The Evangelical Universalist Forum

List of those of who reject traditional hellism


spring clean



I’m beginning to notice as I do this that there are few format inconsistencies, some typos, some missing dates or quotes, and some sparse biographies amongst what we’ve got already.

Also, as it is now getting very large, it might be worth breaking it up into eras (as well as belief type): Contemporary; 19th century; 16th-18thc(?); 5th - 15thc(?); early church(?). Maybe even having a list by denomination as another search tool.

I suggest we finish off the bulk entry of names as we are doing - getting as many down as we can. Then when they’ve pretty much dried up, I can transfer the data into Word and correct/ sort etc.

Does that sound like a plan?


Hi Pog –

Thanks for doing that.

Yep I reckon all of your ideas here are great.

The format has developed a bit as things have gone on I guess. I was certainly a lot sparser in my contributions to start with, as you wanted – but then I saw others were contributing real stonker entries so I lost the discipline. However, I think slightly longer biographical and contextual information isn’t such a bad thing – it brings the dead to life better.

I think Andrew made a good suggestion about the ‘geography’ of each person with an entry – so I’ve been putting the country of origin in with entry detail – I think it would be a good idea to look at early entries at some point and put this information in for each one (and it shouldn’t be too difficult).

Typos there will be – I’m useless at copy editing. Yes they need to to be ironed out

Missing dates and quotes – yes we can work on these gradually. I’ve also started to include publication date, and if we want to be really kosher we should find the city of publicist for each source cited. Btu one trip to a good liberty with a bibliographic catalogue some day would sort this easily.

Some important entries are hard to find quotes for. Some important Universalist left no writings but did contribute the story in other important ways. In this sense I guess the list entries here will always be open ended – and open to revision - and some entries will be more like wiki stubs than wiki full articles. Perhaps we should aim ideally for entries without quotations to have a reliable secondary source cited to give credence.

Most of the time I try to keep to your format – and only; depart from it when I’m having difficulty with putting the information together for an entry (and defer to your editing of these entries) .

Very good idea!!! Love the date categories :slight_smile: I’m still mapping belief types/ families of universalism as I go (Radical Pietism, Christian Hermeticists, Anabaptist Spirituals, Seekers, Cambridge Platonists, Latitudinarians, English Arians, Bibilcist Unitarians, Rationalist Unitarians, Transcendentalists, Universalists Restorationists, Universalist Ultras, Russian orthodox Slavophile universalists, Neo Orthodoxy Hopefuls, Literal Universalists, evangelical Trinitarian universalists, Premillenarian Universalists (Concordant publishing), Latter Rain universalists and other Pentecostal Universalists…) Well the list isn’t endless actually – but family resemblances and overlaps are just becoming apparent to me. I’ll have a think on this – it might be better to come up with some broad family categories rather than denominations (or perhaps ‘as well as denominations’ as another search tool). But that’ll come with latter fine tuning i guess.

I’m thinking that one day it may be good to have brief entries about the different ‘families’ of universalism as a sort of key to the list.


I’ve set a date for myself to dry up to a trickle on this thread as July 10th – I will be finished with the chunk I’ve undertaken by then (and perhaps earlier if I get a chance to do any more long stretches as I have done this week). A lot of the stuff I’m including from Hanson has substance. Some is more peripheral however, but I’ve also included this stuff because the names appear on internet lists (these started off as informal but through being copied by others have become authoritative). I think it’s always good to encourage universalists to actively explore and question our story and that way get a better idea of our place in it. A lot of the Hanson stuff is from the nineteenth century – for obvious reasons – and from half remembered or forgotten names. Universalists in the nineteenth century obviously had many common concerns with Universalists today (and that’s reassuring). But they also had some different emphases- the ones from the late nineteenth century are more confident of their eventual triumph than we are for example. It would great if one day people from this site could feed examples to us from modern secular culture which express universal hope in the way that Hanson did in his times (but not yet!!!).

It sounds like a plan old chap :slight_smile: . Its’ a pleasure doing business with you! :slight_smile:
All the best



spring clean



I’ve put the consolation poets under hopeful as suggested, but we might review a couple of them (along with others) when we go over the list for the next big overhaul - there’s a number of names where the quotes seem tenuous or the category a little off.

Keep up the good work - I really have no idea where this list will take us … :slight_smile:


There’ll be light at the end of the tunnel. Things often get complex at mid-point only to become simpler when the big picture is a bit clearer :smiley:


The five poets would seem all more to fit disputed – to be honest, we ought to be careful about including anyone in the certain or hopeful list unless we can find printed evidence stronger than a hope in infant salvation or an Arminian scope of God’s intention. A hope to be reunited with one’s wife might only amount to post-mortem salvation of someone regarded as good already.

As for Kant, I’m fairly sure there’s a stronger quote from him here on the forum somewhere; you should do a search. I don’t at all remember the source, but I remember the quote as being something like “If anyone at all goes to hell then let me go with them”.

“in order to beamed eternally miserable” – I’m pretty sure he wasn’t talking about an agony beam. :wink:


Be made = beamed :laughing: Beam me up Scotty :laughing:

Agreed about the consolation poets Jason – that cuts through the Gordian knot -


spring clean


spring cleaning


should we add Chad Holtz as a former universalist?


Yes Pog - why not? What is he now?

And Jason here’s the best I can do to make sense of Kant - although it’s not an entry for the list as such (he’s a difficult one :laughing:

‘Dreams of a Spirit-Seer’ (1766) Kant uses the visionary writings of Swedenborg who claimed to have visited heaven and hell and to be able to give exact descriptive information of the two locations – which Kant clearly considers to be nonsense - as an example to poke fun at all philosophic metaphysical speculation, including the universalism of Jung Stilling and the pessimism of Schopenhauer -
Heaven and hell are images of the moral and the immoral life projected into the “boundless future” They represent the practical outcomes of the moral and the immoral life, and as such constitute “incentives” toward good action. Again, Kant does not deny that heaven and hell as popularly conceived are actualities, but argues that to assert dogmatically that they are actual serves no good purpose and transgresses the bounds of reason

‘Critique of Pure Reason 1787
In his first Critique, Kant says ‘without a God and a world that is not now visible to us but is hoped for , the majestic ideas of morality are, to be sure, objects of approbation and admiration, but not incentives or resolve’ This suggests that we can only be motivated to live morally ,as opposed to merely admiring the moral life, if the hope of heaven and the fear of hell is added to respect of the moral law.
Kant offers a practical interpretation of the notions of heaven and hell as representations powerful enough to rouse humanity to good with no need to take them objectively. (Kant them sublime because the clear and distinct different between a morally good and morally bad way of life is symbolised in the antithesis of heaven and hell). We might protest that the texts themselves, when interpreted in terms of what we know (or think we know) about the concepts and beliefs of the first-century Christians, are indeed ‘intended to extend our cognition beyond the world of sense…to everlasting bliss or torment in life after death. But Kant’s principle of biblical interpretation is to try to find ‘a meaning in Scripture in harmony with the most holy teachings of reason, even if that is not the literal historic meaning.(see Kant And the New Philosophy of Religion edited by Chris L. Firestone, Stephen R. Palmquist p.127)

‘Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone’ 1793 -
Religion within the boundary of pure/mere reason does argue that belief in infinite punishment for those who break the moral law (which always has universal consequences) is useful. He is concerned that people should not go through life with an easy going ‘everything will turn out alright in the end’ attitude.

‘The End of All things’1794
This does appear to be evidence of Kant taking some sort of Universalists turn. I’d missed its dark humorous and satirical tone. Kant argues that
Human beings expect that they will be condemned. If they expected that the condemnation would take the form of a universal law they themselves legislated, they would be saved; since , however, they expect that this condemnation will take the form of a sovereign ‘measure’ which treats then as though they were exceptions to the moral law, they are victims of their own expectations.
(see Late Kant: Towards Another Law of the Earth by Peter Fenves)

‘Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion’ (late works published posthumously)
Natural morality must be so constituted that it can be thought independent of any concept of God, and obtain zealous reverence from us solely on account of its own inner dignity and excellence. But further it serves for this, after we have taken an interest in morals itself, we take an interest also in the existence of God ,a being who can reward our good conduct; and then we obtain strong incentives which determine us to observe moral laws (LPR 1003) –
Here Kant’s point is that heaven gives us an additional incentive to that given by the moral law itself, but it is not the primary incentive.


Hi Pog and Jason –

I’ve had a think about categories to fit the amount of stuff begin gathered – and here is a working model I’m thinking round. Just a thought – that’s’ all. But I also think breaking them down by epochs just as you’ve suggested is a great idea Pog. And – if we ever get clever, a search tool so they can be organised by denominations, and/or families would be great.

Certain – well you are either certain or you are not –


Those who hope with good courage
Those whose hope is more agnostic – That God is bound to his promises but not bound to carry out his threats.

Believers in purgatory for the saved (that is normally for baptised Catholics who do not die in mortal sin)
Believers in post mortem chances for all who require them

Wide hopers
Very wide – those who believe that all can respond to the inner Christ even if they have not heard the outward Gospel (although the Gospel is strongly to be desired). These aren’t religious pluralists saying that all paths lead to the same goal – they are rather people who think that Christ is a witness in the hearts of all people everywhere)
Middling hopers – Armenians
Narrow hopers that God can/will save all his elect – even those who have not been evangelised

**Post Christian Universalists **
Pluralists (all paths lead to God),
People who speak universalism but couch it in terms of Providence and human progress, (Secular post millenialists)
Swedenborgians, and Spiritualists

Ex universalists (I guess we need a before and after quotation ideally?)

Protos (I think a separate category eventually)
Evidence mixed
Evidence suggests that person has been miscategorised as universalist elsewhere.
Evidence suggests non –believer is anti-hellist - often they have lost their faith because of the doctrine of ECT
Evidence thin or trivial – that is the poets of consolation etc.

**Mitigaters **
And there are others who have expressed some doubts about hell or said things in mitigation who are otherwise ECT. (Anselm, Aquinas, those who object to the damnation of children but are not otherwise wide hopers)

Also perhaps a stubs category of people who have been named as universalists but we do not yet have evidence one way or the other

And -
Non Christian universalist (for another time – but I can easily get a selection together one day to suggest that universalism is also part of C.S. Lewis ‘Tao’ of natural revelation)

Oh and **Annis **-
I guess there is a distinction here between those who believe that the unrighteous will not be raised from the dead (conditionalists), and those who believe they will be raised to be punished for the appropriate period before being annihilated (partial conditionalists).


spring cleaning


He went back to Calvinism presumably (back to what he was before). So yep. There’s a thread with his recant announcement around here somewhere.

To that list could apparently be added Augustine and Jerome. :wink:


I’ll add in chad … does anyone have quotes for Augstine and Jerome showing their former universalism? Or are people waiting for Ramelli’s book?

don’t worry about having a break, sobornost, you deserve one! :slight_smile:


Doing a search for Ramelli on the forum will fairly quickly turn up a copy of her paper on Augustine’s former universalism. This is now being marketed as one of the surprises of her new book!

(Note: when checking Beecher for mention of Jerome–as he is rather more careful than Hanson–I noticed a reference to Marcellus of Ancyra, who around 330 wrote against some of Origen’s ideas about the Trinity, but Beecher regarded Marcellus as clearly a universalist himself.)

As for Jerome, Beecher in his “History of Retribution” argues from pages 261-266 that the historian Eusebius (who taught with Origen at the Caesarean seminary) remained a universalist throughout his career; and that Jerome, originally a fan of Origen, early held the universal salvation of all, including of the devil though not the return of the devil to his original authority, but then modified this over time and from pressure to first reject the salvation of rational intelligences other than humans, and then to reject the salvation of all humans, although he still held to the belief that most humans would be saved even though purgative punishment might be required for a long period before they let go their sins.

Beecher is usually more careful about such things than Hanson; but Hanson (in First Five Centuries, p.63) adds commentary (from Jerome) on Jonah 2:6, to the effect that Christ “was shut up in aeonian bars in order that he might set free all who had been shut up”.

(Hanson quotes Eusebius on some portions Beecher does not, such as a comment on Psalm 2 with reference to Jeremiah 18:6, p.204, which comports with my appeals to Jeremiah, i.e. that God shatters the pottery to remold it properly. Hanson’s largest commentary and quotation set from Jerome is from pp.262 to 268.)

While I am on Hanson: Hilary, Bishop of Poictiers (?) until death in 368, translator of Origen, Hanson quotes strongly on the universal salvation of humanity and of lost angels, pp 249-250.


It was because of Ramelli’s article and presentation that I put their names on the list - and created the category just for them :slight_smile: But I wan’t able to get anything really direct from the article - I might need to read through it again (I think there’s refs - but I need the actual quotes themselves). Or I could be patient and wait til someone gets the book! Prob get real clear quotes and refs then. :slight_smile:


I would include Dean Hough under Universalism. Has done much of the translation work for Concordant Old Testament, (I think about 40 years of tough slogging)

E.W. Bullinger, and C.H. Welch should both go under annihilationism, although Bullinger possibly as hopeful Universalist. I remember reading something about him communicating with Knoch on the subject, and was open to the concept if it was approached from the standpoint of the ages. I think Knoch was to send him some information, but then Bullinger died.


Hi Puddy,

thanks for the info. I don’t know know who those people are, I’m afraid :frowning:

Are you able to provide a short bio snippet and a quote for those people?