© 2017


Philosophical Dimensions

  • Kristof Vanhoutte
  • Benjamin W. McCraw
  • Discusses Purgatory from a philosophical point of view

  • Addresses the topic from a wide variety of methodologies, traditions, aims, and views

  • Fills an intellectual gap by investigating matters of identity, urbanism, and doubt as they relate to Purgatory


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Kristof K. P. Vanhoutte, Benjamin W. McCraw
    Pages 1-16
  3. The Nature of Purgatory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 17-17
    2. Gordon Graham
      Pages 19-32
    3. David Baggett, Jonathan Pruitt
      Pages 51-67
    4. Vincenzo Lomuscio
      Pages 69-87
    5. Neal Judisch
      Pages 89-107
  4. Purgatory and Historical Considerations

  5. Extending Purgatory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 219-219
    2. Benjamin W. McCraw
      Pages 239-262
    3. Michaël Bauwens
      Pages 263-280

About this book


This book examines the concept of Purgatory. However, in contradistinction to the many monographs and edited volumes published in the past 50 years devoted to historical, cultural, or theological treatments of Purgatory—especially in proportion to the voluminous output on Heaven and Hell—this collection features papers by philosophers and other scholars engaged specifically in philosophical argument, debate, and dialogue involving conceptions of Purgatory and related ideas. It exists to broaden the discussion beyond the prevailing trends in the academic literature and fills an important intellectual gap.


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Editors and affiliations

  • Kristof Vanhoutte
    • 1
  • Benjamin W. McCraw
    • 2
  1. 1.Pontifical University AntonianumRomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of History, Political Science, Philosophy, and American StudiesUniversity of South Carolina UpstateSpartanburgUSA

About the editors

Kristof K.P. Vanhoutte is Invited Professor of philosophy at the Pontifical University Antonianum, Rome, Italy and Research Fellow at the University of the Free State, South Africa. He started his studies in Philosophy at the Higher Institute for Philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium and obtained his PHD in Philosophy at the Pontifical University Antonianum, Rome, Italy. He studied Spiritual Theology at the Pontifical University Gregoriana, and was Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities of the University of Edinburgh. In 2010 he was awarded the 'European Philosophy from Kant to the Present Prize', issued by the University of Kentucky. He has published on topics ranging from continental philosophy, patristics, theology-philosophy-politics interdependencies, educational theory, to football.  

Benjamin W. McCraw teaches philosophy at the University of South Carolina Upstate.  His research focuses primarily on epistemology and philosophy of religion.  He’s published articles in the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy and Theology, Social Epistemology, and Logos and Episteme as well as co-editor of The Concept of Hell, Philosophical Approaches to the Devil,  The Problem of Evil: New Philosophical Directions, and Philosophical Approaches to Demonology

Bibliographic information


“This is a valuable contribution that will spur further research on the fascinating doctrine of purgatory and how it relates to our ultimate destiny as human beings.” (Jerry L. Walls, Journal of Analytic Theology, Vol. 7, July, 2019)

“This is a collection of sixteen exciting essays on the notion of Purgatory, not a from historical or cultural but philosophical point of view, unlike the other essays published on the subject in the last years.” (Andreea-Maria Lemnaru, Metapsychology Online Reviews, Vol. 23 (28), 2019)

“Vanhoutte and McCraw have brought together 16 original essays on the topic of purgatory. …  There are not many books devoted solely to the philosophical dimension of purgatory, so this volume is welcome. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty.” (A. Jaeger, Choice, Vol. 55 (9), May, 2018)