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Title: Pneumatological eschatology : a Pentecostal theological contribution to negotiating the multicultural and multifaith context of Singapore
Author: Chow, M. L. T.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2004
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Religious plurality with its accompanying ‘difference’ and ‘otherness’ often gives rise to violent conflicts threatening human flourishing. The central concern of the dissertation is to explore how Pentecostalism in Singapore may contribute positively to human flourishing in the context of religious plurality and to construct a sustainable theology to negotiate the fundamentally complex issue of the religious other. Pentecostalism is much misunderstood by outsiders and insiders alike. Aberrations notwithstanding, Pentecostalism can be interpreted as having a unique potential to be a peaceful harbinger of pluralism. The event of Pentecost is retrieved as the key theological theme of the dissertation. The dissertation is contextual, Pentecostal and theological. The firs part of the dissertation is a contextual engagement that interprets the culture of Singapore. Singapore’s social, political and religious harmony and order is achieved by a policy of control, which at core works by “exclusionary” mechanisms and has been effective but ultimately inadequate. Human flourishing is fundamentally theological, requiring more than social-political resolutions. To develop the argument, the dissertation examines three Pentecost events: Pentecost in the Acts of the Apostles, the event of Azusa Street at the beginning of the 20th century, and especially the LoveSingapore Movement in the last decade of the 20th century. The examination of these three events reveals both tragic and hopeful dimensions. The common thread among them is the strong ecumenical thrust of the Spirit, which enabled them to dismantle entrenched exclusionary mechanisms in their times. To test the hypothesis that Pentecostalism in Singapore is at a pivotal juncture as regards contributing positively to human flourishing and to its contextual challenges, Pentecostalism in general, and the LoveSingapore movement in particular, are submitted to a biblical interrogation. The conclusion is that though there are inadequacies, Pentecostalism as a whole offers the promise of being a peaceful harbinger of pluralism and to contributing to human flourishing. The potential lies in its dynamic complex of pneumatology and eschatology, reconceived more robustly to align better with Scripture. In reconceiving the Spirit and eschatology, Pentecostalism is also brought into dialogue with a diverse range of Christian traditions such as Evangelical, Catholic and Orthodox. The pneumatological orientation to openness and otherness is presented as an attractive third option transcending exclusion and easy tolerance. Pneumatological eschatology is therefore proposed as a Pentecostal theological contribution to negotiating the multicultural and multifaith context of Singapore.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available