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Title: Postmortem spiritual development in the intermediate state and the final destiny of the unevangelised in the context of open theism
Author: Grant, J. G.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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The thesis investigates post-mortem spiritual development with particular reference to the final destiny of the unevangelised in the context of open theism, using the concept of an intermediate state between death and the final consummation. Scripture warrant for the existence of an intermediate state is outlined and the occurrence of the idea in Patristic, medieval and Reformation theology noted. Varied interpretations of Christ’s descent to the underworld are given including the possibility of a grace-filled post-mortem encounter with Christ for the unevangelised. The main tenets of open theism are expounded, affirming the openness of God to interaction with his creatures. Emphasis is put on God’s limitation of his own sovereignty to allow for libertarian freedom with humans participating in choosing their own destiny in response to God’s grace. The idea of a change of direction or ‘second change’ after death is preferred to final decisions regarding destiny requiring to be made in this life. Spiritual development, and even conversion, are conceived as taking place in an intermediate state, leading to a theological position of ‘hopeful’ rather than dogmatic universalism. Finally, the practical consequences for the life of the Church are studied, including pastoral care, theodicy as an aid to mission, and the advancement of dialogue with people of other faiths.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available