Origenism in the Sixth Century: Leontius of Byzantium on the Pre-Existence of the Soul



This article focuses on one passage in Leontius of Byzantium’s treatise Contra Nestorianos et Eutychianos in which the author defends his use of the anthropological paradigm against Nestorian criticism. Besides offering an analysis of Leontius’ arguments the article seeks to reconstruct the position of Leontius’ adversaries and to identify the philosophical concepts on which he relied. An in-depth study of the text permits the conclusion that while Leontius never explicitly states his belief in the pre-existence of the soul he has constructed an argument in with such a belief is implied. The clues that he gives can easily escape the attention of modern scholars but it is likely that they were picked up by contemporary readers, not only those who shared his views, but also anti-Origenists.
  • Year: 2014
  • Volume: 8
  • Page/Article: 46-67
  • DOI: 10.18573/j.2014.10325
  • Published on 15 Dec 2014