Fr. Florovsky on Universalism

Protopresbyter Georges Florovsky 1893-1979

According to the contemporary view, shared by Berdyaev, the acceptance of an eternal hell smacks of obscurantism. But in my view the denial of the possibility of an eternal hell cancels human freedom and deprives it of seriousness. ‘Theomachy’ is already ‘hell,’ although many may presently enjoy it. (Gavrilyuk, Paul L. 2013-12-19. Georges Florovsky and the Russian Religious Renaissance [Changing Paradigms in Historical and Systematic Theology], p. 143. Oxford University Press, USA. Kindle Edition)


  1. trying to understand this, can you elaborate?

  2. Stephen,

    Thanks for visiting. Florovsky is saying that contemporary thinkers like Berdyaev question the traditional view of Gehenna (Hell). But Florovsky says that to reject an eternal Hell deprives humans of freedom, since it means that people in the eschaton won’t be capable of willfully rejecting God for eternity; AND it deprives the threat of Hell of any seriousness. Then he says that people are already Hell when they ‘resist or fight God’ (theomachy).

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