The Evangelical Universalist Forum

List of those of who reject traditional hellism


Cheers Quest! :slight_smile:

Reminder placeholder for me:

‘She lists the following: “Bardaisan, Clement, Origen, Didymus, St. Anthony, St. Pamphilius Martyr, Methodius, St Macrina, St. Gregory of Nyssa (and probably the two other Cappadocians !]), St Evagrius Ponticus [saint in Oriental Orthodox Churches?], Diodore of Tarsus, Theodore of Mopsuestia, St. John of Jerusalem, Rufinus, St. Jerome [until his famous repudiation of Origen] and St. Augustine (at least initially), Cassian, St. Isaac of Nineveh, St. John of Dalyatha, Ps. Dionysius the Areopagite, probably St. Maximus the Confessor, up to John the Eriugena” (p. 11). St Ambrose of Milan also comes close with his belief in the salvation of the baptized.’

Which Clement is it? Same for the rest … Which Didymus etc

Bios updated as far as Alfeyev,Hilarion.


I’ve added a rough entry for Athanasius under disputed universalists, early church. Help with his entry would be appreciated :slight_smile:


Keith Ward

“God’s will, however, is not destruction, but life: ‘As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive’. This ‘all’ is not to be dismissed lightly. It sets up a correspondence between the universal estrangement of humanity, from which none are exempt, and the universal reconciliation of humanity, which similarly refers to human nature as such, and therefore includes all individuals who share human nature. Elsewhere, Paul stresses the same theme: ‘One man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men’” (Religion & Human Nature, pp.320f.)


Good quote, Andrei - thanks for that. I’ll include it with Keith Ward’s bio :slight_smile:


Maybe Paul Tournier?


Beatrice Bruteau

“Nor is death a cut-off, after which its too late and God has to give up. God never gives up, but pursues people forever, hoping to convince them that they are unconditionally loved. This is God’s ‘radical optimism’!”


I cant say I know the names, Andre.

Could you provide some bios and quotes/sources?

Or if anyone else can, please do so :slight_smile:


Hi pog,

Paul Tournier: - this is a dissertation or thesis project on whether he was a universalist, with the conclusions that yes he was. And hre is a (lengthy, sorry) quote:

"That you say as a theologian that I am a universalist is evident, in the sense that I believe that Jesus was sent into the world to save the sinners that we all are. This is what I understand Saint Paul to say when he mentions that sin has entered the world through one man, Adam, and spread to all men, and that he calls Jesus the second Adam through Whom redemption entered the world for all men, and even as he says ‘all of creation,’ that the redemption of Christ is the victory of God over the Fall. I believe that this great plan of salvation is universal, concerns not only all men but the universality of the world and that Jesus on the Cross has accomplished this Salvation, this reconciliation of men with God, that the ‘chastisement’ as Isaiah says is fallen upon Him to free men from the malediction of the Fall. This plan of God therefore seems to be collective, global, universal.

"But I know well that many believers whom I love and whose fervor I admire and whom I consider as my brothers, are more pre-occupied with individual salvation and can refer to numerous Biblical texts concerning individual perdition, hell, and even Jesus’ words, at least as these have been reported by his disciples.

“I stay away with the greatest efforts from any polemics with these brothers. I have several times refused to speak up on such subjects that could open the door to theological controversies that would separate us from one another. This letter which I am writing to you today is very exceptional and I write it only because you force me to. I have participated with much zeal, sincerity and conviction in religious controversies while I was young, fighting for Calvinistic orthodoxy against liberal theology. It is God, at least I believe so, Who stopped me on this road where I was boasting myself to be right and others wrong, whereas there were as many shortcomings in my piety and my behavior. And I notice that when Jesus spoke of the last Judgement the criterion which he chose to separate those on his left from those on his right is not their theological credo, but their charitable behavior. And as we all recognize to have fallen short of charity we find ourselves altogether able to count only on His grace.”

I speak German and have been unable to find a quote by Jens Adam, I’m afraid, although if someone else can find one I’d be happy to translate it.


Are you still looking for more info on Morwenna Ludlow? I think she must be CofE because her bio at Exeter says she is “a Church of England representative in ecumenical dialogue with the Church of Scotland”. There’s more about her here:


Cheers Susan that’s great. I’ll have some time (I hope) next week, so I should be able to do a few more updates and add those in.

I know that Jens Adam has a book on Pauline Universalism (in German) - but I don’t own it, nor do I know of any extracts from it.

Perhaps more info from here:


Yes. I did read the blurb on amazon and it says that the book is a contribution to the debate on Universal reconciliation by examining the writings of Paul, (but without giving any quotes from the book). It then appeared to say that more recent examination of the findings suggests that Paul having universalist views is not a tenable position, but I will have to check that with someone who actually does theology in German to be sure I didn’t misunderstand something.


That’s interesting - I wonder if we’ve mis-catergorised Jens Adam.

I’ve updated Morwenna Ludlow’s entry (thanks), and created an entry for Tournier - could you have a quick look over it and see if it’s ok?

Regarding Beatrice Bruteau, should she be put under pluralist universalists or convinced universalists (or elsewhere) - I don’t know about her?


She seems a little unusual, certainly. I don’t really know what to make of her. This is quite an interesting article (written by her) and I would say, based on that, that she was more of a pluralist (she died last November), but it doesn’t say anything specific about life after death. Maybe [tag]AndreLinoge[/tag] knows more?

And here’s a bio for her: Beatrice Bruteau was a pioneer in the integrated study of science, mathematics, philosophy, religion, and interspirituality. With a background in Vedanta and Catholic Christianity, as well as the natural sciences, she developed a broad, inclusive vision of human reality in its cosmic and social contexts. Analyzing the systemic and metaphysical roots of our social inequities, she offered an alternative worldview, featuring the incomparable value of each person and the community dynamics of mutual respect and care that follow from that view. This theme is developed as global spirituality, not limited to any particular religious tradition but accessible in direct human terms common to all.
(copy-pasted from … php?id=281)

The stuff on Paul Tournier looks fine but I don’t really know much about him.


An update on Met Hilarion Alfeyev’s views: IN his latest book Orthodox Christianity (vol. 2) he appears to have retreated from his more hopeful universalist stance to a more traditional free-will understanding of damnation.


How disappointing. One can’t read the Orthodox liturgies without reading about universalism over and over. Right now I’m reading “Saturday in the fifth week of the Great Fast on which we sing the Akathistos Hymn to the Most Holy Theotokos”. Universalism is on more than 50% of the pages. For example, I just finished reading Canticles Four and Five. On these two pages are found the following:

“Hail, mercy-seat of the world, O lady undefiled; hail, ladder raising all men from the earth by grace.”

“Hail, All-blameless, who hast saved the world from drowning in the flood of sin.”

“Hail, slayer of hell [hades], bridal chamber full of light.”

That’s three passages in two pages whose interpretations are most naturally universalistic. It would require lots of absurd footnotes otherwise:

*Footnote 1: “All” does not mean “all”. “All” means “some”. Only some men are raised from the earth by grace. Oh, those Byzantines sure liked to exaggerate!

Footnote 2: “The world” does not mean “the world”. Rather, it means “some people who live in the world”. Once again, we see how imprecise and poetic those tricky Byzantines were.

Footnote 3: “Slayer of hell [hades]” does not mean that the Theotokos puts an end to death. Certainly not. The second death will exist to all eternity, with plenty of eternally lost sinners consigned forever to hell [hades]. The passage merely means that a certain (unknown) percentage of men will escape hell [hades]. Oh, those silly Byzantines! Aren’t you lucky you have us smart commentators to make sure you don’t actually believe what these texts (only seem!) to say?*

In contrast, the passages which (out of their greater context) could possibly be pressed into service to teach non-universalism are vanishingly rare. I can read these liturgies for days without coming across one, while I have NEVER read Orthodox liturgies for more than 10 or 15 minutes at a time without reading gloriously universalistic passages. (And I have read at over 1,700 pages of liturgies.) The entire tenor of the Orthodox liturgy is universalistic. One would have to pretty much ignore the whole point of the proclamations of the litugry (which amounts to “Christ saves His entire creation!”), while rooting around for a few scattered phrases, and trying to press them into subverting the plain meaning of the liturgies as a whole.

It never ceases to amaze me.


Oh my - thanks for the update info. If you can give me a couple of quotes from his recent book to confirm his new position that would be great. I’ll move him into the ex-universalist category.


R. Kirby Godsey of Mercer University seemed pro UR in his book “When We Talk About God Let’s Be Honest”. Although, his theology is moderate-liberal. He calls the Virgin Birth a myth, but believes in the Resurrection.


Marylin Mcord Adams


Great knowledge. Thank you so much for posting the interesting idea.
I am new here. Thanks for God who bring me here. :smiley:


Reminder to self - include David bentley Hart somewhere.