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Durham e-Theses
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The theology of the ascension

Mulholland, Peter (1998) The theology of the ascension. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The Ascension of Jesus Christ, and its consequences and implications, has an ambiguous position in Christian theology. This is due primarily to the paradoxical and obscure manner of its expression in the New Testament. It is also the result of the nature of the Ascension in itself and in relation to the other central christological doctrines: Incarnation, Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Pentecost. In the Patristic period the difficulties and possibilities inherent in giving a consistent theological analysis of the Ascension became manifest. The work of Saint Hilary of Poitiers was particularly incisive, as also was that of Saint Augustine of Hippo. During the Medieval, Reformation, and Counter-Reformation centuries the Ascension was not forgotten, but it did not directly emerge as a controversial issue, and so was not examined in the detail and urgency accorded to other Christian doctrines. In the course of the last century or so, developments in systematic theology and scripture studies have again, if indirectly, placed the Ascension in a prominent position in the examination of doctrine. The collective weight of the Scriptural, Patristic, and modern contributions to the revelation and understanding of the Ascension point towards its purpose as the decisive key to its meaning. It is by placing it in its soteriological context, specifically from the point of view of ontology, that the fuller picture of the Ascension can be appreciated. The effects in the Trinity of the Ascension of Christ, with which Hilary and some of the modern systematicians have been concerned, indicate a substantive and essential role which it has not always been accorded. There can also be greater insight into the whole soteriological process where the difficulties raised by the Ascension are regarded as indicators of its nature, rather than as anomalies to be explained away.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Letters
Thesis Date:1998
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Sep 2012 15:56

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