Jurgen Moltmann's Trinitarian-Eschatological Pneumatology: An Understanding in the Sino-context

Jürgen Moltmann's Trinitarian-Eschatological Pneumatology: An Understanding in the Sino-context

Andres S. TANG

This paper aims to understand J. Moltmann's Pneumatolgy in contrast to the natural philosophy of The Commentary of I-Ching by focusing on the condition of life. Both Moltmann and The Commentary of I-Ching understand nature as an open system which gets its life through two principles: the principle of sympathy and the principle of evolution. The former is expressed among various individuals or systems that mutually interact with one another to create possibilities for improvement. The latter is manifested in the continuous changing process from the status of actuality to that of possibility in which the individual or system is open to the future with possibility. Both Moltmann and The Commentary of I-Ching agree that the latter is possible only with the former as its basis. However, the openness understood by The Commentary of I-Ching is a kind of immanent transcendence, not the real transcendence. Moltmann's critique of E. Bloch's “not-yet-being” also agrees with the position of The Commentary of I-Ching. That is, without the real transcendence, how can nature get its possibility for renewal? According to Moltmann, this real transcendence is understood as God of the possibility of life which is the condition for mutual interpenetration and self-transcending. The Holy Spirit is the economic indwelling and unifying activity of the triune God upon creation. It is only the Spirit who creates life from death and can overcome the power of Nothingness. Accordingly, The Commentary of I-Ching, just as Bloch, does not really guarantee the future of nature while facing the threat of Nothingness because “not-yet-being” might be annihilated by “no-longer-being”. Moltmann's Trinitarian-eschatological Pneumatology goes even further to affirm the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the radical openness of the triune perichoresis as the condition for eternal life, which is going to be fulfilled eschatologically by annihilating the power of Nothingness. Until that time God is in the world and the world is in God so that the world will be living in the eternal time and eternal history without transient, past, and death, but with change, future, and life.

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