Horace Jeffery Hodges, "Kinsman as 'Redeemer in Piers Plowman, Passus 18"
In Passus 18 of Piers Plowman, William Langland implicitly affirms
universal salvation. The paper investigates what might lie behind
Langland'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
Langland 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 Langland's belief
in universal salvation.