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Durham e-Theses
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A critical examination of Paul Tillich’s doctrine of the Holy Spirit

Bullock, Vernon T. (1971) A critical examination of Paul Tillich’s doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This thesis expounds and analyses Paul Tillich’s doctrine of the Spirit as set out in the third volume of his Systematic Theology and other relevant passages from his writings. After a brief introduction to his theological method , his understanding of God and the symbolic nature of our knowledge of the divine is examined, specific reference being made to the meaning of 'Spirit’ and the Trinitarian symbols. A chapter on the nature of life and its ambiguities in the spheres of morality, culture and religion, with which the doctrine of the Spirit is correlated in Tillich's thought, prepares the way for a more detailed analysis of this doctrine. This analysis deals first with Tillich's understanding of the divine Spirit in relation to the spirit of man, the Spirit's manifestation in the world, and the marks of the Spiritual Presence in historical mankind, culminating in the Christ and the creation of the Spiritual Community. The importance of the Spirit's work in resolving life's ambiguities by means of an unambiguous life of transcendent unity is indicated. The succeeding chapters expand this discussion and deal with the Spirit's impact in the realm of religion, the life of the church and the individual within the church; in the realms of culture and morality, the wider life of society; and finally, in the total context of man's life in the work of healing. A concluding chapter points out the implications of the concept of the transcendent unity of unambiguous life, suggesting that Tillich's understanding of the Spirit significantly deviates from orthodox Christian pneumatology, but also emphasising that in the final analysis Tillich has made a significant contribution to contemporary theological study of the Spirit.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Letters
Thesis Date:1971
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:08

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