I suspect, however, that the terminology here may lead to some confusion. The language of hopefulness suggests humility in a way that the language of confidence/dogmatism does not. The latter suggests a certainty about matters that many will find unsuitable to the subject matter. Many Christians with universalist leanings may gravitate towards the "hopeful" species for precisely this reason.
In fact, I think that those who are drawn towards universalism also tend to be the very people who are suspicious of "dogmatism" in the modern sense of the word, and who have a broad aversion to the kind of unquestioning certainty that characterizes fundamentalism.
But it seems to me that humility--and an aversion to "dogmatism" in the contemporary sense--is consistent with both species of universalism. And to the extent that our terminological choices lead those who value humility to favor one species over the other, I think our language may be doing a disservice to thoughtful reflection on the subject.
Robin Parry (writing as Gregory McDonald) seems to share my uneasiness in the opening pages of The Evangelical Universalist, when he locates his own position relative to the standard distinction. Here is how he puts it:
Some Christians describe themselves as "hopeful uniersalists." By this they mean that Scripture gives good grounds for real hope that all will be saved, but there is no certainty. Perhaps human freedom or God's sovereign right to determine the future rule out any certainty here. That is not my position...Other Christians are dogmatic universalists. They argue that it is certain that God will save all. I agree but with a qualification. The theology outlined in this book is one that espouses dogmatic universalism, but I must confess to not being 100% certain that it is correct. Thus I am a hopeful dogmatic universalist, a non-dogmatic dogmatic universalists, if you will. All theological systems need to be offered with a degree of humility, and one that departs significantly from the mainstream Christian tradition calls for even more.These comments gesture towards the following fact: humility in the domain of Christian doctrine finds its chief expression in the extent to which one recognizing one's own fallibility with respect to one's own beliefs. And such humility is entirely consistent with being a so-called "dogmatic" or "confident" universalist. We need to distinguish, here, between (a) the substance of one's view and (b) one's degree of openness to alternative views, to being proved wrong, to admitting errors in one's reasoning, etc.--in short, one's fallibilism.
Suppose the substance of your view is this: Nothing about God's nature or the nature of God's creation rules out some creatures being eternal damned, but there are reasons to be hopeful that none will endure this fate. In this case, you're a hopeful universalist. But suppose you are dead certain that there is nothing about God's nature or the nature of God's creation that rules out some creatures being eternally damned. Suppose you don't even consider the possibility that you could be wrong about this. Suppose you think that anyone who disagrees with this is a blasted idiot not worth listening to. Suppose you refuse to consider objections to your position, since doing so is a waste of time given the impossibility of your being wrong. And you're prepared to confidently anathematize anyone who thinks that there is something about God's nature or the nature of God's creation that rules out any creature being eternally damned.
Is such a hopeful universalist humble?
By contrast, suppose the substance of your view is this: There is something about God's nature and the nature of God's creation that makes the salvation of all inevitable. In that case, you're a confident or "dogmatic" universalist. But suppose, like Robin Parry, you recognize that the reasoning leading you to this conclusion could be mistaken. And so you are open to considering objections from those who disagree, weighing the merits of their case. You are fallibilistic about your own position, recognizing that it could be in error because it results from finite human capacities. But insofar as the opposing views are also the views of finite persons, you treat them as fallible as well. Perhaps you arrived at the view because you were humble enough to question your previous commitments, to examine and re-examine the merits of your reasons for them, and open-mindedly engage with those of a different persuasion. And now that you have arrived at your universalist conclusion, you continue to exhibit the same humility that led you to it in the first place.
Is such a dogmatic universalist dogmatic?
It seems to me that it is quite clear that humility and hubristic dogmatism are compatible with both species of universalism. As such, I worry that the standard terminology is misleading. But the question, then, is what terminology we should use instead. I doubt we want to start consistently using the terminology of "dogmatic hopeful universalism," "hopeful dogmatic universalism," etc. So what are the alternatives?