Title Background

Kinsman as ‘Redeemer’ in <i>Piers Plowman</i> Passus 18., Passus 18.

Kinsman as ‘Redeemer’ in Piers Plowman Passus 18., Passus 18.

In B.18, L implicitly affirms universal salvation. The paper investigates what might lie behind L’s position, which contradicts the Church’s official teaching of limited salvation. At least three things may influence his views on kinship: the biblical concept of the kinsman-redeemer; Anselm’s theological opinions on salvation; and Anglo-Saxon culture’s emphasis upon kinship obligations. The third influence seems the strongest, for L has Christ implicitly affirm universal salvation because all of mankind are his blood kin. The Anglo-Saxon cultural factor would therefore appear to provide the key to understanding L’s belief in universal salvation.