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Universalism is the philosophical and theological concept that some ideas have universal application or applicability.


A belief in one fundamental truth is another important tenet in universalism. The living truth is seen as more far-reaching than the national, cultural, or religious boundaries or interpretations of that one truth. As the Rig Veda states, "Truth is one; sages call it by various names." [1] A community that calls itself universalist may emphasize the universal principles of most religions, and accept others in an inclusive manner.

In the modern context, Universalism can also mean the Western pursuit of unification of all human beings across geographic and other boundaries under Western values, or the application of really universal or universalist constructs, such as human rights or international law. [2] [3]

Universalism has had an influence on modern-day Hinduism, in turn influencing modern Western spirituality. [4]

Christian universalism refers to the idea that every human will eventually receive salvation in a religious or spiritual sense, a concept also referred to as universal reconciliation. [5]



In philosophy, universality is the notion that universal facts can be discovered and is therefore understood as being in opposition to relativism. [6]

Moral universalism

Moral universalism (also called moral objectivism or universal morality) is the meta-ethical position that some system of ethics applies universally. That system is inclusive of all individuals, [7] regardless of culture, race, sex, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, or any other distinguishing feature. [8] Moral universalism is opposed to moral nihilism and moral relativism. However, not all forms of moral universalism are absolutist, nor do they necessarily value monism. Many forms of universalism, such as utilitarianism, are non-absolutist. Other forms such as those theorized by Isaiah Berlin, may value pluralist ideals.


Baháʼí Faith

Symbols of many religions on a pillar of the Baha'i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois Wilmette how side.jpg
Symbols of many religions on a pillar of the Baháʼí House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois

In the teachings of the Baháʼí Faith, a single God has sent all the historic founders of the world religions in a process of progressive revelation. As a result, the major world religions are seen as divine in origin and are continuous in their purpose. In this view, there is unity among the founders of world religions, but each revelation brings a more advanced set of teachings in human history and none are syncretic. [9] In addition, the Baháʼí teachings acknowledge that in every country and every people God has always revealed the divine purpose via messengers and prophets, masters and sages since time immemorial. [10] [11]

Within this universal view, the unity of humanity is one of the central teachings of the Baháʼí Faith. [12] The Baháʼí teachings state that since all humans have been created in the image of God, God does not make any distinction between people with regard to race, colour or religion. [13] :138 Thus, because all humans have been created equal, they all require equal opportunities and treatment. [12] Hence the Baháʼí view promotes the unity of humanity, and that people's vision should be world-embracing and that people should love the whole world rather than just their nation. [13] :138

The teaching, however, does not equate unity with uniformity; instead the Baháʼí writings advocate the principle of unity in diversity where the variety in the human race is valued. [13] :139 Operating on a worldwide basis this cooperative view of the peoples and nations of the planet culminates in a vision of the practicality of the progression in world affairs towards, and the inevitability of, world peace. [14]


The idea of universal salvation is key to the Mahayana school of Buddhism. [15] All practitioners of this school of Buddhism aspire to become fully enlightened, so as to save other beings. There are many such vows or sentiments that people on this path focus on, the most famous being "Beings are numberless. I vow to save them all."

Adherents to Pure Land Buddhism point to Amitabha Buddha as a Universal Savior. Before becoming a Buddha Amitabha vowed that he would save all beings and according to The Pure Land Sutras (scriptures), all beings will be eventually saved through the work of Amida Buddha.


The fundamental idea of Christian universalism is universal reconciliation – that all humans will eventually receive salvation. They will eventually enter God's kingdom in Heaven, through the grace and works of the Lord Jesus Christ. [16] Christian universalism teaches that an eternal Hell does not exist, and that it was not what Jesus had taught. They point to historical evidence showing that some early fathers of the church were universalists, and attribute the origin of the idea of hell as eternal to mistranslation, as well as many Bible verses, to argue that historically the concept of eternal hell is not supported either in Judaism or early Christianity. [17]

Universalists cite numerous biblical passages which reference the salvation of all beings. [18] In addition, they argue that an eternal hell is both unjust, and against the nature and attributes of a loving God. [19] [20] [21]

The remaining beliefs of Christian universalism are generally compatible with the fundamentals of Christianity[ citation needed ]

In 1899 the Universalist General Convention, later called the Universalist Church of America, adopted the Five Principles: the belief in God, Jesus Christ, the immortality of the human soul, the reality of sin and universal reconciliation. [24]


Universalist writers such as George T. Knight have claimed that Universalism was a widely held view among theologians in Early Christianity. [25] These included such important figures such as Alexandrian scholar Origen as well as Clement of Alexandria, a Christian theologian. [25] Origen and Clement both included the existence of a non-eternal Hell in their teachings. Hell was remedial, in that it was a place one went to purge one's sins before entering into Heaven. [26]

The first undisputed documentations of Christian Universalist ideas occurred in 17th-century England and 18th-century Europe as well as in colonial America. Between 1648-1697 English activist Gerrard Winstanley, writer Richard Coppin, and dissenter Jane Leade, each taught that God would grant all human beings salvation. The same teachings were later spread throughout 18th-century France and America by George de Benneville. People who taught this doctrine in America would later become known as the Universalist Church of America. [27] The first Universalist Church in America was founded by John Murray (minister). [28]

The Greek term apocatastasis came to be related by some to the beliefs of Christian universalism, but central to the doctrine was the restitution, or restoration of all sinful beings to God, and to His state of blessedness. In early Patristics, usage of the term is distinct.

Universalist theology

Universalist theology is grounded in history, scripture and assumptions about the nature of God. Thomas Whittemore wrote the book "100 Scriptural Proofs that Jesus Christ Will Save All Mankind" [29] quoting both Old and New Testament verses which support the Universalist viewpoint.

Some Bible verses he cites and are cited by other Christian Universalists are:

  1. Luke 3:6: "And all people will see God's salvation." (NIV)
  2. John 17:2: "since thou hast given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him." (RSV)
  3. 1 Corinthians 15:22: [30] "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive." (ESV)
  4. 2 Peter 3:9: "The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (ESV)
  5. 1 Timothy 2:3–6: [30] "This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for ALL men—the testimony given in its proper time." (NIV)
  6. 1 John 2:2: "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." (NIV)
  7. 1 Timothy 4:10: [30] "For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe." (ESV)
  8. Romans 5:18: "Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men." (RSV)
  9. Romans 11:32: [30] "For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all." (NIV)


Christian universalists point towards the mistranslations of the Greek word αιών (Lit. aion), as giving rise to the idea of Eternal Hell, and the idea that some people will not be saved. [17] [31] [32]

This Greek word is the origin of the modern English word eon, which refers to a period of time or an epoch.

The 19th century theologian Marvin Vincent wrote about the word aion, and the supposed connotations of "eternal" or "temporal":

Aion, transliterated aeon, is a period of longer or shorter duration, having a beginning and an end, and complete in itself. [...] Neither the noun nor the adjective, in themselves, carry the sense of endless or everlasting." [33]

Dr. Ken Vincent writes that "When it (aion) was translated into Latin Vulgate, "aion" became "aeternam" which means "eternal". [17]


The first use of the term "Catholic Church" (literally meaning "universal church") was by the church father Saint Ignatius of Antioch in his Letter to the Smyrnaeans (circa 100 AD). Ignatius of Antiochie, poss. by Johann Apakass (17th c., Pushkin museum).jpg
The first use of the term "Catholic Church" (literally meaning "universal church") was by the church father Saint Ignatius of Antioch in his Letter to the Smyrnaeans (circa 100 AD).

The Catholic church believes that God judges everyone based only on their moral acts, [35] that no one should be subject to human misery, [36] that everyone is equal in dignity yet distinct in individuality before God, [37] that no one should be discriminated against because of their sin or concupiscence, [38] and that apart from coercion [39] God exhausts every means to save mankind from evil: original holiness being intended for everyone, [40] the irrevocable Old Testament covenants, [41] [42] each religion being a share in the truth, [43] elements of sanctification in non-Catholic Christian communities, [43] the good people of every religion and nation, [44] everyone being called to baptism and confession, [45] [46] and Purgatory, suffrages, and indulgences for the dead. [47] [46] The church believes that everyone is predestined to Heaven, [48] that no one is predestined to Hell, [47] that everyone is redeemed by Christ's Passion, [49] that no one is excluded from the church except by sin, [46] and that everyone can either love God by loving others unto going to Heaven or reject God by sin unto going to Hell. [50] [51] The church believes that God's predestination takes everything into account, [49] and that his providence brings out of evil a greater good, [39] as evidenced, the church believes, by the Passion of Christ being all at once predestined by God, [49] foretold in Scripture, [49] necessitated by original sin, [52] authored by everyone who sins, [49] caused by Christ's executioners, [49] and freely planned and undergone by Christ. [49] The church believes that everyone who goes to Heaven joins the church, [47] [53] and that from the beginning God intended Israel to be the beginning of the church, [44] wherein God would unite all persons to each other and to God. [54] The church believes that Heaven and Hell are eternal. [47]


Author David Frawley says that Hinduism has a "background universalism" and its teachings contain a "universal relevance." [55] Hinduism is also naturally religiously pluralistic. [56] A well-known Rig Vedic hymn says: "Truth is One, though the sages know it variously." [57] Similarly, in the Bhagavad Gītā (4:11), God, manifesting as an incarnation, states: "As people approach me, so I receive them. All paths lead to me." [58] The Hindu religion has no theological difficulties in accepting degrees of truth in other religions. Hinduism emphasizes that everyone actually worships the same God, whether one knows it or not. [59]

While Hinduism has an openness and tolerance towards other religions, it also has a wide range of diversity within it. [60] There are considered to be six orthodox Hindu schools of philosophy/theology, [61] as well as multiple unorthodox or "heterodox" traditions called darshanas . [62]

Hindu universalism

Hindu universalism, also called Neo-Vedanta [63] and neo-Hinduism, [64] is a modern interpretation of Hinduism which developed in response to western colonialism and orientalism. It denotes the ideology that all religions are true and therefore worthy of toleration and respect. [65]

It is a modern interpretation that aims to present Hinduism as a "homogenized ideal of Hinduism" [66] with Advaita Vedanta as its central doctrine. [67] For example, it presents that:

... an imagined "integral unity" that was probably little more than an "imagined" view of the religious life that pertained only to a cultural elite and that empirically speaking had very little reality "on the ground," as it were, throughout the centuries of cultural development in the South Asian region. [68]

Hinduism embraces universalism by conceiving the whole world as a single family that deifies the one truth, and therefore it accepts all forms of beliefs and dismisses labels of distinct religions which would imply a division of identity. [69] [70] [71] [ self-published source ]

This modernised re-interpretation has become a broad current in Indian culture, [67] [72] extending far beyond the Dashanami Sampradaya, the Advaita Vedanta Sampradaya founded by Adi Shankara. An early exponent of Hindu Universalism was Ram Mohan Roy, who established the Brahmo Samaj. [73] Hindu Universalism was popularised in the 20th century in both India and the west by Vivekananda [74] [67] and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. [67] Veneration for all other religions was articulated by Gandhi:

After long study and experience, I have come to the conclusion that [1] all religions are true; [2] all religions have some error in them; [3] all religions are almost as dear to me as my own Hinduism, in as much as all human beings should be as dear to one as one's own close relatives. My own veneration for other faiths is the same as that for my own faith; therefore no thought of conversion is possible. [75]

Western orientalists played an important role in this popularisation, regarding Vedanta to be the "central theology of Hinduism". [67] Oriental scholarship portrayed Hinduism as a "single world religion", [67] and denigrated the heterogeneousity of Hindu beliefs and practices as 'distortions' of the basic teachings of Vedanta. [76]


Islam recognizes to a certain extent the validity of the Abrahamic religions, the Quran identifying Jews, Christians, and "Sabi'un" (usually taken as a reference to the Mandaeans) as "people of the Book" (ahl al-kitab). Later Islamic theologians expanded this definition to include Zoroastrians, and later even Hindus, as the early Islamic empire brought many people professing these religions under its dominion, but the Qur'an explicitly identifies only Jews, Christians, and Sabians as People of the Book. [77] [ need quotation to verify ], [78] [ failed verification ], [79] [ failed verification ] The relation between Islam and universalism has assumed crucial importance in the context of political Islam or Islamism, particularly in reference to Sayyid Qutb, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, and one of the key contemporary philosophers of Islam. [80]

There are several views within Islam with respect to Universalism. According to the most inclusive teachings, common among the liberal Muslim movements, all monotheistic religions or people of the book have a chance of salvation. For example, Surah 2:62 states:

The [Muslim] believers, the Jews, the Christians, and the Sabians — all those who believe in God and the Last Day and do good — will have their rewards with their Lord. No fear for them, nor will they grieve. Quran   2:62  (Translated by Muhammad Abdel-Haleem)

However, the most exclusive teachings disagree. For example, the Salafi refer to Surah 9:5:

When the [four] forbidden months are over, wherever you encounter the idolaters, kill them, seize them, besiege them, wait for them at every lookout post; but if they turn [to God], maintain the prayer, and pay the prescribed alms, let them go on their way, for God is most forgiving and merciful. Quran   9:5  (Translated by Muhammad Abdel-Haleem)

The interpretation of all of these passages are hotly contested amongst various schools of thought, traditionalist and reform-minded, and branches of Islam, from the reforming Quranism and Ahmadiyya to the ultra-traditionalist Salafi, as is the doctrine of abrogation ( naskh ) which is used to determine which verses take precedence, based on reconstructed chronology, with later verses superseding earlier ones. The traditional chronology places Surah 9 as the last or second-to-last surah revealed, thus, in traditional exegesis, it gains a large power of abrogation, and verses 9:5, 29, 73 are held to have abrogated 2:256 [81] The ahadith also play a major role in this, and different schools of thought assign different weightings and rulings of authenticity to different hadith, with the four schools of Sunni thought accepting the Six Authentic Collections, generally along with the Muwatta Imam Malik. Depending on the level of acceptance of rejection of certain traditions, the interpretation of the Koran can be changed immensely, from the Qur'anists who reject the ahadith, to the Salafi, or ahl al-hadith, who hold the entirety of the traditional collections in great reverence.

Traditional Islam [81] [82] views the world as bipartite, consisting of the House of Islam, that is, where people live under the Sharia; [82] and the House of War, that is, where the people do not live under Sharia, which must be proselytized [82] [83] [84] using whatever resources available, including, in some traditionalist and conservative interpretations, [85] the use of violence, as holy struggle in the path of God, [79] [85] [86] to either convert its inhabitants to Islam, or to rule them under the Shariah (cf. dhimmi). [87] [88]


Sefer Torah at old Glockengasse Synagogue (reconstruction), Cologne. Koln-Tora-und-Innenansicht-Synagoge-Glockengasse-040.JPG
Sefer Torah at old Glockengasse Synagogue (reconstruction), Cologne.

Judaism teaches that God chose the Jewish people to be in a unique covenant with God, and one of their beliefs is that Jewish people were charged by the Torah with a specific mission—to be a light unto the nations, and to exemplify the covenant with God as described in the Torah to other nations. This view does not preclude a belief that God also has a relationship with other peoples—rather, Judaism holds that God had entered into a covenant with all humanity as Noachides, and that Jews and non-Jews alike have a relationship with God, as well as being universal in the sense that it is open to all mankind. [89]

Modern Jews such as Emmanuel Levinas advocate a universalist mindset that is performed through particularist behavior. [90] An on-line organization, the Jewish Spiritual Leaders Institute founded and led by Steven Blane, who calls himself an "American Jewish Universalist Rabbi", believes in a more inclusive version of Jewish Universalism, stating that "God equally chose all nations to be lights unto the world, and we have much to learn and share with each other. We can only accomplish Tikkun Olam by our unconditional acceptance of each other's peaceful doctrines." [91]


Manichaeism, like Christian Gnosticism and Zurvanism, was inherently universalist. [92] [ page needed ]


"Universalism" and "universalist" are terms referring to neopagan groups that syncretize their beliefs with social justice activism and claim to be more inclusive to racial diversity or LGBT people, in opposition to apolitical or any other further right-leaning neopagans. These term are especially used by Heathen groups in the United States, such as The Troth.


In Sikhism, all the religions of the world are compared to rivers flowing into a single ocean. Although the Sikh gurus did not agree with the practices of fasting, idolatry and pilgrimage during their times, they stressed that all religions should be tolerated. The Sikh scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib, contains the writings of not just the Sikh guru themselves, but the writings of several Hindu and Muslim saints, known as the Bhagats .

The very first word of the Sikh scripture is "Ik", followed by "Oh-ang-kar". This literally means that there is only one god, and that one is wholesome, inclusive of the whole universe. It further goes on to state that all of creation, and all energy is part of this primordial being. As such, it is described in scripture over and over again, that all that occurs is part of the divine will, and as such, has to be accepted. It occurs for a reason, even if it is beyond the grasp of one person to understand.

Although Sikhism does not teach that men are created as an image of God, it states that the essence of the One is to be found throughout all of its creation. [93] As was said by Yogi Bhajan, the man who is credited with having brought Sikhism to the West:

If you can't see God in all, you can't see God at all.

Sri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan [94]

The First Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak said himself:

There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim". [95] [96]

By this, Guru Nanak meant that there is no real "religion" in God's eyes. Unlike many of the major world religions, Sikhism does not have missionaries, instead it believes men have the freedom to find their own path to salvation.

Unitarian Universalism

Sign on a UU church in Rochester, Minnesota, United States. UnitarianUniversalistChurchsignRochesterMN.JPG
Sign on a UU church in Rochester, Minnesota, United States.

Unitarian Universalism (UU) is a theologically liberal religion characterized by a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning". [97] Unitarian Universalists do not share a creed; rather, they are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth and by the understanding that an individual's theology is a result of that search and not a result of obedience to an authoritarian requirement. Unitarian Universalists draw from all major world religions [98] and many different theological sources and have a wide range of beliefs and practices.

While having its origins in Christianity, UU is no longer a Christian church. As of 2006, fewer than about 20% of Unitarian Universalists identified themselves as Christian. [99] Contemporary Unitarian Universalism espouses a pluralist approach to religious belief, whereby members may describe themselves as humanist, agnostic, deist, atheist, pagan, Christian, monotheist, pantheist, polytheist, or assume no label at all.

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) was formed in 1961, a consolidation of the American Unitarian Association, established in 1825, and the Universalist Church of America, [100] established in 1866. It is headquartered in Boston, and mainly serves churches in the United States. The Canadian Unitarian Council became an independent body in 2002. [101]


Faravahar (or Ferohar), one of the primary symbols of Zoroastrianism, believed to be the depiction of a Fravashi (guardian spirit) Faravahar.svg
Faravahar (or Ferohar), one of the primary symbols of Zoroastrianism, believed to be the depiction of a Fravashi (guardian spirit)

Some varieties of Zoroastrian (such as Zurvanism) are universalistic in application to all races, but not necessarily universalist in the sense of universal salvation. [102] [ failed verification ]

Views of the Latter Day Saint Movement

See also

Related Research Articles

The afterlife is a purported existence in which the essential part of an individual's identity or their stream of consciousness continues to live after the death of their physical body. According to various ideas about the afterlife, the essential aspect of the individual that lives on after death may be some partial element, or the entire soul or spirit of an individual, which carries with it and may confer personal identity or, on the contrary nirvana. Belief in an afterlife is in contrast to the belief in oblivion after death.

Religious pluralism Stance of supporting peaceful coexistence and diversity of spiritual belief

Religious pluralism is an attitude or policy regarding the diversity of religious belief systems co-existing in society. It can indicate one or more of the following:

Salvation is the state of being saved or protected from harm or a dire situation. In religion and theology, salvation generally refers to the deliverance of the soul from sin and its consequences. The academic study of salvation is called soteriology.

Damnation Supernatural punishment

Damnation is the concept of divine punishment and torment in an afterlife for actions that were committed, or in some cases, not committed on Earth.

Many Wikipedia articles on religious topics are not yet listed on this page. If you cannot find the topic you are interested in on this page, it still may already exist; you can try to find it using the "Search" box. If you find that it exists, you can edit this page to add a link to it.

Grace in Christianity Concept in Christianity

In Western Christian theology, grace is created by God who gives it as help to one because God desires one to have it, not necessarily because of anything one has done to earn it. It is understood by Western Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to people – "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved" – that takes the form of divine favor, love, clemency, and a share in the divine life of God.

<i>Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus</i> Christian doctrine of religious exclusivity

The Latin phrase extra Ecclesiam nulla salus is a phrase referring to a Christian doctrine about who is to receive salvation.

The problem of Hell is an ethical problem in the Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Islam and Judaism, in which the existence of Hell for the punishment of souls in the Afterlife is regarded as inconsistent with the notion of a just, moral, and omnibenevolent, omniscient supreme being. Also regarded as inconsistent with such a just being is the combination of human free will, and the divine qualities of omniscience and omnipotence, as this would mean God would determine everything that has happened and will happen in the universe — including sinful human behavior.

Mortal sin Sinful act which can lead to damnation if a person does not repent before death

A mortal sin, in Catholic theology, is a gravely sinful act which can lead to damnation if a person does not repent of the sin before death. A sin is considered to be "mortal" when its quality is such that it leads to a separation of that person from God's saving grace. Three conditions must together be met for a sin to be mortal: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent." The sin against the Holy Ghost and the sins that cry to Heaven for vengeance are considered especially serious. This type of sin is distinguished from a venial sin that simply leads to a weakening of a person's relationship with God. Despite its gravity, a person can repent of having committed a mortal sin. Such repentance is the primary requisite for forgiveness and absolution. Teaching on absolution from serious sins has varied somewhat throughout history. The current teaching for Catholics was formalized at the 16th-century Council of Trent.

Hinduism and other religions Relationships between Hinduism and other religions

In the field of comparative religion, many scholars, academics, and religious figures have looked at the relationships between Hinduism and other religions.

Eternal sin Sin which will never be forgiven by God

In Christian hamartiology, eternal sins, unforgivable sins, unpardonable sins, or ultimate sins are sins which will not be forgiven by God. One eternal or unforgivable sin, also known as the sin unto death, is specified in several passages of the Synoptic Gospels, including Mark 3:28–29, Matthew 12:31–32, and Luke 12:10, as well as other New Testament passages including Hebrews 6:4–6, Hebrews 10:26–31, and 1 John 5:16.

In Christian theology, universal reconciliation is the doctrine that all sinful and alienated human souls—because of divine love and mercy—will ultimately be reconciled to God. The doctrine has been rejected by most mainstream Christian churches, which tend to maintain at least the possibility that many are not saved, but it has received support from many prestigious Christian thinkers as well as many groups of Christians. It has been argued that the Bible itself has a variety of verses that seem to support a plurality of views.

Trinitarian universalism Variant of belief in universal salvation

Trinitarian universalism is a variant of belief in universal salvation, the belief that every person will be saved, that also held the Christian belief in Trinitarianism. It was particularly associated with an ex-Methodist New England minister, John Murray, and after his death in 1815 the only clergy known to be preaching Trinitarian Universalism were Paul Dean of Boston and Edward Mitchell in New York.

The fate of the unlearned, also known as the destiny of the unevangelized, is an eschatological question about the ultimate destiny of people who have not been exposed to a particular theology or doctrine and thus have no opportunity to embrace it. The question is whether those who never hear of requirements issued through divine revelations will be punished for failure to abide by those requirements.

Hell in Christianity Christian views on Hell

In Christian theology, Hell is the place or state into which, by God's definitive judgment, unrepentant sinners pass in the general judgment, or, as some Christians believe, immediately after death. Its character is inferred from teaching in the biblical texts, some of which, interpreted literally, have given rise to the popular idea of Hell. Theologians today generally see Hell as the logical consequence of rejecting union with God and with God's justice and mercy.

Some movements or sects within traditionally monotheistic or polytheistic religions recognize that it is possible to practice religious faith, spirituality and adherence to tenets without a belief in deities. People with what would be considered religious or spiritual belief in a supernatural controlling power are defined by some as adherents to a religion; the argument that atheism is a religion has been described as a contradiction in terms.

Free will in theology is an important part of the debate on free will in general. Religions vary greatly in their response to the standard argument against free will and thus might appeal to any number of responses to the paradox of free will, the claim that omniscience and free will are incompatible.

Christian universalism Christian belief that all will be reconciled to God

Christian universalism is a school of Christian theology focused around the doctrine of universal reconciliation – the view that all human beings will ultimately be saved and restored to a right relationship with God. 'Christian universalism' and 'the belief or hope in the universal reconciliation through Christ' are concepts that can even be understood as synonyms. Opponents of this school, who hold that eternal damnation is the ultimate fate of some or all people, are sometimes called "infernalists."

Catholic theology Study of the doctrines of the Catholic Church

Catholic theology is the understanding of Catholic doctrine or teachings, and results from the studies of theologians. It is based on canonical scripture, and sacred tradition, as interpreted authoritatively by the magisterium of the Catholic Church. This article serves as an introduction to various topics in Catholic theology, with links to where fuller coverage is found.


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Further reading