As I come toward the end of Jack Levison’s Inspired: The Holy Spirit and the Mind of Faith I’ve been thinking about those scholars and theologians who have become the most influential in the study of Pneumatology—Pneumatologists if you will. Obviously, there are those who are more inclined to contribute to our understanding of the development of Pneumatology in ancient Israelite, early Jewish, and early Christian thought. Then there are those who have contributed over the centuries toward the Church’s language about the holy Spirit, spirits, and spirituality. Finally, we have our modern theologians who remind us that we can’t stop thinking about this topic.
Personally, my own engagement began around Pentecostals. This led me to Gordon D. Fee, an exegete par excellence and a wonderful scholar of the Spirit. Other Pentecostals who I found to be helpful include Roger Stronstad and Amos Yong. There are some Pentecostal/Charismatic types with whom I plan to interact soon such as Max Turner and Frank D. Macchia.
Obviously John R. (Jack) Levison has made a huge impact on me, as has James D.G. Dunn (honestly, I wish Dunn would resume some of the Pneumatology of his younger days because I think he has more to contribute here), both shaped by the Methodist tradition.
We might speak of Hermann Gunkel as “the Father of Modern Pneumatology” (though one might argue that William J. Seymour has as much a right to that title as anyone, though indirectly). Pneumatologists who I’ve seen shape the thinking of many include Jürgen Moltmann and Wolfhart Pannenberg. If we dig back further into time we may mention people like Basil of Caesarea or John Calvin.
Which scholars/theologians have influenced your understanding of the holy Spirit, ideas about spirit/s, and Christian spirituality? Tell me why.