Origen of Alexandria (c. 185-250 CE) was an early Christian theologian who articulated ideas of universal salvation in ways that led his critics to charge him with heresy centuries after his death. From all accounts, Origen was a brilliant, gifted, and prolific scholar who studied science, philosophy, and theology and created the first systematic theology of Christianity, De Principiis, or On First Principles. This great work survived in its original Greek only in fragments; in the year 543, the emperor Justinian issued an edict condemning Origen's writings, and ordered them destroyed.
Origen's basic premises were:
While all these ideas were important in the development of Christian theology, of particular interest to Unitarian Universalists is Origen's "major heresy," that because Christ redeemed all humans, all would be saved in eternity. Origen did not believe in eternal suffering, and theorized that souls are re-born, over and again, to experience the educative powers of God until they finally and eventually achieve salvation.
Origen died c. 250 CE, from wounds he received from torture for expressing and spreading his ideas in nearly 2,000 separate written works.
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.
Sidebar Content, Page Navigation
More Ways to Search
Donate to Support This Program and the Ongoing Work of the UUA
Read or subscribe to UUA.org Updates for the latest additions to our site.
Learn more about the Beliefs & Principles of Unitarian Universalism, or read our online magazine, UU World, for features on today's Unitarian Universalists. Visit an online UU church, or find a congregation near you.