Ballou was not the founder of American Universalism, but he is one of the tradition’s most important theologians. In this 1805 treatise, one of the most influential Universalist works, he rejected the satisfaction theory of the atonement which held that Christ died in humanity’s place in order to repay the debt of original sin and satisfy God’s wrath. In its place he proposed a theory of redemption grounded in God’s love.
The Classic Readings in Liberal Religion series offers an opportunity to learn more about the development of our religious traditions through short, two-session courses. In the first session the instructor will provide historical and intellectual context and hand out readings. In the second session the class will discuss the readings and share their responses. No prior knowledge is necessary—the only requirement is your curiosity!