Religion: Back to Origen

Will Satan be saved? The great 3rd century theologian Origen seems to have thought so, and some of the early church writers agreed with him. But Christian theology crystallized around the opposite view: the Devil is everlastingly damned to an everlasting Hell, and Dante put it in a famous nutshell with the inscription over the gate to his Inferno—Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.

In Rome last week the question of Satan's salvation was once again warming theological tempers. Author-Philosopher Giovanni Papini, whose Life of Christ (1921) made him famous and who was converted to Roman Catholicism while writing it, made...

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