Orthodoxy & Universal Salvation: Are the Two Compatible?

There’s a lot of excellent info here on the dogmatic status of eternal damnation in Orthodoxy. It well complements my article on the Fifth Ecumenical Council. The author also refutes some of the silly arguments recently advanced by Orthodox popes (oops, I mean bloggers). I so wish folks would address the theological and philosophical issues, rather than trying to stop debate by invoking some “pseudo-dogma” of doctrinal infallibility.

Shameless Orthodoxy

For about the past year or so now, some corners of the Orthodox blogosphere has been consumed with this question. In my experience, most who have dealt with the issue have been quite hostile to the idea of apocatastasis or universal salvation. By universal salvation, I do not mean the denial of hell, but rather the belief that all people will be saved and that hell is temporary, not eternal. These critics of the doctrine go as far as to declare it inadmissible and heretical for Orthodox. Many universalists, meanwhile, have be wont to declare such critics as generic Orthodox converts still suffering from typical American Protestant fundamentalist rigor and so forth. Perhaps these universalists are right in their accusations – who knows. But it probably is not a very good…

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10 Responses to Orthodoxy & Universal Salvation: Are the Two Compatible?

  1. Drew Garrison says:

    Can’t wait to read this!

    On Mon, Jan 25, 2021 at 8:24 AM Eclectic Orthodoxy wrote:

    > > > > > > > Fr Aidan Kimel posted: “There’s a lot of excellent info here on the > dogmatic status of eternal damnation in Orthodoxy. It well complements my > article on the Fifth Ecumenical Council. The author also refutes some of > the silly arguments recently advanced by Orthodox popes (oops, I” > > > >

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  2. JBG says:

    “I do not mean the denial of hell, but rather the belief that all people will be saved and that hell is temporary, not eternal. ”

    A quick note about terminology.

    I don’t subscribe to the doctrrine of everlasting suffering, but it seems to me that everlasting suffering is not the equivalent eternal or infinite suffering.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but considering that “hell” would have a beginning, would it not always be finite even if it continued on from that point without end? Any duration with a starting point is finite. The eternal is without end and without beginning. In this sense, as counterintuitive as it may seem, “hell” could be everlasting and yet still be finite.

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  3. Pingback: Responses to Father Kimel’s Universalist Reblog – Orthodox Christian Theology

  4. For what it is worth, I did respond to this article in a way which I think is irenic and helps those who want to see both sides of the story. I did it on Youtube so that the tone of my voice can be heard. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px4XaG9qDyw

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    • arthurja says:

      I would assume that Fathers Turincev, Bulgakov, Florensky, Florovsky (not a universalist himself, as you probably know), Behr and Louth as well as Met. Ware, Berdiaev, Lossky, Clément, Evdokimov, Hart, etc, do know better than you whether the Greater Hope has been officially condemned in the Orthodox Church – I’m not saying that you don’t know much, you obviously know more about Orthodoxy than I do – but that would obviously be an appeal to authority, which is worth… well, not much.

      I understand you’re not really welcome here anymore (for reasons that do not appear to be shocking, to be honest with you) but I’m still interested in what pro-universalism Orthodox believers have to answer.

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      • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

        If anyone wishes to converse with Mr Truglia about his video, please do so on his and Alura’s blogs. Thank you.

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        • arthurja says:

          Father Kimel,

          Do you know when the Centre for Applied Theology will release its series on apokatastasis (with you, Fr John Behr, et al?)

          They said it would be released in January but I don’t think it’s been released yet – though I might be mistaken, of course.

          Good day to thee!

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          • Fr Aidan Kimel says:

            Good question. Fr James (now Fr Jacob) Seimens came down with COVID and was very ill. This put all our interviews on hold. He is now recovering and ready for us to start interviewing again, but now I’m the holdup. In January we started work on a major renovation of our basement (which includes my office). All my books are boxed and in the garage and I am cut off from my desktop computer. The work should conclude this week, and I can start putting books back on the shelves. I would hope that I will be ready for new interviews in a week or two.

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          • arthurja says:

            Oh, Okay. We’ll be waiting.

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