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December 30 , 2008

Incarnational Realism

Trinity and the Spirit in Augustine and Barth


In the last half
of the 20th century, a consensus emerged that Christian theology in
the Western tradition had failed to produce a viable doctrine of the Holy
Spirit, and that Augustine's trinitarian theology bore the blame for much of
that failure. This book offers a fresh rereading of Western trinitarian
theology to better understand the logic of its pneumatology. Ables studies the
pneumatologies of Augustine and Karl Barth, and argues that the vision of the
doctrine of the Spirit in these theologians should be understood as a way of
talking about participating in the mystery of God as a performance of the life
of Christ. He claims that for both
theologians trinitarian doctrine encapsulates the grammar of the divine
self-giving in history. The function of pneumatology in particular is to
articulate the human reception and enactment of God's self-giving as itself
part of the act of God; this "self-involving" logic is the special grammar of
the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

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