The group took up Cassian’s eighth conference – listening once again to the wise counsel of Abba Serenus. This conference treats of demons in themselves and their origins. In particular, the question is raised: “Were they created by God, in all their variety, specifically to wage war against humankind?”
Serenus begins with some lengthy preliminaries about the interpretation of Scripture and about the possibility of understanding it both historically and allegorically. From there, he proceeds to affirm the goodness of everything that God created and hence those angelic beings that were created before the foundation of the visible world and that eventually fell came to be called demons. As far as their variety is concerned, the demons either maintained in hell the hierarchy that they originally had in heaven or imitated those ranks after the fall. Lucifer fell “a first time by pride, for which he deserved to be called a serpent, and a second fall followed as a result of envy.
A rather lengthy discussion ensued about the eternality of God and His foreknowledge of the Fall of angels.