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The Universalist Movement in America, 1770-1880$
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Ann Lee Bressler

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780195129861

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195129865.001.0001

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Winning the Battle, Losing the War

Winning the Battle, Losing the War

(p.126) Six Winning the Battle, Losing the War
The Universalist Movement in America, 1770-1880

Ann Lee Bressler

Oxford University Press

When Hosea Ballou died in 1852, belief in the supernatural rule of God apparently held sway among most American Protestants, but the idea of universal salvation remained highly suspect. Twenty years later, supernatural rule had fallen under serious question, but except among outspoken theologians and conservative evangelicals, few appear to have considered universal salvation a particularly threatening or controversial issue. Such major shifts in outlook naturally had deep and complex cultural roots that resist generalization. Yet one general point seems inescapable: the traditional focus of religious attention on the hope of eternal redemption was becoming culturally irrelevant.

Keywords:   American Universalism, free will, moral progress, necessitarianism, Neo-Calvinism, Protestantism, redemption, salvation, supernatural rule, universal redemption, universal salvation

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