A Profound Ignorance

A Profound Ignorance

Modern Pneumatology and Its Anti-modern Redemption

by Ephraim Radner

463 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 1 b&w photo

  • Hardcover
  • ISBN: 9781481310796
  • Published: November 2019

$49.95

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In the march of modernity and the opening of global boundaries, the face of the world changed. How we understood the world, and our place in it, changed. And with that great shift, our concept of the Holy Spirit also changed. Now the third person of the Trinity became a diffusive power in a universalizing attempt at resolving the expansively harsh realities of human existence.
 
In  A Profound Ignorance, Ephraim Radner traces the development of pneumatology as a modern discipline and its responses to experiences of social confusion and suffering, often associated with questions linked to the category of theodicy. Along the way, study of the Spirit joined with natural science to become study of spirit, which was at root study of the human person redefined without limitation. Radner proposes that the proper parameters of pneumatology are found in studying Israel and her historical burdens as the Body of Christ, showing how the Spirit is the reality of God that affirms the redemptive character of Christ, the Son.
 
The traumas of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have brought to the fore the problematic distance between earlier and more modern approaches to the Spirit. Drawing on writers from Paracelsus to John Berryman, and including theologians and philosophers like Anne Conway and John Wesley, as well as literary figures from d’Aubigné to Duhamel, Radner attempts to locate modern pneumatology’s motives and interests within some of the novel social settings of a rapidly globalizing consciousness and conflicted pluralism.
 
It is by following Israel into the Incarnation of Jesus, Radner contends, that humans find their unresolved sufferings and yearnings redeemed. The Holy Spirit operates in deep hope, the kind of hope that is inaccessible to simple articulation. Finally, Radner argues for a more limited and reserved pneumatology, subordinated to the christological realities of divine incarnation: here, creaturely limitations are not denied, but affirmed, and taken up into the life of God.