Ilaria Ramelli's forthcoming book on PATRISTIC UNIVERSALISM

In the minds of some, universal salvation is a heretical idea that was imported into Christianity from pagan philosophies by Origen (c.185–253/4). Ilaria Ramelli argues that this picture is completely mistaken. She maintains that Christian theologians were the first people to proclaim that all will be saved and that their reasons for doing so were rooted in their faith in Christ. She demonstrates that, in fact, the idea of the final restoration of all creation (apokatastasis) was grounded upon the teachings of the Bible and the church’s beliefs about Jesus’ total triumph over sin, death, and evil through his incarnation, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. 

Ramelli traces the Christian roots of Origen’s teaching on apokatastasis. She argues that he was drawing on texts from Scripture and from various Christians who preceded him, theologians such as Bardaisan, Irenaeus, and Clement. She outlines Origen’s often-misunderstood theology in some detail and then follows the legacy of his Christian universalism through the centuries that followed. We are treated to explorations of Origenian universal salvation in a host of Christian disciples, including Athanasius, Didymus the Blind, the Cappadocian fathers, Evagrius, Maximus the Confessor, John Scotus Eriugena, and Julian of Norwich.

Andrew Louth: “May we hope for the salvation of all? In this compelling work, Ramelli demonstrates with careful scholarship and immense learning that there is indeed a tradition—sometimes hidden, sometimes manifest, rooted in the Scriptures and the conviction that all being is created by God—that embraces this larger hope that all beings will find their destiny in God."  

Mark Edwards: “This large yet lucid volume is not only a recapitulation, in somewhat more popular terms, of the author’s monumental study of apoktastasis, or universal restoration, in early Christian thought; it carries the story forward to the middle ages, adds material on annihilationism, and digests the author’s previous work on the meaning of the word aionios into an appendix—all with an unmatched command of primary sources and scholarly literature."   

David Bentley Hart: "Ramelli’s larger project on the status of universalism in the history of Christian thought has already altered the scholarly landscape in many absolutely crucial respects; this indispensable book adds a great many vital dimensions to that project, and adumbrates still more revelations in volumes to come. We are all very much in her debt."  

Frances Young: "Is universalism an aberration in Christian theology? Definitely not, according to this remarkable assemblage of material. This book is strongly recommended for effectively trouncing the misconception that philosophy or heresy was primarily responsible for the universalist view—rather it was a widespread way of reading Scripture."   

Ilaria L. E. Ramelli is Full Professor of Theology and K. Britt Chair in Christology at the Graduate School of Theology, SHMS (Thomas Aquinas University 'Angelicum'), senior visiting professor at major universities, and elected Senior Research Fellow at Durham University (for the second time), at Erfurt University, Max Weber Center (within a Research Award from the Humboldt Foundation), and Fowler Hamilton Fellow at the University of Oxford.


Anonymous said…
This looks like another great contribution to the Universalism debate. It is still almost impossible to talk/teach/preach this in church without profound misunderstanding. I hope her book and other books on this subject can help the pastor who is inclined to agree with this theological view, to bring this to bear in a local church context without pitchforks and witch hunts ensuing!
I can't wait to read this.
jmbonnett1 said…
Having made my way through her magnum opus on apokatastasis, I'm eager to read anything Ramelli writes on universalism. However, I can't find a vendor who has the book in stock. Any news Robin on when more copies will be available? I'm also eager to know if her book has anything to say about McClymond's The Devil's Redemption. John
Robin Parry said…
No one will have it in stock for a wee while. It is still being proofed and then it must be indexed. It is difficult to say when it'll be out because Ilaria has been ill and this has delayed the process by about a year. I would say early 2019 is realistic.
Anonymous said…
Thank you for the heads up. . . . Richard Bauckham? Is he a universalist?
Robin Parry said…

He is not. But he's not hostile.

Anonymous said…
Thank you.
Caleb said…
Hey Robin,

Any update on when the book will be released? I'm seeing conflicting dates, on Amazon and the publisher. W&S says that volume 2 (???) was to be published 3/15/19. I'm confused. Can you shed any light?
Robin Parry said…

Ilaria's ill-health and heavy work schedule have led to many long delays on this project. She will have finished the proof by the end of June. That is a REAL deadline. I am expecting the book out in August.

I wrote vol. 2. It covers a different time period. From the Reformation to the nineteenth century. I was not expecting it to come out before Ilaria's volume, but the many delays on that one made it so. However, the two books stand alone. You do not need to read 1 to read 2.

Caleb said…
Thanks, Robin!
wayne said…
Robin - two questions:
1. Has anyone undertaken publishing Jeremiah White's book "The Restoration of all Things" in a form that is NOT a photo-copy of the ancient publication?

2. Any idea when Ilaria Ramelli's book A Larger Hope will actually be available? I had an order on Amazon - and it was recently canceled by them - leaving me wondering about the status...

Thanks and God Bless!

Robin Parry said…
Hi Wayne

Alas, no. I have had it in mind to create a version of the kind I did for Thomas Allin, but have not found the time. It would be a worthy project.

We are expecting Ilaria's book to be published in August 2019.

With kind regards

wayne said…
Thanks Robin!
Steve said…
Hi Robin,

I'm anxiously awaiting Ilaria's book. Are you still anticipating an August publishing? Would she mind if you commented further on her recent health? I'm sure many of her readers are praying for her as I am, or they will once they know to do so.

Thank you,
Steve Sween

P.S., I like to tell people how I helped serve an Englishman (you) his first ever glass of ice tea (tipping the dispenser to get the last out of it) at 'The Forgotten Gospel Conference' in Denver (the evening meal before you presented). You won't remember that I mentioned I'm a member of GCI, or that we talked about our having hired Gary Deddo.

I've recently shown those videos of you being interviewed by GCI's Mike Feasell to a small group in our congregation. Thank you again for doing those! Very thought provoking and everyone enjoyed them very much.
Steve said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robin Parry said…

The book will indeed be out by August. Indeed, I received the final corrections this morning, so with a fair wind it may even be out in late July.

Thank you for the iced tea (I have a vague memory of someone talking about hiring Gary—but my memory is notoriously bad). I am glad your church ground found the videos helpful. I enjoyed chatting with Mike (and chatting at him during the periods he fell asleep in the interview due to jetlag).

Steve said…
Hi Robin,

Thanks for the above, and especially thanks for your role in publishing her book. I've ordered my copy from Amazon.

I've also had a glance at the 'Look Inside' sample on Amazon in which she reminds us (on page xv) that there are two more books coming. (I'd first learned of her plans for them in your interview of Ms. Ramelli on YouTube.) Is there a timeframe in mind for those?

I think the second of the two... "on the political, theological, pastoral, ecclesiastical, social, historical, and even linguistic causes for the rejection of the doctrine of Apokatastasis, in late antiquity, by the "Church of Empire" - mainly under the influence of Justinian in the East and of Augustine in the West" ...will be the most eagerly anticipated. Any chance of that one coming out first?

Thank you so much!
Steve Sween
Steve said…
Note to jmbonnett1 above: John, it looks like she has an appendix in her new book providing a response to McClymond's The Devil's Redemption. (Of course Robin has made two responses to it, as mentioned here... .)

Steve Sween
Robin Parry said…

I have no idea when Ilaria's next two volumes will be available, but I would not hold my breath. We are looking at years away, not months. And the pagan one will be next, I think.

Hi Robin,

I'm a fan of your work and was wondering if there's anyway to contact you? I've looked around but I couldn't find an email address.
Joe Cofler said…
Hi Robin,

I've started reading Ilaria's monograph but haven't got too far through it yet.

I was wondering if it would be better if I were to read the Larger Hope books before, or after the monograph, or whether it made little difference.

Many thanks,
Robin Parry said…
The Larger Hope books are very much more accessible than the GIANT book
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Luzia Narvz said…
Nice history of the Apocatastasis belief from the saints and also the author dedicates two appendixes addressing the book "The Devils Redemption" that was a response to her "Apokatastasis" book.

Ketterman Rowland & Westlund
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