Posthumous Progress and Universal Salvation

Jeffrey A. Trumbower

in Rescue for the Dead

Published in print October 2001 | ISBN: 9780195140996
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199834747 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology

 Posthumous Progress and Universal Salvation

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Examines those early Christians who believed that posthumous progress for the soul was possible. For some, this belief resulted in a view that ultimately, all human beings, perhaps even all rational beings (including the devil) would be saved. The first text explored is one of the central texts of Christian Gnosticism, the Apocryphon of John, which espouses a doctrine of reincarnation for most souls until they achieve salvation. Next up are Origen of Alexandria (third century) and Gregory of Nyssa (fourth century), the two most famous exponents of universal salvation (a.k.a. “universalism”) in the early Church.

Keywords: Apocryphon of John; Gnosticism; Gregory of Nyssa; Origen; reincarnation; universal salvation; universalism

Chapter.  8340 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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