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Apocatastasis is, in
essence, the belief that hell as popularly defined does not exist. Rather, the "fires of hell" are not an eternal punishment, but a tool of divine teaching and correction, akin to [[purgatory]]. |+|
Apocatastasis is , in the , the of , and , to .
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|−|===[[Origen]] === |+|
|−|St. [[ Augustine of Hippo|Augustine]] wrote the following about Origen: |+|
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|−|:"I am aware that I now have to engage in a debate, devoid of rancor, those compassionate Christians who refuse to believe that the punishment of hell will be everlasting either in the case of all those men whom the completely just Judge accounts deserving of that chastisement, or at least in the case of some of them; they hold that they are to be set free after fixed limits of time have been passed, the periods being longer or shorter in proportion to the magnitude offences. On this subject the most compassionate of all was ''Origen'' who believed that the Devil himself and his angels will be rescued from their torments and brought into the company of the holy angels, after the more severe and more lasting chastisements appropriate to their deserts. But the Church has rejected ''Origen's'' teaching, and not without good reason, on account of this opinion and a number of other... |+|
the , this was by , who, in his ''
|−|:"Very different, however, is the error, promoted by tenderness of heart and human compassion, of those who suppose that the miseries of those condemned by that judgement will be temporal, whereas the felicity of all men, who are released after a shorter or longer period, will be everlasting. Now if this opinion is good and true, just because it is compassionate, then it will be the better and the truer the more compassionate it is. Then let the fountain of compassion be deepened and enlarged until it extends as far as the evil angels, who must be set free, although, of course, after many ages, and ages of any length that can be imagined! ...For all that, his error would manifestly surpass all errors in its perversity, its wrong-headed contradiction of the express words of God, by the same margin as, in his own estimation, his belief surpasses all other opinions in its clemency." |+|
|−|: — St. Augustine of Hippo, '' City of God'' 21.17 (trans. Bettenson) |+|
|−|===[[Clement of Alexandria]]=== |+|
|−|===[[Gregory of Nyssa]]=== |+|
|−|Saint [[Gregory of Nyssa]] accepted the idea of apocatastasis from [[Origen]]. However, this part St. Gregory's writings has been unequivocally rejected by the subsequent [[Church Fathers]]: |+|
|−|* St. Varsanofios the Great, criticizing the doctrine of apocatastasis, when asked about St. Gregory's opinion, has answered: “do not think that people, though also saints, could completely understand all depths of God... Even if a saint speaks about such opinions, you will not find that he confirmed the words as though had the statement from above, but that they resulted from the doctrine of his former teachers, and he, trusting their knowledge of them, did not inquire of God whether it was true. |+|
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Also spelled "Apokatastasis."
Apocatastasis (literally, the restoration of all) is the teaching that everyone will, in the end, be saved. It looks toward the ultimate reconciliation of good and evil; all creatures endowed with reason, angels and humans, will eventually come to a harmony in God's kingdom.
For Origen, this explicitly included the devil. In effect, Apocatastasis denies the final reality of hell, and interprets all Biblical references to the "fires of hell" not as an eternal punishment, but a tool of divine teaching and correction, akin to purgatory.
In the twentieth-century, this doctrine was reinvigorated especially by Hans Urs von Balthasar, who, in his book Dare We Hope “That All Men Be Saved