HOLY SPIRIT, IMAGINATION AND THE QUEST FOR BEAUTY: TOWARDS A TRINITARIAN GRAND NARRATIVE
AbstractHuman beings have long raised questions about the origin, nature, meaning and, more recently, the destiny of our multi-levelled universe. These lie at the heart of a new-style natural theology that is emerging from contemporary science-and-theology discourse – a project that proceeds from the assumption that the universe is created and sustained by an omnipotent and all-loving God. On the scientific side this involves twenty-first century accounts of cosmic, biological and human evolution, and on the theological side we may look to the patristic view of Son and Holy Spirit as ‘the two hands of God in creation’ – a phrase that can be elaborated in terms of Niels Henrik Gregersen’s proposal of the ‘deep incarnation’ of the Logos of God and John Vernon Taylor’s description of the Spirit as the ‘Go-Between God’. Here we discuss the Spirit as ever at work to beautify and perfect the creation and, in particular, to inspire creative and moral imagination in human minds. These ideas can be expressed in the form of a widely embracing grand narrative of the universe which could help inspire and facilitate the engagement of theologians and Christian communities with interfaith, ecological and nation-building issues.
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