Comparison and Assessment

Morwenna Ludlow

in Universal Salvation

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780198270225
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191600661 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

 Comparison and Assessment

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In answer to the question ‘will all be saved?’, the final chapter suggests a third possible idea of universalist hope that lies between Gregory's predictive and Rahner's paradoxical ideas of hope. In response to the question ‘how will all be saved?’, it compares the two theologians’ views on how one's current life affects one's destiny with God, focussing on the concepts of philosophia and sunergeia (in Gregory), and decision and immanent/transcendent consummation (in Rahner); their views on freedom are then compared. It is suggested that despite their many differences in expression and content, Gregory and Rahner present an idea of universal salvation that is fundamentally similar, and is genuinely coherent with orthodox Christianity. The chapter concludes that while Gregory's answers to the problems of universalism are sometimes clearer and although his concept of hope is more logical, Rahner's eschatology is more nuanced and has a subtlety that fits better with scientific discoveries about human nature, the mind, and the development of the world. Finally, the differences between Gregory and Rahner are assessed in terms of the development of Christian doctrine and the creative role of the theologian, and some suggestions are made as to the future of the idea of universal salvation.

Keywords: Christianity; consummation; decision; development of doctrine; freedom; hope; orthodox; paradox; philosophia; sunergeia

Chapter.  16067 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christian Theology

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