The Rise of Universalist Humanism

Today’s Universalist quote of the day offers a glimpse at how classical theistic Universalism began to evolve toward Humanism as it was impacted by (and contributed to) modernist liberal theology.  The faint whiff of Calvinism can still be detected here, but what is interesting is how the rejection of a theology of a judgmental God has clearly led, slowly, to the valorization of humanity–that is to say, absolute depravity fell as a secondary effect of eliminating another key conservative dogma.  It is also clear how the enormous technological and material advancement of the 19th century dealt a profound blow to theologies committed to humanity’s alleged inability to improve or transform, producing a wave of confidence that gave ever more strength to liberal religion until the shock of the first World War.


1 Comment

Filed under Liberal Religious History, Universalism

One response to “The Rise of Universalist Humanism

  1. Yes, it’s exactly this connection I have in mind and also probably grew up with here in Chicago. It’s been tempered though post-WW2 after images from the Holacaust, City busting firebombings, and Hiorshima/Nagasaki. Humanity created Hell and it looked just like Hell, and growing up a city that welcomed Europe’s refugees, I’d meet the survivors. I sometimes wonder if Universalism didn’t decline not because the Orthodox stopped preaching fire-and-brimstone, but because humanity becamse so adept at creating the real thing. That left us not only with valor, but also tragedies, and shamefullness.

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