holy spirit in feminist theology

The Holy Spirit must never be confused with, collapsed into, or commandeered by the human spirit or the church. One of the early church fathers writing on the Holy Spirit, Gregory of Nazianzus, had to confess the problem of elusive subject matter. Many still read biblical references to the Holy Spirit as primarily having to do with extraordinary signs. In these latter terms, a person is constituted by the mutual relations to others. The sequence is accordingly the reverse: those who by virtue of the corporate bond have been united with Christ as the second Adam, have died and been buried with him, may know themselves to be dead to sin and alive to God, may also know themselves to be "in the Spirit." Approaches to the Holy Spirit in Feminist and Eastern Orthodox Theology

Is the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in Christian theology good news or bad news for women? DOI link for Searching for the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, most efforts to fill out a view of the person-like quality of this "third person" flounder, providing, mainly, various portrayals of a general, divine force and presence. Searching for the Holy Spirit: Feminist Theology and Traditional Doctrine (Gender, Theology and Spirituality) eBook: Thomasson-Rosingh, Anne Claar: Amazon.com.au: Kindle Store Such a deprivation may seem to be no loss, except that not only does it tend to consign the Holy Spirit to becoming something like what Joseph Haroutunian called an "oblong blur," it also leaves many to reach for repersonalizations of spirit discourse that yield superstitious notions of the Holy Spirit, as "friendly ghost" or personal "guardian angel" (Haroutunian 1975: 319-20). Keep in mind how John uniquely relates the Spirit to: 1) Christology; 2) Ecclesiology; 3) Eschatology Cite examples to support 2. St. Augustine is exemplary of doctrinal debate already pointing in the direction of this interaction between beings as constituting the "person(s)" of the Holy Spirit. Its appropriation for Jesus' basic message suggests an overall challenge to the religion and politics of the standing imperial order. Playing next. Searching for the Holy Spirit brings feminist pneumatology into discussion with more traditional doctrine of the Spirit, notably the very significant early Christian treatise by Basil of Caesarea, De Spiritu Sancto. 17:18. ... a woman of the poor: "...the Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee (Luke 1:35). Galilee was a site that was a crossroads of imperial conflict, and its agrarian peoples were long subordinated to meeting the economic and political needs of empire. The community of spirit in the Jesus movement, therefore, was profoundly anti-imperial in nature, indeed was such almost by definition of context. Unlikely Coalitions. Here, the mystery of the spirit of God is not so much above as in these special and ordinary acts of history and culture. 3:42. Christian Pneumatology. Feminist theologian Sallie McFague argues that feminists see the Holy Spirit as "a central, if not primary, 'name' for God," but emphasizes the spirit of God as "basically and radically immanent" and in relations of "love and empowerment, of life and liberty, for … Believers may think of miraculous workings of God, which are thought to involve a number of extra-body or psychic experiences, all defying established Western science's views of how things happen. ... Womanist theology has grounds for shaping a theology of the spirit informed by black women's political action. Nirmal writes, 'That feeling of being God-forsaken is at the heart of our dalit experiences and dalit consciousness in India. The liberation and feminist readings, however, draw from still another source, one giving to Holy Spirit not just a mystical communal interpersonalism but also a pointed and liberating focus. On this model, the Holy Spirit is "inter-person." Courses (Due to Covid-19 some courses now on Zoom). These can all be grouped together as kinds of "spiritism.". If one holds to the claim of the first horn, one fails to give the Holy Spirit a persuasive sense of being a "person." The Christian doctrine of God holds in tension two convictions seemingly at odds - that God is One, and that there is diversity in the Godhead. . The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. Both horns of this dilemma are problematic. Those who survey the whole range of biblical discourse on spirit, however, discern in it what I will term a "mystical communalism," in which "Holy Spirit" refers primarily to the mystery of God as intrinsic to, immanent in, communal life and development. Other pursuits of feminist theology are very similar to the range of studies in theology as a whole: the Trinity as a unit, or individually as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Eschatology (the end times), Creation, the Church, etc. DAC - The Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC)... Children, Families, Young People and Parishes. On this day we will trace what Feminist theology has to say about the Holy Spirit and bring it together with traditional Christian doctrine of the Spirit. Summaries Spiritistic phenomena, after all, are hardly unique to the Bible. Report. Continue reading here: Leveling Spirit Liberating Struggle in the Revolutionary Atlantic, Leveling Spirit Liberating Struggle in the Revolutionary Atlantic, Asian feminist theology - Feminist Theology, The Four Gospels Jesus Prophet and Embodiment of the Kingdom of. What is particularly striking about the attempts to develop the Holy Spirit as person is their arrival at a dilemma, the only way out of which seems to be through a return to some of the biblical emphases summarized in my previous section, thus underscoring a mystical-communal interpretation of the Holy Spirit. Most traditional interpreters focus on this event in its "extraordinariness," i.e. the strangeness of many hearing in their own diverse tongues. The Johannine literature, although often referring to the Spirit as "from above," nevertheless presents the Spirit as personal presence and comforter, dwelling with and in the community of love. Feminist theology has a history of questioning God the Father and God the Son. That the Spirit was liberating or freeing signified also, of course, that the divine life was, in itself (and not just for the world), distinguished by that freedom. In his De Trini-tate, he experimented with imagery of the first person (the Father) as the "Lover," the second person (the Son) as the "Beloved," giving to the third person, the role of "Love" between them (Schaff 1956: 215-17). Plus, free two-day shipping for six months when you sign up for Amazon Prime for Students. This suggests also a new polity, one present and emergent from the striking anti-imperial space of tiny resistant Galilee. Sensing the Spirit: The Holy Spirit in Feminist Pespective: Rebecca Button Prichard: 9780827234420: Books - Amazon.ca We might list just a few: the Gospel presentations of Jesus as contesting the temple-state; Mark's not-so-veiled suggestion that Jesus was in opposition to Roman occupying soldiers with his story of Jesus' exorcism of a demon named "Legion"; Jesus' death by crucifixion, a mode of execution reserved for the seditious who threatened the religiously backed imperial order; the apostle Paul's centering his message on the imperially distasteful notion that a shamed crucified one could be "Lord" (kyrios) or "Savior" (soter), terms traditionally used for the Caesars. Those theologians who do reason their way to some argument that the Holy Spirit is a person usually display doctrinal argumentation so complex and intricate that it is gras-pable only in the rarefied atmosphere of a dogmatic elite. Is the Holy Spirit in traditional dogma the guardian of the status quo or does it offer the dynamic possibility for change? New Testament analysts have routinely pointed out that the term "Holy Spirit" is, in the scriptures, less "a person," and more a "mysterious power of God," "mode of God's activity," "distinctive endowment of God to people," or again, a "mode of God's operation in the church" (Lampe 1962: 626). In all these ways, the person-like imagery of divine spirit is preserved but the notion of "Holy Spirit as person" is refocused as interpersonal. Feminist theology has a history of questioning God the Father and God the Son - this study begins the theological questioning of God the Holy Spirit. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Feminist theology is a significant movement within contemporary theology. Amid the struggle with the elusive discourse of Holy Spirit, we can understand how this complex notion persistently emerges to speak of liberating communal change. Is the Holy Spirit in traditional Christian doctrine the guardian of the status quo or does it offer the dynamic possibility for change? Biblical texts do not easily yield up a unified position on the meaning of the Holy Spirit, and certainly not all relevant passages can be examined here. Glossolalia, for example, is a kind of spiritistic practice known in several religions and cultural contexts (Goodman 1972). The two sections of the volume are designed to provide a … The aim of this Companion is to give an outline of feminist theology through an analysis of its overall shape and its major themes, so that both its place in and its contributions to the present changing theological landscape may be discerned. To this we now turn. Father Peter Harris was the son of an Anglican Priest and grew up in the Parishes of Petite Riviere, Musquodoboit Harbour and Bedford, before attending the University of King’s College and later Trinity College, Toronto and becoming a priest himself. The miracle stories about Jesus have often been read as miraculous, extraordinary signs. Searching for the Holy Spirit brings feminist pneumatology into discussion with more traditional doctrine of the Spirit, notably the very significant early Christian treatise by Basil of Caesarea, De Spiritu Sancto. One of the most radical formulations of the social character of the mystery of Holy Spirit was given by Schleiermacher who even seemed, at points, to identify the Holy Spirit with the church's life (Schleiermacher 1976: 560-1). It was the writer in the Johannine epistles who stressed that the one who does not love cannot love God (1 John 4: 20). More recently, other theologians have proposed renderings of the interpersonal meaning of Holy Spirit. Feminist theologian Sallie McFague argues that feminists see the Holy Spirit as "a central, if not primary, 'name' for God," but emphasizes the spirit of God as "basically and radically immanent" and in relations of "love and empowerment, of life and liberty, for people and for the natural world" (McFague 1996: 147). For Gustavo Gutiérrez, the Holy Spirit refers primarily to divine presence in the "specific fabric of human relationships, in persons who are in concrete historical situations" (Gutiérrez 1988: 109). Holy Spirit is one. Jesus' closeness to agrarian life and Galilean peoples gave his work a distinctive spiritual character that put him in tension with this ruling apparatus and its religious supporters (Sawicki 2000). Generally this includes such topics as the personality of the Spirit, the deity of the Spirit, and the … Ghosts and guardian angels may be welcome in some personal mythologies, but they rarely enable a communally shared understanding of the Holy Spirit. The real marvel, however, is not the surprising translation of a message into many tongues, but that the multilinguistic understanding among many peoples proceeds from Galileans (Acts 2: 7). Some theologians, however, actually prefer impersonal pronouns for the Spirit, to signify the Spirit's work in all creation - as force, power, the movement of the non-human. When one recalls the content of the message of the Jesus figure, whom the writer of Luke and Acts says was working in the "power of the Spirit" (Luke 4: 14), the Galilean interest in contesting the political reach of empire is strong indeed. Paul, even when writing about seemingly individualistic and spiritistic phenomena, takes the Spirit as primarily Christ's presence in and among the faithful. Feminist theology has a history of questioning God the Father and God the Son - this study begins the theological questioning of God the Holy Spirit. (Ridderbos 1975: 221, emphasis added). These spiritistic phenomena, however, do not capture the meanings distinctive to biblical understandings of the Holy Spirit. Thus these biblical emphases have blended the mystical with the social, in a mystical communalism. This liberating function comes to the fore dramatically in settings of oppression and colonization, and this is what especially opened the doctrine of the Holy Spirit to partnership with the African notions of spirits that were deployed against oppressive structures like slavery (Ventura 1985: 113). The biblical narrative's view of the Spirit as an agapic mystical communalism can be seen as related to conflicts of power. The Bible abounds with many references to such spiritistic phenomena. . Abstract. Summarize the meaning of the "new name" that Jesus gives the Spirit in the Gospel of John: When the writer of Luke and Acts summarizes diverse spiritistic wonders (healings, speaking in tongues, deliverances from prison, among others), the emphasis falls even then on the Christian community's specific power to execute concretely its basic tasks. The Cambridge Companion to Feminist Theology - July 2002. Yet the Holy Spirit as person persisted, in spite of its troubling dilemma and rarefied doctrinal conceptuality, because it was a key place in Christian symbols where the faithful located those aspects of their personal talk about God that could not be adequately included under the personal imagery of Father and Son. Most of DSS is written in a polemical style, with fierce rhetoric trying to convince readers of Basil's view on the Holy Spirit. Browse more videos. They are, because included in this new life context, no longer in the flesh, but in the Spirit. '62 Nirmal left the development of a dalit theology of the Holy Spirit to the younger theologians, who have identified the Spirit with the deep sighs of the dalits and the groaning of the whole creation, which suffers destruction and domination by the powerful. The writer of the Acts of the Apostles pauses to marvel at the signs and wonders performed by early Christians in the power of the Spirit. There are many more signs of the anti-imperial character of the Jesus movement than can be treated in this essay. Is the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in Christian theology good news or bad news for women? It is divine personal presence, but a presence that is interpersonal, relational, intersubjective. Searching for the Holy Spirit brings feminist pneumatology into discussion with more traditional doctrine of the Spirit, notably the very significant early Christian treatise by Basil of Caesarea, De Spiritu Sancto . It certainly does not have the symbolic clarity given by terms like "Father" and "Son," the names used for the other two persons in the Trinity. In the twentieth century, Tillich is well known for frequently discussing the Holy Spirit as "Spiritual Community," an ideal community realized in history as one of faith and love, under the impact of "the biblical picture of Jesus as the Christ" (Tillich 1967: II, 86-245 passim). Searching for the Holy Spirit: Feminist Theology and Traditional Doctrine (Gender, Theology and Spirituality) eBook: Thomasson-Rosingh, Anne Claar: Amazon.ca: Kindle Store Instead, both God and individual are located in, found in, known in, and come into their own fullest meanings within, humans' relational ethos of agapic love. The notion of Holy Spirit as empowerer of community, a community that proclaims Christ, is also stressed in the writings of Paul and John. The imperial context of the Jesus movements tends to give their spirit discourse another trait. This dialogue opens up exciting new possibilities for both theology and the place of women in the church. "To be only slightly in error [about the Holy Spirit] was to be orthodox" (Pelikan 1971: 213). Stanford Libraries' official online search tool for books, media, journals, databases, government documents and more. To gain understanding of the Holy Spirit, biblical scholars have had to look beyond the sheer fact of extraordinary spiritism. It tended to develop a communal ethos that rejected the establishment of hierarchical power (Schussler Fiorenza 1993: 94; cf. This chapter discusses the work of the Holy Spirit in the struggles of black women for liberation and the flourishing of life.In this essay, the Holy Spirit includes some Christian ideas that are expanded, enriched, and significantly modified by and through how they are uniquely appropriated by black women. This liberating message etches into the Bible's mystical communalism of agapic practice a strong anti-imperial posture and practice. While theologians often speak of a doctrine of the Holy Spirit, talk of the "Holy Spirit" has been hard to formalize as doctrine. As narrated in Acts 2, people from many lands are described as hearing the new message about Jesus, and hearing it in their own languages. Hence, the Spirit's mystical communalism is also a mystical politics. Perhaps one of the clearest examples of the flourishing of such a view of the self lies in the tendency in Jamaican vernacular to refer to one's self in conversation as "I-an'-I" (Murrell et al. This dialogue opens up exciting new possibilities for both theology and the place of women in the church. There is clearly less material on the Spirit. Sensing the Spirit book. It will be helpful here to follow just a bit of this error of orthodoxy. 1998: 107ff.). Pneumatology- The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Feminist theology and Islam is also used to strengthen the spiritual connection to the women of Islam when they undergo severe trauma, to promote human rights especially those of women. Many official churches have stripped their message of much of its political meaning, but it was intrinsic to the early Jesus movement. This is because the language left over for referring to the Holy Spirit, that of a general divine force and presence, depersonalizes Christian discourse about divine spirit. For the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, for example, there is a remembrance of the Hebrew scriptures' supposition that the Holy Spirit is God's power to perform special acts in history and community. Pneumatology- The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit. A summary of Paul's logic here was ably given by New Testament theologian Herman Ridderbos: The thought is not that the Spirit first shows himself [sic] to individual believers, brings them together into one whole, and thus constitutes the body of Christ. These are certain biblical emphases, a doctrinal dilemma in debates about "the person" of the Holy Spirit, and the imperial frame of early Jesus movements. The results offer exciting new possibilities for both … The very notion of "Gospel," as applied to Jesus' message, for example, was derived from the Roman imperial discourse, where it was used for the "glad tidings" that conquering generals would announce to the citizens after battle (Myers 1988: 123-4). 'Searching for the Holy Spirit' brings feminist pneumatology into discussion with more traditional doctrine of the Spirit, notably the very significant early Christian treatise by Basil of Caesarea, 'De Spiritu Sancto'. Resulting from this dilemma is a challenge to theologians: how to acknowledge the failure of traditional talk about the Holy Spirit as person, without depriving Christians of a person-like symbolic imagery of spirit. Discourse about the Holy Spirit as person did not speak to this need for impersonal metaphors, unless it was articulated in relation to the power of the Creator in the creation. To be a person is to be a self within multiple and changing relations, in nature and diverse human contexts (Tillich 1967: I, 168-70; MacMurray 1961). How do the gifts of the Spirit, ecstatic and relational, inform feminist thinking of the Christian God. Is the doctrine of the Holy Spirit in Christian theology good news or bad news for women? This gave the Spirit of God in Christian community a liberationist character, and this means that the mystical communion of agapic praxis had a strong political element. As anthropologists and scholars of comparative religion have emphasized, there seems to exist, interculturally, a human drive to order social life in accord with some symbol system that relates that social life to an ultimate reality portrayed in terms of personal spirits (Douglas 1970: 45). Centuries of doctrinal development have been devoted to explaining claims that the Holy Spirit is a unique "person" in a divine Trinity. These biblical emphases, then, stress a biblical notion of the Holy Spirit that is integrally bound up with the creation and nurture of communities of agapic love (Outka 1972). Hence the divine life that is believed to act in history, etched deeply into the dynamism and structure of all creation, is a veritable pulsing of freedom, a resource for catalyzing change in the present (to varying degrees) or change in an eschatological or apocalyptic future (Tillich 1967: I, 232-3). . Paul Tillich's comprehensive correlation of "Spirit" with "Life" is just one well-known example (Tillich 1967: III, 11-294). A Look Inside. Feminist theology has a history of questioning God the Father and God the Son - this study begins the theological questioning of God the Holy Spirit. These include acts of deliverance from Egypt (Exod. In Abrahamic religions, the Holy Spirit is an aspect or agent of God, by means of which God communicates with people or acts on them. The claim of the other horn of the dilemma, which may seem like a necessity given the failures to clarify the "person" of the Holy Spirit, is also unsatisfactory. Searching for the Holy Spirit: Feminist Theology and Traditional Doctrine Gender, Theology and Spirituality: Amazon.es: Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh: Libros en idiomas extranjeros They also had generated years of resistance to empire (Horsley 1995: 275-6). The way forward to meeting the challenge posed by the dilemma is to allow the notion of person, when used for the divine life, to be reconstructed by the mystical communalism of the biblical narratives. There is clearly less material on the Spirit. Even in the well-known passage about the Holy Spirit descending upon believers on the fifth Sunday after Easter ("Pentecost"), we can note the counter-imperial implications of the Spirit's emergence. This is not a social reductionism, either in the sense of reducing the mystery of God "down to" only the social, or in the sense of reducing the mystery of the human individual to only social functions. Three major sources of theological discourse about the Holy Spirit have steeped Christian ideas of the Holy Spirit in meanings of liberating practice of one sort or another. Includes bibliographical references (p. 131-148) and index. Jesus, too, would be seen as marginal to the ruling religious and political elites centered on the temple-state in Jerusalem. New Testament scholar G. W. Lampe summarizes this tendency: "The Spirit links together and binds into a single operation of God, the whole series of events that began in the Jerusalem temple with the annunciation to Zechariah and reached a climax in the free proclamation of the kingdom of God in the capital city of the Gentile world by the leading apostle" (Lampe 1962: 633, emphasis added). It has a central place in the Christian doctrine of God classically conceived. In response, feminist thinkers turn to the Trinity as a model for ecclesial life and as fundamental to all Christian theology, contending that any theological justification for hierarchy and patriarchy diminishes the truth of life in the Spirit and salvation in Christ. Searching for the Holy Spirit: Feminist Theology and Traditional Doctrine: Thomasson-Rosingh, Anne Claar: Amazon.sg: Books 1. Similarly, extraordinary spiritistic phenomena are not limited to the past. 35: 31-2). Christian Pneumatology. It was marked by a restless political contentiousness; a series of large and small daily resistances to oppressive powers, and a building of new community for and among repressed groups (Sawicki 2000: 172-4). Download Searching for the Holy Spirit: Feminist Theology and Traditional Doctrine Now. 18:17. Talk of the Holy Spirit as "person" at least had a virtue of satisfying people's need for symbols of God and of Spirit, which deployed personal imagery. Consider the imperial frame. How do the gifts of the Spirit, ecstatic and relational, inform feminist thinking of the Christian God? From the time of Greek dramatists like Euripides or the Greek philosopher Democritus, marvelous powers and miraculous acts were regularly believed and depicted.

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