4 7 1 4 8 a The Pre-Socratics to Plato 20 1 4 9 heavenly bodies as habitable like the e a r t h , a n d that h e t h o u g h t the soul has descended from t h e Milky W a y . Most important, Heraclides Ponticus seems to h a v e discussed this old concept in physical t e r m s , suggesting that t h e soul's substance was ether or l i g h t . This coupling of light with ether is also evident in his t h e o r y that t h e infinite m e d i u m in w h i c h the stars are set is e t h e r e a l .

Xenocrates frag. 15 (Heinze); Arist. Protr. frag. 10 , Peri Euches frag. 1 (Ross). 984a4, 983e6, 9 7 7 a 2 - 6 , with Jean Pepin, 'Uber das Gebet' in P. ), Friihschriften des Aristoteles, WdF 2 2 4 (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1975), 343. 1 7 1 1 7 2 1 7 3 1 7 4 1 7 5 1 7 5 c 1 7 7 The Pre-Socratics to Plato 23 1 7 8 m a k e u p Greek public v e n e r a t i o n . As A. J . Festugiere notes, it gives n a m e s to t h e stars and planets in part because this would enable o n e to pray to t h e m , and it considers t h e stars to be images of t h e gods in part because a n active Greek cult could not imagine imageless w o r s h i p .

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