Characters

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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 165

Origen's On First Principles (in Latin, De Principiis) is a religious treatise on Christianity, and so its characters are primarily religious figures.

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For the purpose of this response, "characters" will be interpreted broadly to include religious entities. The first of Origen's four books includes descriptions of the Holy Trinity. Origen's God is immaterial. Origen's conception of the "Son of God" (Christ) is that he is the "efflux of the glory of God" (Chapter I, Book 2). Finally, Origen addresses the Holy Spirit, whose existence he acknowledges to be less intuitive than that of God and the Son. The Holy Spirit is, according to Origen, responsible for conferring grace onto mankind. In other words, the Holy Spirit is imparted to believers by God. Specifically, the Holy Spirit is revealed to individuals when they are baptized.

The other individuals mentioned extensively by Origen are the apostles Peter and Paul and the gospel writer John, whose work Origen interprets in the fourth and final book of On First Principles.

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