Andrew Louth on the Eastern Orthodox Hope for Universal Salvation

Cruciform Theology

Andrew Louth in “Introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology” writes the following about “Universal Salvation” in his last chapter of the book, The last things and eternal life:

“There is a deeper reason for Origen’s conviction of final restoration for all: for him it is inconceivable that Christ is to remain in sorrow for all eternity (after commenting on how Christ weeps over his sins as he wept over Jerusalem), on account of the failure of any rational creature to respond to his love and benefit from his sacrifice.

Whereas in Western theology, such a conviction rapidly dies out, in Orthodox theology hope in universal salvation, based on a conviction of the boundlessness of God’s love, has never gone away. St Gregory of Nyssa interprets the words of the apostle Paul’s teaching that God will be ‘all in all’ (1 Cor. 15.28) to mean the ‘complete annihilation of evil.’ St…

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