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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Apocatastasis

A Christian doctrine, espoused by Origen and his followers, that all intelligent beings (angels, humans, and even devils) shall eventually be saved, as opposed to the view that sinners will be condemned to hell forever. It is from a Greek term meaning “complete restoration.” Origen taught that while unrepentant souls will be punished, they will ultimately come to salvation. This view is based on a number of New Testament passages such as Romans 11:32: “For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all” and 1 Cor 15:22: “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” Origen also taught the reincarnation of the soul, which supports the idea of eventual salvation of all.

The doctrine of apocatastasis was later taught by others, such as Gregory of Nazianzen, Gregory of Nyssa, Didymus of Alexandria, and Chrysostom, but was opposed by Augustine and condemned by the Council of Constantinople in 543. Some 20th cent. Christian theologians, such as Friedrich Schleiermacher, have revived it in a modernized form.

V.H.C.

 

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