The following study investigates a somewhat prosaic question: What happens when preaching happens? The question is generated by the recondite declaration of the Second Helvetic Confession that “the preaching of the Word of God is the Word of God.” An introductory chapter establishes the theological context for the proposal, which claims that Father, Son, and Spirit are present in the preached Word, that preaching involves an encounter with divine presence. Chapter two analyzes Oliver Davies' trinitarian theology, which contributes the following insight: the Trinity is a dialogical fellowship of dynamic, effulgent, infinite, and overflowing address and response. An appropriate trinitarian analogy posits Father as Speaker, Son as Speech, and Spirit as Breath. Chapter three explores David Bentley Hart's cosmological theology, which advances the thesis that since God spoke all things into existence, theology may grasp creation as language. Chapter four investigates Hans-Georg Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutics mining it for the following crucial concept: human life unfolds within one's navigating through the world via language. The insights obtained from Davies, Hart, and Gadamer are synthesized around the major theme, Christian proclamation, in chapter five, which comprises the heart of the essay. Chapter five proposes the Spirit as the (pre)condition for language, speech, and preaching, and further offers perspectives on Christian proclamation as new creation, hermeneutic and kenotic word-event, and site of the in-between. Chapter six concludes exploring a few unaddressed questions. The grand movement takes us from Trinity to creation to human existence and finally to Christian proclamation.
|Adviser||Michael D. Palmer|
|Subjects||Philosophy of Religion; Theology|
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