Spirit Christology : an Indian Christian perspective
The theologians of the early church sought to interpret the Christian gospel in the categories of `Mediterranean antiquity. ' The classical two-nature model of Christology has a Greek philosophical underpinning that shapes the ontological construction of the deity and humanity of Jesus Christ. Logos Christology is primarily a reflection on the hypostatic union of the Logos with the human reality of Jesus that leaves little place for a consideration of Jesus' relation to the Holy Spirit. In the light of such a limitation in classical Christology, a study of the relationship between Christology and pneumatology becomes very significant. In this regard, the recent resurgence of Spirit Christology in the West adds a new dimension to contemporary Christological reflection. The theologians who are engaged in this pursuit are of the view that Christological reflection is incomplete without reflecting upon pneumatology and vice versa. This study identifies in particular at least three approaches in the contemporary European Spirit Christologies, namely, reconstruction, replacement and complementary approaches. Norman Hook attempts to reconstruct Christ, Spirit and the Trinity from the perspective of the Hebrew understanding of the Spirit. G. W. H. Lampe, by using the symbol God as Spirit replaces Logos Christology with a Spirit Christology. Jürgen Moltmann, John D. Zizioulas and David Coffey seek ways to complement Logos Christology with Spirit Christology. While not denying the contributions of reconstruction and replacement approaches, this study adopts the complementary approach and shows that Spirit Christology not only enriches systematic theology but also is relevant to an Indian context. This is done by bringing the insights of two Indian theologians Pandipeddi Chenchiah and Swami Abhishiktänanda, who emphasise the centrality of the Spirit, in interaction with the strengths of Spirit Christology. The study ends in offering a chapter on `understanding Jesus Christ in India' using the Hindu concepts of Spirit that are expressed in the terms such as atman, antaryämin, Sakti and änanda. Drawing on some of the resources of Spirit Christology, it is argued that these concepts can explicate, illuminate and evoke some latent aspects of Christology.