Christian Theology in the Image of Pentecost
Inaugural lecture by Professor Wolfgang Vondey, Professor of Christian Theology and Pentecostal Studies
- Arts Building, Lecture Theatre 3
- Arts and Law, Lectures Talks and Workshops, Research
Reception to follow.
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Pentecost marks an unprecedented event in the history of Christianity and is widely seen as the origin of the Christian church. The records of the biblical texts concerning the outpouring of God’s Spirit upon the followers of Jesus Christ on the day of Pentecost reveal a radically transformed Christian community that amazed, perplexed, and convinced its audience with its behavior and message. The continuing importance of Pentecost is further accentuated today by the rise of the global Pentecostal movement - now the third largest Christian tradition - which traces its entire theological story and the rationale for its existence (and name!) to the day of Pentecost. Yet, despite this extraordinary historical significance and its contemporary global revival, Pentecost has led a peculiarly barren existence outside of the theological disciplines, irrelevant to their systematic and constructive formation, and consulted only to explain the origins of Christianity or to illustrate the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, but with no relation to the character and development of theology. Christian doctrine has all but neglected Pentecost! This lecture (re)discovers the importance of Pentecost by tracing its contours as a theological behavior that identifies the event, hermeneutic, and method of Christian theology.