- The doctrine of hell has a central place in any serious eschatology, and it is no longer true that this doctrine is one of the ignored aspects of eschatology.
- Current discussion focuses on the contrast between the traditional understanding of hell in which eternal presence in hell would be explained by appeal to deserved punishment and the more recent understanding of hell in which presence in hell is explained in terms of the choices and preferences of its denizens.
- In light of this alternative conception of hell, the question of whether universalism is true, whether in the end all will be saved, has come to occupy a central place in discussions of the nature of hell. Furthermore, perhaps the central issue concerning universalism has been put in terms of the nature and value of human freedom.
- As important as this way of approaching the issue of the tenability of universalism is, further understanding can be gained by attending to the issues involved in the connection between human freedom and moral responsibility, since there is no adequate account of hell available that does not attribute responsibility for presence in hell to those individuals themselves.
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