The agency of the Holy Spirit and heuristic categories for discernment in spirituality
AbstractLiving in a complex world with many challenges may render discernment as Christian spiritual practice increasingly important. If discernment is understood as an interpretation of the movement of the Holy Spirit in life, one obvious and fruitful avenue to gain better insight into this may entail an exploration of the very nature of this agency. To map the work of the Spirit is a striking hiatus in scholarly literature on discernment, and the article intends to address this. The need is for heuristic, that is, problem-solving, categories for reflecting on the agency of the Spirit. This article specifically contributes towards exploring such insight by studying contemporary developments in pneumatology. In recent study on the work of the Spirit, seven trends are investigated, and corresponding notions such as novelty, emergence, justice, hospitality, beauty, the impossible, and relationality emerge as ways to interpret the movement of the Spirit. These motifs, it is argued, may provide a lens to discover the divine possibilities in each moment in life and to understand discernment better.
Copyright of all NGTT material belongs to the Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust (PDWN Trust). The PDWN Trust is a trust fund established in 1932 with the aim of promoting quality theological research and publications.
The PDWN Trust pledges to maintain a legitimate scholarly record of the author’s work and to defend the author’s article against plagiarism and copyright infringement.
The PDWN Trust is committed to full Open Source publishing. This means that all articles published in NGTT will gradually be made freely available online. Authors maintain the right to:
- Share and self-archive their work.
- Make printed copies of their article for educational use.
- Present their article at a meeting or conference and distribute printed copies of the article
- Adapt and expand their published journal article to make it suitable for their thesis or dissertation.
- Republish the article (ensuring that the original article is cited as published in NGTT).
For any questions or queries in this regard, please contact the Editor.