Thursday, 7 February 2019
Brendan Wolfe: The Goths and the Holy Spirit
Although reconstructions of the Trinitarian disputes of the 4th-6th centuries focus on the status of the Son, it is arguable that the distance between various theological positions was much greater on the status of the Holy Spirit. A case-study of this claim is provided by the various theologically-engaged Gothic groups.From the deathbed creed of the Gothic bishop Wulfila in AD 383 to the late 6th century negotiations surrounding the Visigoths' adherence to Nicenism, the divinity and lordship of the Holy Spirit were significant matters of dispute. Furthermore, recalling the Gothic context of the insertion of the filioque gives colour to the origins of the divisive formula.This paper will canvas the Gothic evidence regarding the Holy Spirit, relate it to other scholarly questions about Gothic theology, and consider its significance for the filioque and its origins.