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Recovering the Priority of Spiritual Experience: A Review of Elizabeth Dreyer's Holy Presence, Holy Power

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image of Journal of Pentecostal Theology

Elizabeth Dreyer has made an important contribution to the issue surrounding the so-called neglect of the Spirit in western medieval Christianity. Her primary aim is to debunk the idea of an anemic western pneumatological tradition by recovering the image-laden language about the Holy Spirit in this tradition. To achieve this goal, she proposes a 'close reading' of the texts of ancient and medieval thinkers grounded in a particular method that she sketches in the opening chapter. The following review provides a survey of Dreyer's book and engages her on the question of methodology. In her attempt to hold together spirituality and theology, Dreyer raises the issue of how the past might be re-appropriated in a way that allows the Christian tradition to remain a living and vibrant force in contemporary Christianity.


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