The Eschatological Vision of Dumitru Stăniloae: A Counter-Argument on the Puralist-Universalist Vision of John Hick


  • Alexandru Lazăr


Christian universalism, eschatology, universal salvation, redemption, spiritual transfiguration


This text will consider the pluralist-universalist perspective proposed by Protestant theologian John Hick and how it offers salvation and the Orthodox response offered by Dumitru Stăniloae's eschatological theology, which nuances and offers a pertinent response to the universalist disputes of the 20th century. The common ground from which the two theologians build their vision is that every human ontologically falls within the boundaries of the same God. Thus, Dumitru Stăniloae starts from the idea that all mankind of different faiths knows, to some extent, the Son of God, the Logos who created before the Incarnation, since the Logos "is the true Light that enlightens all man, who comes into the world" (John 1, 9), and John Hick is of the opinion that all these faiths are nothing but various soteriological spaces in which man can find salvation. What differentiates the two is the way they develop their eschatological vision. John Hick is of the opinion that in today's world a pluralistic consciousness is absolutely necessary, God's love has a universal purpose, He cannot restrict this redemptive encounter with humanity. On the other hand, Dumitru Stăniloae is of the opinion that salvation is acquired through asceticism, since nature is a divine gift that needs to be processed, and the ascetic's effort is also doubled by the love of God that welcomes him. In his conception, man does not acquire salvation as a universal gift, even though God's love desires it, and he is even able, by virtue of his freedom, to refuse this communion.

Author Biography

Alexandru Lazăr

Babes-Bolyai University, Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.






Studies & Articles