De Spiritu Sancto: Novatian of Rome’s Pneumatology in De Trinitate
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ABSTRACT DE SPIRITU SANCTO: NOVATIAN OF ROME’S PNEUMATOLOGY IN DE TRINITATE JohnMark Bennett Beazley, Ph.D. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2016 Chair: Dr. Michael A. G. Haykin This dissertation evaluates the pneumatology of Novatian of Rome. Novatian’s pneumatology in De Trinitate is marked by a profound Biblicism and seeks to describe the Holy Spirit as an object of the Christian faith. This approach severely limits how he addresses the ontology of the Holy Spirit, but it does provide a broad scope of how he understood the activity of the Holy Spirit. Chapter 1 sets the context of pneumatology in the third century and describes how Novatian’s pneumatology should be viewed in this context. Chapter 2 provides a biographical sketch of Novatian. It places him in his historical and ecclesiastical context. Chapter 3 examines the pneumatology of those Christian writers who preceded Novatian and whose writings would have been known to him. This chapter provides a context from which to understand how Novatian’s pneumatology fits with those who preceded him. Chapters 4 and 5 examine Novatian’s pneumatology in detail. Chapter 4 demonstrates that Novatian was primarily concerned with describing the Holy Spirit as the object of Christian belief through the biblical language about the Holy Spirit, which focused upon the activity of the Holy Spirit within the church on behalf of the Son. Chapter 5 shows that while Novatian did not call the Holy Spirit by the term “God,” he implicitly and inescapably affirmed the divinity of the Holy Spirit. Chapter 6 briefly addresses Novatian’s pneumatology in light of his predecessors along with the legacy of his pneumatology in De Trinitate. This chapter demonstrates that Novatian’s pneumatology was used by both orthodox (Gregory of Elvira) and heretics (Pneumatomachi).