Encyclopedia of Religion
and Society

William H. Swatos, Jr. Editor

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The theological position, principally within Christianity, that everyone shall be "saved" or, correspondingly, that no one shall be eternally "damned."

The most frequent supporting rationale is that eternal damnation demeans both the goodness and the power of God. This view often draws particular inspiration from the First Letter (of Paul) to the Corinthians in the New Testament and has woven in and out of Christianity since the earliest times. Many official church councils, by contrast, condemned universalism.

In nineteenth-century America, the Universalist Church was founded as a separate denomination; it has since merged with the Unitarians into the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), headquartered in Boston.

William H. Swatos, Jr

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