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Rescue for the Dead – The Posthumous Salvation of Non-Christians in Early Christianity - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Rescue for the Dead: The Posthumous Salvation of Non-Christians in Early Christianity

Jeffrey A. Trumbower


This book investigates a variety of traditions in early Christianity in which various Christians sought to secure salvation after death for non‐Christians. Sometimes the dead would appear in dreams to request prayer for the dead; sometimes soon‐to‐be martyrs were thought to have special powers to rescue even the non‐Christian dead. Some Christians practiced a vicarious baptism for the dead. Others imagined Christ offering salvation to the dead during the harrowing of hell (his descent to the realm of the dead). Some Christians went so far as to posit an ultimate universal salvation for everyon ... More

Keywords: Augustine, baptism, Christianity, dreams, harrowing of hell, martyrs, prayer, purgatory, salvation after death, universal salvation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2001 Print ISBN-13: 9780195140996
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003 DOI:10.1093/0195140990.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jeffrey A. Trumbower, author
St. Michael's College, Vermont
Author Webpage