Origen has an enduring reputation as a universalist. Patristic scholars and non-specialists alike routinely associate him with the doctrine of universal salvation. This article complicates the simplistic portrayal of Origen as a universalist while affirming the universalist implications of his theology. Far from explicitly teaching universalism, particularly the salvation of the devil, Origen consistently presupposes the reality of hell and the destruction of the devil. He circumspectly reserves the deeper mysteries of salvation, including the possibility of salvation beyond the purging fires of hell, for the intellectually and spiritually mature. With the "simple-minded" and "common crowd," however, he conceals potentially subversive speculations about universal salvation. As a prudent teacher and caretaker of souls, Origen carefully calibrates his theological reflections to the intellectual and spiritual capacity of his audience.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 347-368
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.