Spirit and letter in Origen and Augustine
T & T Clark international
Discussions of the reception of Paul’s opposed terms ‘spirit’ and ‘letter’ in 2 Corinthians 3 have tended to claim that Origen read the opposition in a hermeneutical sense, and specifically that he read it in a way which justified his alleged preference for ‘spiritual’ (or allegorical) interpretation over literal readings of Scripture. Augustine is then presented as a counter to this tendency: he is claimed to have returned to a theological or a soteriological interpretation. The strong implication of many of these discussions is that Augustine thereby recovered a more faithful reading of the Pauline text.
Published as a chapter in Bader G, Fiddes P (eds) The Spirit and the Letter A Christian Tradition and a Late-Modern Reversal, T & T Clark international, 2013, 87-102
, pp. 87 - 102