A researcher at the Bavarian State Library has recently uncovered what appears to be a collection of Greek sermons by Origen of Alexandria, many of them hitherto unknown or known only in Latin translations.
Those with even a little background in patristics will see at a glance how important this find may be. Origen was a towering, and deeply controversial, figure. Famous throughout the Christian world during his lifetime -- not least for his symbolic exegetical techniques -- he was anathematized after his death. To this day, the debate rages over whether Origen actually held the doctrines condemned under his name. In any case, many modern theologians, including Pope Benedict XVI, find him worthy of reading and discussion.
In a slow-moving field of study, this is potentially enormous news.
The sermons were identified by Dr. Marina Molin Pradel, and their contents have been confirmed by Dr. Lorenzo Perrone, an expert on Origen. Pradel's results are to be published in Adamantius, the journal of research into Origen and the Alexandrian theologians.
Here is the press release (in German). Here is a series of blog posts by Roger Pearse. Here is our own original source, John Zuhlsdorf, whose readers -- always quick with self-parody -- immediately begin questioning Origen's orthodoxy. And here are images of the book itself.