Universal Salvation and Freedom of Choice according to Origen of Alexandria (Hardback)
The 3rd century theologian Origen of Alexandria has traditionally been famous for his belief in universal salvation. Yet, Origen is also famous for his insistence on moral autonomy, the fact that God allows each creature to freely choose to move in the direction of good or evil. How can these two beliefs not result in a paradox or logical inconsistency in Origen’s theology, as many contemporary scholars suggest they do? This book explores the intersection between moral autonomy and God’s foreordained universal salvation in Origen’s writings. Origen was, in fact, aware of the apparent contradiction between these two ideas. He nevertheless stipulated that God can achieve universal salvation without violating a soul’s freedom of choice. God accomplishes this through his foreknowledge of future voluntary possibilities, which God then prearranges into a sequence leading to God’s desired outcome.