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Gregory of Nyssa is famous for defending both the doctrine of epektasis, the continual ascent of the blessed toward God, and, in places, the doctrine of apokatastasis, the eventual restoration to God of all creation, including the Devil. This is a curious conjunction, for while Gregory connects them more than adventitiously, the tradition of the Eastern Church has largely received the former and rejected the latter.1 The point of this essay is to follow that intuition, not to say inspiration, of the tradition: briefly to challenge Gregory's conjunction and to develop from that challenge and with certain currents in philosophy of religion a conception of hell that is consistent with epektasis, avoids the implications of apokatastasis, and is itself attractive—which is to say, appropriately repulsive.


Originally published in Pro Ecclesia Vol. XXII, No. 1, p. 55-68, March 2013.

Reproduced by permission of Rowman & Littlefield.

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