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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422

Abstract

VAN OORT, Johannes. The Holy Spirit as feminine: Early Christian testimonies and their interpretation. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2016, vol.72, n.1, pp.1-6. ISSN 2072-8050.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i1.3225.

The earliest Christians - all of whom were Jews - spoke of the Holy Spirit as a feminine figure. The present article discusses the main proof texts, ranging from the 'Gospel according to the Hebrews' to a number of testimonies from the second century. The ancient tradition was, in particular, kept alive in East and West Syria, up to and including the fourth century Makarios and/or Symeon, who even influenced 'modern' Protestants such as John Wesley and the Moravian leader Count von Zinzendorf. It is concluded that, in the image of the Holy Spirit as woman and mother, one may attain a better appreciation of the fullness of the Divine.

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