Date of Award

Fall 2016

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Religious Studies

First Advisor

Dabney, Lyle

Second Advisor

Doran, Robert M.

Third Advisor

Masson, Robert L.

Fourth Advisor

Block, Ed.

Abstract

This dissertation takes up the question of the link between the creative and the redemptive work of the Holy Spirit. It presents creation as ordered to redemption and redemption as the completion of creation, especially for human beings. On the understanding of the relationship between the two orders of the Spirit’s activity proposed here, creation is of a piece with redemption and is therefore an operation of grace just as the latter is. I ground my depiction of the Spirit’s role in both aspects of the divine economy in an account of her role within the immanent Trinity. Indeed, this dissertation focuses primarily on the nature of the Spirit’s eternal relation to the other two persons of the Godhead, which is the foundation of her work in the world. It offers a conception of her intra-trinitarian role that can reconcile some apparently incompatible ideas suggested by the New Testament concerning the relationships between the divine persons, that accords with the principles that have regulated trinitarian theology throughout the history of the universal church, and that attempts to do justice to the concerns underlying different and long-controverted trinitarian models authoritatively supported by separated church traditions. Yet my account also challenges traditional views. Most fundamentally, I submit that the principle of the equality and inseparability of the persons in God calls for understanding the Holy Spirit as having a more active part in the eternal constitution of the Trinity than she has usually been ascribed. In dialogue with Thomas Weinandy and David Coffey, among others, I characterize her as mediating the exchange of love between the Father and the Son in a way that illuminates why she is essential to making them the particular persons they are. I then argue that her work in creating and redeeming humanity stems from this intra-trinitarian activity, drawing on the thought of Gerard Manley Hopkins to illustrate how grace as a theological concept can clarify the link between creation and redemption.

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