The Word and the Spirit – Michael Welker’s theological hermeneutics Part 2

Henco Van der Westhuizen


In the first part of the essay it will be argued that Welker‘s differentiated understanding of the Word allows him to make sense of the relation between the Spirit and the Word. In the light of the unbreakable interrelation between the Word and the Spirit, it is possible to understand why Welker finds the biblical traditions to be the primary witness to the Spirit of God. It will also become clear why he understands the biblical traditions to be convincing in pluralistic societies. The second part of the essay focuses on the deep polemical foundations of Welker’s theology of the Spirit. Welker, it is argued, who wants to write a ‘realistic theology’, develops his thoughts on the Spirit against the background of what he conceives to be the captivity of a theology of the Spirit in metaphysical and abstract theories, dialogical two-way thinking, and social moralism. These forms of thought serve as the negative background against which Welker then further develops his thoughts on theology.


Michael Welker; Spirit of God; biblical traditions; Word of God; pluralism

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ISSN 2413-9467 (online); ISSN 2413-9459 (print)

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