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Date of Award

11-16-2004

Document Type

Graduate Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theology

Department

School of Theology • Seminary

First Advisor

Columba Stewart OSB

Abstract

This paper attempted to place Origen's concept of spiritual warfare in the heart of the Christian. In order to accomplish this, this paper begins by briefly treating Origen's human anthropology. Origen had a three-fold view of the human person: spirit, soul, and body. He also broke down the soul into two parts; intellect, and the lower part — the passions. And it was in the soul of the Christian that the demons waged war against the individual by attempting to drive him-her into despair, cursing God, and other sinful actions. The remedy Origen used to defend oneself against the attacks of the enemy was the discernment of spirits. Through the discernment of spirits, the Christian could monitor and regulate the thoughts and images coming from the heart. This is in order to defeat the evil thoughts and accept the good thoughts. The prize of the war was the heart. By healing the heart of the damages caused by the demons, the Christian could more fully love God freely, and place his/her trust in God more securely. The end or goal of the battle was a foretaste of the angelic paradise in which everything is holy and perfect, rapt in the contemplation of God and from which the soul fell from an act of free will.

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