The Evangelical Universalist Forum

List of those of who reject traditional hellism


**Durant **(xxxx-xxxx), French Universalist Pietist martyr. In his autobiography, ‘The Life and Trance of Dr. George De Benneville,’ De Benneville describes how early in this career as a preacher of universal restoration in Normandy he found a few clergymen whose names he has recorded, Durant, Chevrette, Dumoulin, L’Archar, who were willing to associate with him in preaching to the Camisard Protestants in woods and valleys, where crowds gathered to hear them. Some of their number were arrested and put to death, some whipped and branded, and some were sent to the galleys. At length Durant and De Benneville were seized and condemned to die, the former by hanging and the latter by the axe. Durant ascended the ladder, sung a psalm, and died joyfully. De Benneville was on his knees praying for the forgiveness of his enemies, when a courier arrived from the king with a reprieve. He was taken to Paris, and imprisoned and finally liberated.(see Joseph Henry Allen and Richard Eddy, History of the Unitarians and the Universalists in the United States, Chapter 3, p.272, 1894)


Met Hilarion Alfeyev is not a convinced universalist. Put him into the hopeful category with Met Kallistos Ware. Although he is very sympathetic to the universalism of St Isaac, he’s not about to publicly commit himself to a position that might possibly put him at odds with the dogmatic teaching of the Orthodox Church.


OK Akimel - thanks very much. Pog will do that on his return :slight_smile: .


I’ve added in those two 18th c ones, sobornost, and I’ve moved Met Alfeyev into hopeful (strong) category.

The list Paidon provided from wiki is enormous! :slight_smile: I’m gonna go through it and just accept it as it is - taking the info from wiki and any quotes there provided. It may take a while to do them all … :slight_smile:


Hi Pog –

That’s a very good and comprehensive resource that Paidion has provided – I don’t think it’s necessary to just go through the list systematically though (some of the people on the list probably just happened to belong to the Unitarian denomination and actually never said anything notable about their faith – but sure others will be of great interest). Also if you just concentrate on that list there are going to be an awful lot of nineteenth and twentieth century Unitarians and American universalists church entries on the Pog list and they may start to overwhelm the others. It seems to me as this list emerges that the special usefulness of it is that it is truly ecumenical.

So I wouldn’t push yourself on it too hard – certainly not to the detriment of all the theodicy stuff that you just love!!! :smiley: . I’ve done the obsessive bit with another list already this year and although in the end I understood what the list was about, and learnt from that, I’ve left it two thirds done for the moment and I’m happy at that.

I’ve got lots of non-EU stuff to do this week – but I will reply to your email you sent to me before you went on holiday a.s.a.p. and keep Andrew in the loop. Hope you and your wife and Soren etc had a wonderful time –




Yeah, thanks, we all had a good time :slight_smile:

I get what you’re saying about the wiki list, but I’m not too worried about a deluge of UU - the list is already huge and with a lot of representation across the board. I’ll see how it goes - I’m in no rush and there’s enough stuff there to keep me going for a long time. I’ve already broken the names into age-periods, and I’ll focus on one period at a time.


OK :slight_smile: I was only trying to be nice to you in advice about working through lists :blush: - apart from it being tedious there are pitfalls from an historians point of view.


Being nice is always appreciated :slight_smile:

What are the pitfalls that I should be aware of? I’m going to have to be careful in making sure that wiki gives enough quotation/evidence to back up the claim to universalism, and I’m going to have to be careful with categorisation - indeed, that’s the bit that I think I’m going to struggle most with.

Tedium, oh that … :slight_smile: I’m not too worried about that. I wasn’t planning on doing it all in one big sitting … And I’m already quite excited about some of the names: I mean the creator of D&D, Stephen King’s daughter and Superman! What’s tedious about that! :slight_smile:


Pog - I’ll post you privately with a few ideas by the end of the week :slight_smile: For starters I have two primary sources books for Universalism in America - one of which is excellent. And I guess that if you really want to open up that wikki list (given that wikki is not always accurate - that’s proverbial but I’ve also found it t be true when researching biogs here - you’ll need these to do the checking with and for finding good quotations. If you want to take this on - given that I’m the sad b here who is the man to ask about universalism in the twelfth to eighteenth century, Andrew has the knowledge and the source materials for Anabaptists and Dunkers etc I can certainly lend these books to you long term; however you’d have to let me know your address so I can send them off to you.

I think the list and categories you’ve developed here are great. I think the reason why the idea had not occurred before - which you’d asked me about elsewhere - is, well you hadn’t come along with the idea yet :slight_smile: , and those of us who are interested in history have been busy making narrative connections. The list is enhanced by the narrative underpinning I think - but it’s category format makes cross referencing and grasp of scope a lot easier.

But as I said I will send you a private post on anything else that occurs to me by the end of the week. (I was actually thinking of staring a complementary list thread giving the main details features of different ‘families’ of universalism - but need to chat to you about this first) :slight_smile:

You can always ask for a second opinion from me over categorisation - we’ve worked together enough on this now to be able to reach consensus pretty easily actually :slight_smile: .


what, what? the creator of D&D??? wooooooooooooooooow!
i must read up on this lol :laughing:


Suppossedly, according to wiki:

“Gygax described himself as a Christian, but for much of his life had been reluctant to discuss his beliefs, citing fears that he would hurt the reputation of Christianity because of his connection to the moral panic that some people associated with D&D as a reason for not having been more vocal about his faith”

and in an online interview said,

“I decided only recently to make it known that I am a Christian, albeit one that is of the Arian (Unitarian) persuasion.”


Whether that makes him a universalist is a different question …


yeah that’s a stretch…

i LOVE the idea that someone who created something so wonderful but was so villified by ignorant, stupid people masquerading as Christians was himself a Christian of some flavour. take that, judgemental, unthinking bigots!

though to them, anything other than a normal fundamentalist that accepts what preachers say uncritically because they’re preachers, etc etc, is a damned heretic, so you can’t reason with them even on this front.
still, i bet God had a chuckle with Gary when they met.

DISCLAIMER: regardless of your opinion of D&D, i say all this confident in the fact no-one on this site fulfills all my criteria above for unthinking, uncritical bigots. most people here at least TRY to study things and not react in a knee-jerk, scapegoating, burn-the-witches fashion, so this in no way is meant to attack any here, but merely the bigoted attitudes i grew up surrounded by that always made me the outcast and a subject of “concerned prayer” (though that later hasn’t changed much with recent events haha)

anyway, i digress…sorry :laughing:


:slight_smile: I’m looking forward to rolling some d20s with Gary in heaven.


me too :sunglasses:


Oh dear - I’m such and old fuddy-duddy that I missed the reference to DD - is that Dan Dare? I used to love the Beano but the rest passed me by :laughing: And Stephen King - didn’t he write ‘Misery’? Now that was a very funny film - but haven’t read any of his books :slight_smile: Nothing tedious there - I’ll give you that :laughing: . The offers still on for the primary source materials :slight_smile:


Thanks for the offer, sobornost. I’ll be starting with the moderns first, just seeing what I can get from the interwebz - and I suspect that will keep me busy for the better part of a year! :slight_smile:. When I move onto the Victorians and before then I’ll need your books. I’m trying to keep things easy for myself, so I’m going to start with the easy, Internet, well attested, modern names first. What I might do is when I’ve whittled away the eas ones, I’ll post up ones I’m struggling with … In fact, I might just do that as I go anyway so they get seconded before added :slight_smile:

Old indeed … If you haven’t played an RPG before then you’ll love (as a historian) the Call of Cthulhu RPG. Who doesn’t love fighting tentacles in the 1920s? :slight_smile:


i seriously want to play that!!!
Dick, there’s nothing like an afternoon with mates playing a character in some imaginative setting, rolling dice, eating pizza and drinking beer lol
and you’re never too old :laughing:


Oh if you insist :unamused: - I’ll drag myself out of my bath chair someday :laughing: 'When you are old, and grey, and full of sleep, and nodding by the fire…


Did some poking around about Gary Gygax. I think the best category for him, if he makes the list, would be disputed Annihilationist as he was raised a JW and self-identified as an Arian Unitarian. He was mentioned in a sermon by the First Parish of Bedford Unitarian Universalist church, but he doesn’t seem to have attended there - it may just be co-incidence. He was clearly a strict JW in his younger years (and didn’t celebrate Xmas), I don’t know if he ever completely left.

Is it worth doing an entry for him on such scant evidence?

Yeats, huh … :slight_smile:


Hi Pog -

So it’s Dungeons and Dragons not Dan Dare then? :laughing: – you see, I told you I was out of touch. And the Yeats quotation on dear old Maude Gonne was bait for you Pog (I had a hunch you like Yeats – do you?).

Well if you are going to include Gygax that sounds like the best category for him and I guess you could include a parse about awaiting further clarification…

There is an article about his ‘religion at Patheos – … on-master/
And here is something else I found on Yahoo answers which may be useful –

Here are two facts:

  1. Jehovah’s Witnesses have consistently discouraged their adherents from entertainment which involves immersion into magic and mysticism, and have even mentioned “Dungeons & Dragons” specifically. In fact, Awake! magazine (March 22, 1982) contained an entire article on the game, including this quote: “Dungeons and Dragons is permeated by the ideas of Satan the Devil, who has always championed greed, violence and demonism.”
  2. Ernest Gary Gygax, the creator of “Dungeons & Dragons”, occasionally cites his religion as “Jehovah’s Witness”, and occasionally thanks “Jehovah” in an interview or correspondence.

It would seem that Mr. Gygax chooses to identify himself as a Jehovah’s Witness as an inside joke to those familiar with the religion’s cautionary tone regarding his signature game.

One reason to question the sincerity of Gygax’s claimed religious affiliation is that Jehovah’s Witnesses consider smoking to be a serious sin. Yet Gygax unabashedly describes himself as “an avid smoker”; Gygax volunteers in several interviews “I love to smoke.”

Interestingly, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ own 2006 statistics count about 1 million active Witnesses in the United States, but about 2 million associate themselves by meeting attendance. Secular surveys generally note that about 1% (or 3 million) Americans identify themselves with Jehovah’s Witnesses. In summary:
…1 million practice
…2 million attend
…3 million identify

Clearly, there are many who identify themselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses while having little or no formal connection with the religion. Thus, it seems possible that Gygax feels some sincere connection with the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, even if his lifestyle is incompatible with the religion itself.
Dungeons and Dragons – it seems to me – can certainly be seen as a virtual equivalent to spiritual exercises like the Ignatian

Meditations. Is there a specifically Christian version available – I know there’s been a big hoo hah about it in times of Satanic Panic but I’ve never looked into it.

All the best

Dick :slight_smile: