Tamás Karáth

Senior Core Fellow
Period of Stay: 
January 2022 - June 2022
Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia / Institute of English and American Studies, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Hungary
Project Title: 
All Souls Matter: Debates on Universal Salvation in Late Medieval England
Project Abstract: 

Christianity has provided various answers to the question of the accessibility of salvation, ranging from universalism (salvation of all human souls) to special election by God. In medieval Western Christianity, the idea of universal salvation (of all Christian souls, let alone all human souls) remained peripheral and deemed heterodox. The most significant heterodoxy of late medieval England, shaped by John Wyclif and his followers, did not challenge the exclusive aspect of salvation as it emphasized election. At the same time, several vernacular religious and mystical texts make a case for or against universal salvation, outlining an extended debate. The preliminary hypothesis of my book project is that universal salvation had wider currency in late medieval England than assumed by scholarship. I intend to reconstruct this debate on the basis of its manuscript witnesses, focusing on its social implications, especially the interrelations of universalist claims and social inclusion.