Ekklesia: A Pneumatic Community sharing the Divine Wisdom-Spirit -------------------------------------------------
Reading the Bible from Feminist, Dalit, Tribal and Adivasi Perspectives -------------------------------------------------
The transforming power of the Spirit is evident at the beginning of the history of the Christian church. The church is a transformed by Spirit into Pneumatic Community. On the day of Pentecost, the Spirit was received by the apostles as a community but not as individuals. This shows us that the church is bound by the Holy Spirit to transform it to pneumatic community. Basing on this, the paper tries to explain the church as a pneumatic community sharing the divine wisdom i.e. Spirit of God and also the formation of pneumatic community as well as its catholicity. Pneumatology and Ekklesia
“Traditionally, pneumatology has not received a separate locus in Christina systematic theologies”. Mostly the pneumatological are incorporated into soteriology. It is also connected at times with Ekklesia. This placement seems natural in view of fact that already in ancient creeds the Holy Spirit was connected with church. Obviously, pneumatology has similarities with Christology. Thomas Aquinas states that our faith is in Holy Spirit who sanctifies the church. Wilfhart Pannenberg, a systematic theologian, identifies ecclesiology imbued with pneumatological foundations. Pneumatology cannot be construed without ecclesiological foundation. Congar identifies the church as a communion of local and particular churches as an ensemble of the gifts of the Spirit, a communion in diversity. The Holy Spirit and the Social Experience of Men and Women
Moltmann places the question of sexism in relation to the Spirit of God in a wider sense i.e. that of community bound by Holy Spirit. Theologically, it is not enough just to criticize traditional theologies for neglecting feminine terminology and attempt to replace the masculine with exclusive usage. The image of God consists of both men and women in their wholeness, in their full, sexually specific community with one another. God is not known in the inner chamber of the heart or at a solitary place but in the true community of women and men. As a result, the experience of God and Holy Spirit is “the social experience of the self and the personal experience of sociality”. Ecumenical Potential of Pneumatology
Pneumatology provides a fresh ecumenical meeting ground, especially as regards a theologically more agreeable understanding of the church. The Spirit brings to the church hope, vigor, and new insights. Today’s renewed interest in Pneumatology among Christians has positive implications for a more comprehensive pneuma-centric ecclesiology. A growing convergence in the theology of the Holy Spirit promises new breakthroughs, for instance, in the traditional ecclesiological tensions between the charismatic and the institutional between the laity and the clergy, between the historical and the eschatological, and between understanding of the church as an even and an organization. It brings new hope and new challenges for community work. Church as a Pneumatic Community
The church is essentially communion; she is called to be the visible sign and instrument of community between Holy Spirit and humans and of humans among themselves. In this communion all humans are embedded in the creation of the natural communities a life based on exchange of energy with them. Any kind of community of creation is the fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Communion is the heart of ecclesiastical reality. The Holy Spirit is the bond of this communion. The Holy Spirit creates solidarity and communion between human beings. The true and real church i.e. the ecumenical and transcontinental church that extends beyond particular epochs, concretely present today, was and is built up by the Holy Spirit. The spirit is recognizable not only in the church, but in the communion of the church...
Bibliography: Karkkainen, Velli-Matti. Pneumatology: The Holy Spirit in Ecumenical, International and Contextual Perspective. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005.
Varayilan, Davis. Spirit and the Pilgrim church: A Study of Yves Congar and the FABC Documents. New Delhi: ISPCK, 2008.
[ 4 ]. Davis Varayilan, Spirit and the Pilgrim Church: A Study of Yves Congar and the FABC Documents (New Delhi: ISPCK, 2008), 13.
[ 6 ]. Jurgen Moltmann, Spirit of Life: A Universal Affirmation, translated by Margaret Kohl (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1992), 274, cited by Veli-Matti Karkkainen, Pneumatology…, 168.
[ 13 ]. Elizabeth Johnson, She Who is: The Mystery of God in Feminist Theological Discourse (New York: Crossroad, 1992), 127, cited by Veli-Matti Karkkainen, Pneumatology…, 166.
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