The Evangelical Universalist Forum

List of those of who reject traditional hellism


I went through that page in putting together the bio, but I didn’t see any universalist quotes there … all other stuff. :frowning:


Yes - the quotes are limited to other stuff (that I guess was more important to him). That’s one of the troubles with pluralism - it dilutes hope in favour of an ever sceptical rationalism.


Pog here’s an interesting statement from a Quaker Universalists that sheds some light on this issue I think (forgive the pun :laughing: )


Sounds like some brands of pluralism. And is appropriate, probably, to the dude in question. I’ll put him under pluralist universalists, I think, as that seems the best place for him for now. What do you think?

Also, I’m noticing that a lot on that list seem pretty sketchy. Christopher Reeve’s wife was a UU, but not Chris himself; Paul Newman I really don’t think was very religious at all; and Rod Sterling didn’t really believe in an afterlife …


Yes you are right Pog - I think that the picture given of pluralist universalists here is not true of all pluralists - but I do note that the ‘universalism’ here is not about UR, it’s about universalism versus particularism in terms of religious paths to the ‘Divine’ (and this type of universalism may have no clear or specific teaching about UR).

Yes I agree - the list does include many people who just happen to be biologically connected to the UUC or have become in laws.

Put the example under Pluralist universalist I reckon :slight_smile:


Yeah, it’s unhelpful that universalism is term that covers so many concepts.


might be why there are so many knee-jerk reactions to Univesrsalism!
though it still disturbs me that even when people have the right “flavour” of Universalism in mind, they start to pile the firewood round the stake.


Well mah boys - I guess we’ll just have to try and make some distinctions -

The ones I can think of are -

It can mean Christian Universalism - the divers Christian movements that affirm belief in Universal Reconciliation

It can describe any monotheistic belief in eschatological Universal Reconciliation as the will of God and a strong belief that this will shall not be ultimately frustrated -

As far as I know this would include -

Mainstream Zoroastrianism from the time of Cyrus to the second century AD
Minority traditions in Islam - but still numerous in terms of adherents; various Sufi sects, the Ahmaddiyas, and certain of the classical schools/authors
All schools of Christian universalism - including EU
Jewish believers who affirm the world to come and ultimate reconciliation of all in the world to come

Jewish universalism can also mean those individuals and sects of Judaism that stress that God also has a plan for the Gentiles today, and many of the Alexandrina Jews in the time of Christ ( like the Noahide movement)

Universalisms= in the context of Anabaptist Spiritual movements and particularly the Quakers refers to the belief that all human begins have access to the means of grace in the inner light - whether or not they have access to the outer Gospel. And the seed of the Inner light is universal. Now some who believe in this sort of universalist also believe in UR. But others believe that it is possible to ultimately reject the promptings Inner light forever.

Ethical Universalism - that’s Kant’s categorical imperative

Universality in knowledge - that’s about having a grasp of the range of human knowledge across the sciences and the arts and across cultures (as in Renaissance Universalism)

Pluralist universalism this goes beyond people who believe in dialogue between religions (something I think is important)and often degenerates into the sets of attitudes characterised by the Christ centred Quaker Universalist quoted above in my view. (However the Quaker Universalist movement in the UK is actually Pluralist universalist)


Good stuff. Our opponents fear the drift into pluralism. They’re right to fear it, but wrong to think it’s inevitable.


Just ported Abbot over.

Good comment Allan.


Sorry I’ve not done any more lately, a mixture of work and distraction. I’ll hopefully being sorting out another couple from the list. I’m looking at fairly soon, but if anyone else has any then please pass them along :slight_smile:


I’ve expanded the biographical entries for a number of entries (Alger, Allin, Barclay, Bauman, Beauchemin, Beck, Berdyaev, Bulgakov and Caird), and added a new entry for D. Scott Reishard.


I’ve just realised the massive Anglo-American and English language bias of the list. No doubt that reflects our own situations and language capabilities, but I did it hard to believe that there aren’t loads of universalist pastors, ministers, theologians out there working in France, Brazil, Spain, Korea, Australia, Germany etc etc.

if anyone has multiple languages, or knows people abroad, can I ask for lots of non-English/American entires? :slight_smile:


OK Pog - here is a (South) Korean - but I don’t have any dates for him;

Andrew Sung Park is a Korean American Methodist theologian. Park teaches at United Theological Seminary in Trotwood, Ohio. He specializes in systematic theology, global theology, cross-cultural theology, Asian American liberation theology, Christian mysticism, and the relationship between religion and science. He has expanded the theology of emotional pain by exploring the Korean concept of ‘han’.
Until the last lost person comes home (referring to the parable of the prodigal son), God’s mind and body are nailed to the cross. --Andrew Sung Park, in his essay, The God Who Needs Our Salvation in The Changing Face of God ( edited by Karen Armstrong, Frederick W. Schmidt, Jr. P.90 2000)

Good work on the expanded entries :smiley: -

Dick :slight_smile:


Thanks sobornost - it’s good to have you back (but take it easy and slow - no burning out now).

I’m glad you like the bio updates - I’m planning on going through and updating some of the ones which are a little too short (often my fault as I cut down too much not imagining how big this project would become).

Regarding Park (good catch, by the way - he seems really big on atonement theories! :slight_smile:), is he convinced, hopeful or pluralist?

Update: just enlarged a few bios as far as CH Dodd. Some interesting tid-bits there … :slight_smile:


Hi Pog - don’t worry I’ll take it good and slow :laughing: Regarding Park, he seems to be pretty much convinced as far as I can see. I wouldn’t call him a pluralist - he’s only relating the gospel to the unknown God in his own culture (hence his work on relating the Korean idea of ‘han’ to the Gospel. :slight_smile:


minor bio info updates as far as Dorothea Etchells.


Here’s one a bit out of left field, pog: George Harrison.

The quiet Beatle relentlessly pushed the message of love, and as I’m sure you know became intensely interested in Eastern spirituality. While his published pronouncements I have been able to find don’t talk specifically of UR, and his UR - if such it be - would be classified under pluralist, he clearly rejected traditional hellism, and could, I think, be included in the list somewhere.

Here are a couple of quotes to support that view (my emphases):

“It’s basically a cosmic vision in which life on Earth is but a fleeting illusion edged between lives past and future beyond physical mortal reality. I don’t know what as. You go on being reincarnated until you reach the actual Truth. Heaven and Hell are just a state of mind. We are all here to become Christ~like. The actual world is an illusion. I’m beginning to know that all I know is that I know nothing.”

“I know everybody has a different interpretation of God, but whatever God is, by becoming one with that you naturally discover every sort of law that governs. That’s why people like Jesus can make these sort of miracles.”

“The living thing that goes on, always has been, always will be. I am not really George, but I happen to be in this body.”

What do you think?




I suspect that Harrison made those comments under the religious influence of Hare Krishna. At the moment the list goes as far as noting Christian and Christianised pluralists and Christendom anti-hellists, but does not include World Religion universalism (though such a thing has been discussed as a future expansion project - it would, of course, be huge!), and as such I’d be wary of adding Krishna consciousness/ a variety if Hinduism in at this time.

At the moment, I think we’d need clear confirmation of George’s Christian(-ish) status and/or a more clear universalist/ anti-hellist quote for the list’s current form. Sorry - maybe others can help convince me here.

It’s a shame, 'cause George is ace! Who doesn’t like My Sweet Lord or Here Come’s the Sun? :slight_smile:


No, that’s perfectly fair, pog. Harrison rejected the Catholicism he was brought up under in favour of Eastern mysticism, and his religion would certainly be far more Hindu / Krishna than Christian. If the parameters of this list are Christian, Christianised or Christian-influenced Universalists or anti-hellists, then you’re right to exclude George.

Nevertheless, I think his spiritual journey is indicative of Universalism, in that he moved away from western orthodoxy, which has historically been characterised by ECT, to an eastern belief system which, as far as I can tell - and I have to straightaway admit my profound ignorance of the subject here :smiley: - has never really taught the doctrine of ‘hell’ as eternal, irrevocable punishment by God.

And if that is indeed true - help me out here Dick :smiley: - then more than half the planet has ‘evolved’ a religious conscience that doesn’t include hell. Which ought to give infernalists serious pause for thought, don’t you think?

And yes, George is ace :smiley: . If nothing else, he wrote While My Guitar Gently Weeps for goodness sake :smiley: !


I’ve been making my way though William Ellery Channing’s thoughts lately (he was a truly fascinating chap and I’m glad to have found him) and just thought I’d pop in, say hello to everyone (“Hello my friends!” — waves frantically), and share some quotations that might be more indicative of his position than the current quote from Hanson. The profile there is totally right though: Channing was greatly opposed to Calvinism and was a wonderfully staunch advocate of libertarian free will (he makes some curious statements, and I reckon given another century or so to develop, Channing would have been all over Process theology). As far as I understand, Channing essentially had an Eastern Orthodox idea of Hell and probably would have held similar hopes for UR.

William Ellery Channing certainly believed in a hell, but it was definitely not a hell that was literal place of outward punishment. For Channing, that particular hell had no warrant from a faithful translation of the scriptures, and “by a perverse and exaggerated use, has done unspeakable injury to Christianity”. Hell instead is a state of the soul in revolt against God, conscience and the divine word, hardened itself against infinite love, and cowardly turned inward to its own vain interests. Of this Hell, “no ruin can be compared…”.

But could this state extend beyond the grave, given that Christ has secured a universal resurrection? Yes. Though no other evil, such as “poverty, disease, the world’s scorn, the pain of bereaved affection”, will follow us beyond the grave, there is just one evil that follows us into the next life. And this is the evil we grip tightly within us — “moral evil, guilt, crime, ungoverned passion, the depraved mind, the memory of a wasted or ill-spent life, the character which has grown up under neglect of God’s voice in the soul and in his word. This will go with you, to stamp itself on our future being, to separate us like an impassable gulf from our Creator and from pure and happy beings, to be as a consuming fire and an undying worm.”

Though it should be stressed that Channing is not here presuming to be a prophet on the topic (and makes specific mention of this), but is pastorally imploring his audience to heed the terrible misery of their sin and to dismiss the shallow evasion to Hell as popularly taught. On the hope that this suffering might be temporary, he only offers the following:

Thus it can be affirmed that Channing was neither a universalist nor an annihilationist, but rather maintained that such preoccupations with the afterlife were both speculative and distracting.

Both *‘The great purpose of Christianity’ *(1828) and ‘The Evil of Sin’ (n.d.) in, ‘The complete works of W.E. Channing’ (1903) were consulted. I got lazy, so let me know if you want further details; page numbers for each quote and whatnot.