The Journal of Ecclesiastical History

Why Was Hans Denck Thought To Be a Universalist? 1

a1 Theology Faculty Centre, 41 St Giles, Oxford OX 3LW; e-mail:

Article author query
ludlow m   [Google Scholar] 


Hans Denck is commonly cited as a universalist. Probably he was not, but there are several reasons why it was easy for his opponents to claim the opposite: his theology admitted the possibility that all people will be saved; his broadly Origenistic conceptions of freedom, divinisation and punishment tempted opponents to attribute Origen's idea of universalism to him; and he so challenged the core beliefs of mainstream Reformation theology that his opponents may have found it difficult to understand how he could claim that God wills all to be saved, Christ died for all and all are free, without being universalist.


1 HDS=Hans Denck Schriften, ed. Georg Baring and Walter Fellmann, Gütersloh 1955–60; MQR=Mennonite Quarterly Review