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Power and the Spirit of God : Toward an Experience-Based Pneumatology - Bernard Cooke

Power and the Spirit of God

Toward an Experience-Based Pneumatology

Hardcover

Published: 1st October 2004
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In this book the distinguished Roman Catholic theologian Bernard Cooke reassesses the long-standing Christian description of divine power. The word "power" evokes the spheres of economic, political, and social life. Cooke suggests, however, that the deepest questions about conflicting powers are theological and concern what Christians have traditionally referred to as "the Holy Spirit" and "salvation." He believes that the twentieth-century reappraisal of the theological view of power may represent the most radical paradigm shift to touch Christianity in eighteen hundred years. In present-day scholarly discussions of pneumatology (the theology of the Holy Spirit), there is widespread agreement that the traditional description of the Spirit of God as the third person of the trinity is both inadequate and misleading. Much more reflection on the notion of "spirit" as applied to God is needed, says Cooke, and the use of the modern understanding of "person" in reference to God's Spirit must be challenged. Granted that, however, what would replace it? There is no ready answer, and ultimately one is faced with mystery. But greater insight into personal communication and relationships, increased understanding of the function of symbols and rituals, and greater awareness of the sacramentality of creation and especially of believing Christian communities seem to open up new avenues of reflection. Cooke follows these paths in an attempt to frame an experience-based pneumatology, offering a phenomenological description of selected spheres of power-economic, political, social, personal-as arenas to perceive the agency of the Spirit.

"Power and the Spirit of God is an important and challenging word in what should be an ongoing converstaion. Some of the book's imaginative content may very well be the work of the Spirit who is creative power." -- PNEUMA: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies "The intellectual acumen of C.'s theology of the Spirit does not mask the prayerful reflection pervading the text--a quality that places the work in line with previous generations of Christian theological scholarship. Rather than merely pointing a direction for Pneumatology, C. has, in my estimation, fully developed one by initially arguing for the equation of Spirit=power=truth (the dispelling of lies), and then executing a prophetic effort at such truth-telling throughout and confronting serious challenges with hope." --Theological Studies "Cooke has provided us with a highly readable and original addition to the contemporary discussion of pneumatology. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in that discussion for years to come." --Anglican Theological Review "Bernard Cooke has a reputation for writing elegant theology that combines deep learning and wisdom about western history and culture with keen pastoral and practical sensibilities. Here he develops a genuinely fresh experience-based approach to pneumatology, which ponders, with great care and insight, a wide range of manifestations of power-in nature and in history, personal, social, and institutional, political, economic, aesthetic, and religious. These are the arenas in everyday human experience where one must discern between destructive powers and the power of the Spirit of God. Each trajectory of his panorama tracks movements of growth and decline, struggles between forms and constellations of power, culminating in a meditation on the power of love fulfilled in the divine embrace. A fascinating study."--Bradford Hinze, Department of Theology, Marquette University "This is an important book that integrates developments in the discipline of pneumatology with pressing social, political, cultural, and ecclesial matters. It is valuable both as a model of an experience-based pneumatology and as a contribution to the theology of power. It can stimulate reflection on a wide range of issues and suggests a variety of avenues for further theological reflection and development."--Spiritus "At a time of scandalous misuse of power, Power and the Spirit of God offers an indispensable source of hope to any one who believes that oppression and domination must not have the last word. In a compelling and prophetic analysis of the use of power, Cooke proposes the Spirit of God as the divine loving embrace empowering all authentic human experience."--Gary Macy, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Diego "Power and the Spirit of God is an important and challenging word in what should be an ongoing converstaion. Some of the book's imaginative content may very well be the work of the Spirit who is creative power." -- PNEUMA: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies "The intellectual acumen of C.'s theology of the Spirit does not mask the prayerful reflection pervading the text--a quality that places the work in line with previous generations of Christian theological scholarship. Rather than merely pointing a direction for Pneumatology, C. has, in my estimation, fully developed one by initially arguing for the equation of Spirit=power=truth (the dispelling of lies), and then executing a prophetic effort at such truth-telling throughout and confronting serious challenges with hope." --Theological Studies "Cooke has provided us with a highly readable and original addition to the contemporary discussion of pneumatology. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in that discussion for years to come." --Anglican Theological Review "At a time of scandalous misuse of power, Power and the Spirit of God offers an indispensable source of hope to any one who believes that oppression and domination must not have the last word. In a compelling and prophetic analysis of the use of power, Cooke proposes the Spirit of God as the divine loving embrace empowering all authentic human experience."--Gary Macy, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Diego "This is an important book that integrates developments in the discipline of pneumatology with pressing social, political, cultural, and ecclesial matters. It is valuable both as a model of an experience-based pneumatology and as a contribution to the theology of power. It can stimulate reflection on a wide range of issues and suggests a variety of avenues for further theological reflection and development."--Spiritus "Bernard Cooke has a reputation for writing elegant theology that combines deep learning and wisdom about western history and culture with keen pastoral and practical sensibilities. Here he develops a genuinely fresh experience-based approach to pneumatology, which ponders, with great care and insight, a wide range of manifestations of power-in nature and in history, personal, social, and institutional, political, economic, aesthetic, and religious. These are the arenas in everyday human experience where one must discern between destructive powers and the power of the Spirit of God. Each trajectory of his panorama tracks movements of growth and decline, struggles between forms and constellations of power, culminating in a meditation on the power of love fulfilled in the divine embrace. A fascinating study."--Bradford Hinze, Department of Theology, Marquette University

The basic paradigm : physical (violent) strengthp. 13
The power of fearp. 29
The power of officep. 47
The power of famep. 67
The power of lawp. 75
The power of wealthp. 83
Power in naturep. 93
The power of creativityp. 103
The power of imaginationp. 111
The power of symbol/wordp. 123
The power of thoughtp. 137
The power of ritualp. 147
The power of Erosp. 159
The power of lovep. 165
Conclusion : the divine embracep. 179
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195174519
ISBN-10: 0195174518
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 218
Published: 1st October 2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.3 x 16.4  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.47