Did Origen believe Satan will be saved?


Did Origen believe Satan will be saved? Why do we consider him a Church Father, as opposed to a heretic?



I don’t know that the Church does hold to everything Origen taught - I was under the impression that he’s rather like Tertullian in that regard.

Doesn’t mean that these gentlemen have nothing useful to say, but we dont’ accept every word.


You’ve put it well, LilyM.

The “apokatastasis” or restoration of all things, which boils down to universalism–in which even Satan will be saved–is one of Origen’s propositions condemned by the 5th Council.

Origen and Tertullian are like the girl with the curl in her forehead: when they are good, they are very good, and when they are bad they are horrid.


Are we sure he actually taught that? While he was obviously a universalist like many during his age I had got the impression from his writings that he was not quiet willing to say that the Devil would be saved to, he simply acknowledged the theoretical possibility.

Also I don’t think that his universalist beliefs were condemned at the 5th Council. His beliefs regarding the the pre-existance of souls and their descent into bodies were condemned. Origen’s resulting beliefs of spiritual and physical natures of men, angels and demons were condemned as well. He also had a belief in angelic reincarnation. While almost all of his teachings on angels were condemned I don’t recall universalism being condemned (at that council at least).

It is difficult to know what was going on with that council’s findings as most of the western bishops were not present and an anti-pope was established (by Justinian) to preside over it after Pope Vigilius refused to attend. Which pretty much nullifies its authority if not necessarily its findings.

I don’t know I just chimed in because I’ve always found the council and the build up to it a little “hinky”. But I could be wrong.


Was Origen a Bishop, or a lay Theologian? Did he reject his teaching’s when the Church rejected it?


He wasn’t ever a bishop, and as far as can be known never did reject any of his teachings.


He was ordained as a priest partway through his career (irregularly, by the bishop of Caesarea I think, when Origen was still under the authority of the bishop of Alexandria). The Church (as a whole) did not reject his teachings during his lifetime (the bishop of Alexandria didn’t like him and his ideas much, so he wound up moving to Caesarea, where he was regarded as orthodox–I believe he had good relations with Rome as well). The Second Council of Constantinople was held about three hundred years after Origen’s death. This is why he has been rehabilitated in modern Catholicism–even though his opinions were in error on many points, it is clear from his writings that he intended to teach in conformity with the Church. His errors are generally regarded today as understandable given that he was breaking new ground theologically, asking questions about things Christians hadn’t had time to think about much before him. Pope Benedict spoke very highly of Origen some months ago.



As usual you sum things up nicely. I’ve always felt that Origen was more guilty of being overly bright and exploratory in his Faith during a time when it was still very young and new. I’ve always admired him greatly. He was infact a major cause for my return to ancient Christianity.


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