What is Orthodox Hell?

Eclectic Orthodoxy

(This article has been revised and republished under the same title on 20 February 2019)


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What is the Orthodox doctrine of hell? I honestly do not know. I do know what many Orthodox have taught about hell during the past seventy-five years or so, and I know something about what the Church Fathers taught about it during the first millenium of the Church’s history; but I cannot tell you what the Orthodox Church authoritatively and irreformably teaches about hell. My ignorance on this question is partly determined by the fact that a huge portion of the Eastern theological patrimony has never been translated into English. I read neither Greek (modern or patristic), Russian, Romanian, Serbian, or Syriac. I suspect that my position is not that different from most other English-speaking Orthodox believers, including the clergy. The fact that so much theological reflection is inaccessible to us puts us…

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