[Milton-L] Query about angels's repentance

John Geraghty johnegeraghty at hotmail.com
Sun Oct 16 12:22:44 EDT 2005

 I did come a cross a paper that takes a stab at this: http://www.angelfire.com/film/shadowcat/milton.html and I had forgotten about Scotus:

Origen, who was among the leading authorities in deciding what was and what was not to be included in the New Testament, predicted the Devil's purification and pardon. This belief in the salvability of Satan was apparently shared by Justin, Clemens Alexandrinus and afterwards by Didymus and Gregory of Nyssa" (Rudwin 282). 
Origen's theory of the restoration of Satan to his position of former glory at God's side came to be known as apokatastasis. A number of the proponents of the doctrine of apokatastasis held that the end of human history will see Hell dissolved from existence and all the devils and lost souls redeemed of their sins and granted a place in Heaven. Others modified Origen's views, such as Saint Jerome, who believed that only the baptized benefited from apokatastasis, but the doctrine fell into disfavor by the time of St. Augustine, who himself considered the belief an abominable heresy. 

The Emperor Justinian clearly shared Augustine's view, since he declared all Roman Catholics who embraced the doctrine of apokatastasis heretics during the Fifth Ecumenical Council, the Second Council of Constantinople in A.D. 553. The declaration failed to crush the theory, however, and it reappeared in the ninth century, when "the famous Irish philosopher and theologian, John Scotus Erigena, professed the belief that, inasmuch as all beings came from God, they must all return to him, including the evil spirits. [Also noteworthy is a] religious poem of the thirteenth century, A Moral Ode, contains the assertion that the Devil himself might have had mercy if he had sought for it" (Rudwin 282).

he also states:

In his milestone work On First Principles, Origen, the father of apokatastasis, describes the suffering that souls endure in Hell as the spiritual equivalent of unpleasant medications and surgeries the sick must undergo in life to return to a state of perfect physical health. 

I guest it boils down to First Causes  -AITIA-  (creation (God), evil (Satan), Man's (Fall), etc.) and the interpretations of their ultimate outcomes. Would the views be as pronounced w/out aid of the Book of Revelation?


A  nd mad'st it pregnant: What in me is dark
I  llumin, what is low raise and support;
T hat to the highth of this great Argument
I  may assert Eternal Providence,
A nd justifie the wayes of God to men.
  Say first, for Heav'n hides nothing from thy view
 Nor the deep Tract of Hell, say FIRST what CAUSE Mov'd our Grand Parents in that happy State,
This first Book proposes, first in brief, the whole Subject, Mans disobedience, and the loss thereupon of Paradise wherein he was plac't: Then touches the
of his fall, the Serpent, or rather Satan in the Serpent

These absolutes are named Ideas, and visible and changing things that bear the name of an Idea are so named because they participate in that Idea. This is Plato's theory of causation (AITIA): the Ideas cause individual things to be what they are. (Phaedo 100b - 100e) http://www.abu.nb.ca/Courses/GrPhil/PhilRel/Plato.htm

The importance of such happenings was that they were more than curious, they had also an AITIA, a ``reason,'' an ``explanation.'' 
.....There is a widespread tendency to misread the meaning of this notion of aitia, partly because of its translation into English (from Aristotle) as ``cause'' (taken directly from the Latin translation of Aristotle, and partly because of its modern limitation to what Aristotle called efficient ``cause.'' The notion of aitia was the answer to the question ``Why?'' (Ti?); and Aristotle (with other ancients) perceived that we asked this question in more than one sense (he described four senses). In our modern usage, there are at least two senses in which we ask (or expect an answer to) ``Why?''  http://www.pcts.org/journal/hobbs2002a.html

In fact, the Hebrew word which is often rendered as "Satan" is itself derived from another word - an ancient Greek one. This Greek word -
an is [AITIA] - that is, 'an accusation'. [See, for example, its use by Aeschylus - aitiau ekho.] Essentially, the Hebrew word 'Satan' is a corrupt
form of the Greek word for an 'accusation'. In Greek of the classical period, [aitia] and [diabole] were often used for the same thing,
especially when a 'Wrong' or 'Bad' sense was required, as, for example in a 'false accusation'.

As the Son Himself proceeds from the Father, it is from the Father that He receives, with everything else, the virtue that makes Him the principle of the Holy Ghost. Thus, the Father alone is principium absque principio, AITIA anarchos prokatarktike, and, comparatively, the Son is an intermediate principle. The distinct use of the two prepositions, ek (from) and dia (through), implies nothing else. 

The dialogue seems to proceed thus. "If the devil was the cause of Adam's fall, at this rate it ought to follow that all whom the devil tempts should perish (edei kata touto pantaj touj peirazomenouj apollusqai): if this be not the case, as certainly it is not, then, the cause (of our perishing) is with ourselves (ei de mh apolluntai, par hmaj h AITIA)." Then: 'All' edei, fhsi, pantaj touj peirazomenouj katorqoun: ou: par hmaj gar h aitia: edei, fhsi, kai xwrij tou diabolou apollusqai. "But," say you, "(at this rate) all that are tempted ought to succeed (against the Tempter, to come off victorious from the encounter)." No: for the cause (of our being tempted) is with ourselves. "Then people ought to perish even without the devil:" i. e. `It should follow that those who perish, perish independently of the tempter. 0' Yes: in fact many do," etc. In the printed text all' edei-katorqoun, <\=85_edei apollusqai are put interrogatively, and in place of the ou par hmaj gar h AITIA of the mss. (which we point Ou. par hmaj g. h. a.) it has h, ei par h. h. a. http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPNF1-11/footnote/fn18.htm

etiology - noun - 1.  a. The study of causes or origins. b. The branch of medicine that deals with the causes or origins of disease.  2.  a. Assignment of a cause, an origin, or a reason for something. b. The cause or origin of a disease or disorder as determined by medical diagnosis.  [Late Latin aetiologia, from Greek aitiologia : AITIA, cause + -logia, -logy.]  http://www.peter.hoflich.com/words.html

illum expirantem transfixo pectore flammas

I  taliam, fato profugus, Laviniaque venit
l  itora, multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
v  i superum saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram;
m  ulta quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem
in ferretque deos Latio, genus unde Latinum,

I  llumin, what is low raise and support; 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Horace Jeffery Hodges" <jefferyhodges at yahoo.com>
To: "John Milton Discussion List" <milton-l at lists.richmond.edu>
Sent: Sunday, October 16, 2005 3:42 AM
Subject: Re: [Milton-L] Query about angels's repentance

> John,
> I think that the Eastern Orthodox Churches hold out
> the possibility -- and I recall that Origen argued for
> this.
> The Russian Orthodox Church even has prayers for the
> repentance of Satan, I've somewhere read.
> But I lack sources on this point. Perhaps an online
> search would turn up something.
> Jeffery Hodges
> --- John Geraghty <johnegeraghty at hotmail.com> wrote:
>> Does anyone know if this is addressed in Heywood's
>> Hierarchie of the Blessed Angells? I know it is now
>> available electronically and was going to track it
>> down. 
>> I also saw a note from
>> http://www.shu.ac.uk/emls/si-07/parry.htm that
>> intrigued me:
>> As his meditations on the saints, Austin is
>> concerned to draw a line between Anglican and
>> Catholic attitudes. Anglicans may reverence angels
>> but not invoke them as mediators, or worship them.
>> Assurance of their existence and knowledge of the
>> help they give us should strengthen us in our
>> earthly course. This meditation, composed before
>> Thomas Heywood's Hierarchie of the Blessed Angells
>> (1635), is a valuable record of Anglican views
>> concerning the ministry of angels in Stuart times.
>> Austin's statements are in harmony with those
>> expressed by Richard Hooker in Book I, Section vi,
>> of The Lawes of Ecclesiasticall Politie about the
>> condition of the angels, but they are fuller, and
>> they address the question of how the individual
>> Christian may most benefit from the presence of
>> angels in the spiritual world.
>> There is an article from the old New Advent that
>> speaks well to the complexity of the issue in a
>> concise manner in the section beginning:
>> This dispute, as to the time taken by the probation
>> and fall of Satan, has a purely speculative
>> interest. But the corresponding question as to the
>> rapidity of the sentence and punishment is in some
>> ways a more important matter. There can indeed be no
>> doubt that Satan and his rebel angels were very
>> speedily punished for their rebellion. This would
>> seem to be sufficiently indicated in some of the
>> texts which are understood to refer to the fall of
>> the angels.
>> http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04764a.htm
>> Are there any Christian faiths that believe the
>> fallen angels are redeemable?
>> -John
> University Degrees:
> Ph.D., History, U.C. Berkeley
> (Doctoral Thesis: "Food as Synecdoche in John's Gospel and Gnostic Texts")
> M.A., History of Science, U.C. Berkeley
> B.A., English Language and Literature, Baylor University
> Email Address:
> jefferyhodges at yahoo.com
> Blog:
> http://gypsyscholarship.blogspot.com/
> Office Address:
> Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
> Department of English Language and Literature
> Korea University
> 136-701 Anam-dong, Seongbuk-gu
> Seoul
> South Korea
> Home Address:
> Dr. Sun-Ae Hwang and Dr. Horace Jeffery Hodges
> Sehan Apt. 102-2302
> Sinnae-dong 795
> Jungrang-gu
> Seoul 131-770
> South Korea
> _______________________________________________
> Milton-L mailing list
> Milton-L at lists.richmond.edu
> Manage your list membership and access list archives at http://lists.richmond.edu/mailman/listinfo/milton-l
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.richmond.edu/pipermail/milton-l/attachments/20051016/1a44c825/attachment.htm

More information about the Milton-L mailing list