Who is the Holy Spirit? What is the Holy Spirit? The answers to these questions were so obvious in the first centuries of Christian history, that the New Testament and the earliest Christian writers did not feel the need to deliberately address the identity of the Spirit. The more stringent question was this: what does the Spirit do in the Hebrew Scriptures, in the life of Jesus, in the community of disciples, in the Church, and in the world? These same questions, however, did not have the same obvious answers to subsequent generations.
Writing in the fourth century, Gregory of Nazianzus observed a slow progress of better understanding the identity and mission of the Holy Spirit throughout the centuries; his opponents still referred to the Spirit as a "strange," "unscriptural," and "interpolated" God (Or. 31). One would expect that today, centuries later, pneumatology would be exponentially further developed than in the patristic era. And yet, contemporary theology only rarely asks who the Spirit is and what the Spirit does. That is where the present volume attempts to bring a contribution, by addressing early Pneumatologies reflected in the Scriptures and the age of the martyrs, historical developments in patristic literature and spiritual writings, and contemporary pneumatological themes, as they relate to ecumenism, ecology, science, ecclesiology, and missions.
The present volume gathers essays authored by eleven world-renowned theologians. Each contribution originated as a public lecture addressed to theologians and an educated general audience, followed by a private colloquium in which the lecturers conferred with scholars who are experts in the field. Thus, the present volume offers a multifaceted approach to Pneumatology, in an ecumenical spirit.
"Presents a rich array of offerings from distinguished, indeed world-renowned, scholars. Each essay is self-standing and reflects the particular perspective proper to the author. But as an ensemble they cohere in a suggestive, even a systematic way. Will provide fine resources both for personal meditation, but also stimulus for further scholarly research on this crucial issue."~Robert Imbelli, Boston College
"Duquesne University has been sponsoring a major annual lecture and colloquy about the Holy Spirit since 2005. The eleven lectures gathered here represent the rich and abundant fruit of those efforts. Ably edited and introduced by Fr. Radu Bordeianu, these lectures are simultaneously biblical, historical, theological, and ecumenical. There is more to be done to enliven the relatively neglected study of pneumatology, but this is an impressive collection. Highly recommended."~David P. Gushee, Mercer University
"Despite a growing interest in pneumatology, an annual lecture series dedicated to the topic is still a rarity. Rarer still is the stellar line-up of scholars who have given the Holy Spirit Lectures at Duquesne University and whose presentations are brought together here. Radu Bordeianu has crafted these into a cutting-edge volume that deals not only with doctrinal questions but interrogates the wider meaning of 'spirit' and considers social implications of the Spirit's life-giving work."~Kirsteen Kim, Fuller Theological Seminary
"A fascinating collection of irreplaceable essays. One of the best in the past quarter century."~Eugene F. Rogers, Jr., author of After the Spirit: A Constructive Pneumatology from Resources outside the Modern World
"It was President Charles J. Dougherty of Duquesne University who first invited and encouraged me to imagine the possibility of organizing an endowed, annual lectureship in the theology of the Holy Spirit, as a way of remaining faithful to Duquesne's mission as a university of the Holy Spirit under the guidance of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. President Dougherty's initial impulse was, I truly believe, a Spirit-inspired gift to us all which, as Psalm 1 says, is like a tree planted near streams of flowing water which will yield its fruit in an appropriate time. And this very attractive book, made so by the very imaginative lectures given at and explored by the colloquists, is one such fruit of the Spirit. May the Spirit, the Comforter, guide many into yet deeper and richer dimensions of the Spirit's mission through this book."~William Thompson-Uberuaga, Emeritus Professor of Theology, Duquesne University