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Référence :

Parole de l’Orient 39 (2014), Faculté Pontificale de Théologie de l’Université Saint-Esprit de Kaslik, p. 385-422



The apocatastasis will save us all. The transition towards a shared ethical approach from christian patristic to early islamic theology and philosophy


I intend to deepen through this paper a comparative analysis between Greek cosmology, Christian Patristic and Early Islamic theology. Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, Clement of Alexandria and others, elaborated, for the first time, the apocatastasis as an eschatological theory which concerns the eternity of fire, the purification of souls and the grace of God. The same is deep rooted in Islamic theology and philosophy as religiously anchored within the Koran (3; 28, 102, 155, 176) and Islamic Tradition (Sunna and Hadit): Those who have merited Paradise will enter it; the damned will go to hell. God says also: Let those leave Hell whose hearts contain even the weight of a mustard seed of faith I Then they will be released, although they have already been burned to ashes and plunged into the river of rain-water or into the river of life; and immediately they will be revived.” It could be possible that the main sources for the apocatastasis, inside early Christian and Islamic theology, adapted terminology and common ideas to both religions (When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all, 1 Corinthians 15; 28). Ambrose of Milan and Gregory of Nazianzus discussed this concept without reaching a common pronouncement, while Basil the Great, who opposed this doctrine, supported that the view of apocatastasis is in contrast with the Justice of God (theodicy). On the other side some Mu’tazilite theologians, as Abu al-Hudhayl al- ‘Allaf (d. 849) is considered as a supporter of Paradise and Hell’s lethargical life (probably inspired by Qirar Ibn ‘Amr, d. 815), and al-Maturidi, in Radd wald al-fussaq, “The Refutation of the Doctrine of Eternal Damnation of Grave Sinners’ (this essay’s content is in contrast with the views of the majority of Mu’tazilite theologians), argued that there are different ahadli of the Prophet in which God’s justice is expressed as fundamental within Islam, but still relegated to the infinite mercy of Allah: ” ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab asks him (Ali ibn Abi Talib) what the Prophet said, and when ‘AIi discloses the Prophet’s words, ‘Umar says that no one must know this because then no one would strive for Paradise”. The metaphysical perception of apocatastasis resolves the issue, because in its light, creation is eternal whether manifest or not: The absoluteness of God as creator is preserved because there is, in a manner of speaking, a moment, a time when the possibility of creation is only inherent and not manifest. There is nothing beside the Absolute and when creation begins anew, it begins ex nihilo, out of nothing.

Titre original : “The apocatastasis will save us all. The transition towards a shared ethical approach from christian patristic to early islamic theology and philosophy”


J’ai l’intention d’approfondir à travers ce document une analyse comparative entre la cosmologie grecque, le patristique chrétienne et la théologie islamique primitive. Origène, Grégoire de Nysse, Clément d’Alexandrie et d’autres, ont élaboré pour la première fois l’apocatastase comme une théorie eschatologique qui comprend l’éternité du feu, la purification des âmes et la grâce de Dieu. La même idée est profondément enracinée dans la théologie et la philosophie islamiques et religieusement ancrée dans le Coran (3; 28, 102, 155, 176) et la tradition islamique (sunna et hadit) : “Ceux qui ont mérité le Paradis y entreront ; les damnés iront en enfer. Dieu dit aussi : Que ceux-là quittent l’Enfer dont les cœurs contiennent même le poids d’une graine de moutarde de la foi I Alors ils seront relâchés, bien qu’ils aient déjà été réduits en cendres et plongés dans le fleuve de l’eau de pluie ou dans le fleuve de la vie ; et immédiatement ils seront ressuscités.”

Il est possible que les principales sources de l’apocatastase, à l’intérieur de la théologie chrétienne et islamique primitive, terminologie adaptée et idées communes aux deux religions (“Quand il aura fait cela, alors le Fils lui-même sera soumis à celui qui a tout mis sous lui, afin que Dieu soit tout en tous”, 1 Corinthiens 15; 28). Ambroise de Milan et Grégoire de Nazianze ont discuté de ce concept sans parvenir à une formulation commune, tandis que Basile le Grand, qui s’est opposé à cette doctrine, soutenu que la vue de l’apocatastase est en contraste avec la justice de Dieu (théodicée). D’autre part, certains théologiens Mu’tazilite, comme Abu al-Hudhayl al-‘Allaf (d. 849) est considéré comme un partisan du Paradis et de la vie léthargique de l’Enfer (probablement inspiré par Qirar Ibn ‘Amr, d. 815), et al-Maturidi, dans Radd wald al-fussaq, “La réfutation de la doctrine de la damnation éternelle des pécheurs graves’ (contenu de cet essai est en contraste avec les vues de la majorité des théologiens mutazilite), a fait valoir qu’il y a différents ahadli du Prophète dans lequel la justice de Dieu est exprimée comme fondamentale Islam, mais toujours relégué à l’infinie miséricorde d’Allah : “‘Omar ibn al-Khattab lui demande (Ali ibn Abi Talib) ce que le Prophète a dit, et quand ‘Allah révèle les paroles du Prophète, ‘Omar dit que personne ne doit savoir cela parce qu’alors personne ne lutterait pour gagner le Paradis”. La perception métaphysique de l’apocatastase résout le problème, parce que dans sa lumière, la création est éternelle, manifeste ou non : l’absoluité de Dieu en tant que créateur est préservée parce qu’il y a, pour ainsi dire, un moment, un temps où la possibilité de la Création est seulement inhérente et non manifeste. Il n’y a rien à côté de l’Absolu et quand la création recommence, elle commence ex nihilo, à partir de rien.

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