In conclusion, it seems plausible to suppose that theologically orthodox versions of universalism can exist. However, one result of the ambiguity about whether the Council had condemned all forms of universalism or simply Origenist apokatastasis was that from this point on Christians avoided anything that looked remotely Origenist. In the western church this impulse was reinforced by the enormous influence of Augustine’s theology which was emphatic about the eternal conscious torment of the lost.
Some such as Maximus the Confessor (580-662) seemed to fly close to the wind at times but always pulled away before getting too close to the ‘dangers’ of apokatastasis. Those, like Julian of Norwich (1342-1416), who seemed to incline towards universalism did so very circumspectly. The thinker who came closest to a version of universalism was Irish Christian neo-Platonist John Scotus Eriugena (815-877) but even here it is not totally clear that he went all the way. Thus it was that universalism more or less disappeared from the scene of orthodox Christianity until after the Protestant Reformation. The Reformers opened the door for individual believers to interpret the Bible for themselves and, amongst those that did, a few came to affirm some kind of universalism.