An internationally respected scholar offers a biblical, historical, and theological assessment of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, focusing on the ecumenical and contextual experiences of the Spirit. This comprehensive review of pneumatology in global perspective examines various theological and denominational understandings of the Spirit, assesses key contemporary theologians of the Spirit, and inquires into several contextual approaches. The new edition has been substantially updated throughout to account for major developments in theology over the past decade.
1. Introduction to Pneumatology as a Theological Discipline
2. Biblical Perspectives on the Spirit
3. Patristic Experience and the Doctrine of the Spirit
4. From Medieval to Modern Experiences and Reconstructions of the Spirit
5. The Spirit in Twentieth- and Twenty-First-Century
6. Contextual and Global Pneumatologies
7. Holy Spirit among Religions
Epilogue: Whither Pneumatology?
Praise for the First Edition
"Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen's Pneumatology is the most comprehensive yet succinct introductory text to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit on the market today. It covers a tremendous amount of ground and does not miss much of importance in reflection on the Holy Spirit in the last two generations. Readers will come away with their appetite whetted for more in-depth study on this topic. Even seasoned theologians would be well-advised to look at Kärkkäinen's text to ensure that they do not overlook important resources for reflection and engagement. Here is evangelical theologizing on pneumatology at its best: ecumenical, engaged, aware, and alert."
Amos Yong, professor of theology and mission, Fuller Theological Seminary
"Karkkainen brings to the study of pneumatology an unusual breadth, namely a deep knowledge of the classical Pentecostal tradition at the international level and an understanding of Lutheran systematics and Eastern Orthodoxy pneumatology, as well as a more than passing acquaintance with the Roman Catholic tradition. Few young scholars can boast as much. To his scholarly concerns he adds his experience as a missionary in the Far East. His review of theologians working in the field of pneumatology is especially helpful."
Kilian McDonnell, OSB, president, Collegeville Institute for Ecumenical and Cultural Research
"Somewhat unexpectedly, the Holy Spirit has become a main topic of systematic theology at the end of the second millennium. We can indeed speak of a pneumatological renaissance, but it is difficult to understand the variety of new theologies inspired by this renaissance. Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen offers a balanced account of contemporary debates on the Holy Spirit. He outlines the extensive biblical, exegetical, and historical roots of Christian pneumatology and shows how these roots have influenced various churches' teachings. He discusses and clarifies the academic theories of Barth, Rahner, Pannenberg, and Moltmann, while also paying attention to feminist, liberationist, and ecological approaches to the study of the Holy Spirit. This instructive overview is always connected with a sincere ecumenical quest to preserve the unity of Christian doctrine."
Risto Saarinen, professor of systematic theology, University of Helsinki
"Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen's book provides an excellent introduction to the study of contemporary pneumatology. It offers the reader a number of entry points to the subject by looking at pneumatology from various perspectives. Kärkkäinen summarizes an impressive array of positions and viewpoints accurately and succinctly without losing sight of the main issues, themes, and theologians. Pentecostals and charismatics will find it particularly helpful, as Kärkkäinen keeps many of their distinctive concerns in view. I highly recommend it as an introductory text."
Simon Chan, Trinity Theological College
"Kärkkäinen's book will help scholars and students alike appreciate recent efforts at reflection on the Spirit in the light of their ecumenical and historical past. Kärkkäinen successfully takes readers through the maze of contemporary pneumatology. He is attentive to the complexity of thought involved in pneumatologies past and present but utilizes a lucid style that will make his work valuable for the classroom. This up-to-date treatment makes an important addition to the histories of pneumatology written in the past."
Frank D. Macchia, director of graduate studies in religion, Vanguard University of Southern California