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Purgatory's seven-story mountain, detail from Dante and the Divine Comedy, fresco by Domenico di Michelino (1417–1491), Florence, Italy.

The hard work of holiness

Protestants and purgatory

Among the doctrines that have divided Protestants from Catholics since the Reformation has been the doctrine of purgatory. But recently, fresh overtures from the Catholic side—such as the book by University of Toronto doctoral student Brett Salkeld, Can Catholics and Evangelicals Agree about Purgatory and the Last Judgment?—have suggested that purgatory might be less divisive than previously thought. On the Protestant side, a number of key thinkers from P. T. Forsyth to Jürgen Moltmann to Clark Pinnock to John Polkinghorne have engaged the topic. More surprisingly, Jerry Walls, an evangelical philosopher at Houston Baptist University, has offered a full-length defense of purgatory in his 2011 book Purgatory: The Logic of Total Transformation (Oxford University Press).


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