Paradise Lost

Mark S. M. Scott

in Journey Back to God

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199841141
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949809 | DOI:


Paradise Lost

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The third chapter analyzes Origen's account of the origin of evil. Origen explains the rise of evil in terms of the pre-existent fall of rational minds in the precosmic realm, which occurs in the interiority of the Logos. God does not create evil. Rather, evil arises from the rational mind's faulty exercise of freedom. In this way, Origen shifts responsibility for the origin of evil from God to creation, thus employing an early "free will defense." Origen posits two main theories for the fall: the instigation of the Devil and the sloth, neglect, and satiety of the soul in its contemplation of God. These two explanations often run parallel, but they both function to exonerate God from moral culpability for the existence of evil in the world. The chapter interprets pre-existence Christologically and suggests that his account of the fall must also be seen in a Christological light.

Keywords: pre-existence; rational minds; souls; paradise; contemplation; fall; free will defense; christology; Adam and Eve; Genesis

Chapter.  11261 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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