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Incarnational Realism: Trinity and the Spirit in Augustine and Barth
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Incarnational Realism: Trinity and the Spirit in Augustine and Barth


T&T Clark 2013

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


In the last half of the twentieth century, a consensus emerged that Christian theology in the Western tradition had failed to produce a viable doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and that Augustine’s Trinitarian theology bore the blame for much of that failure. This book offers a fresh rereading of Western Trinitarian theology to better understand the logic of its pneumatology. Travis Ables studies the pneumatologies of Augustine and Karl Barth, and argues that the vision of the doctrine of the Spirit in these theologians should be understood as a way of talking about participating in the mystery of God as a performance of the life of Christ. He claims that, for both theologians, Trinitarian doctrine encapsulates the grammar of the divine self-giving in history. The function of pneumatology in particular is to articulate the human reception and enactment of God’s self-giving as itself part of the act of God. This “self-involving” logic is the special grammar of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.

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Save more when you purchase this book as part of the T&T Clark Karl Barth Collection.

Key Features

  • Offers a fresh rereading of Western Trinitarian theology
  • Studies the pneumatologies of Augustine and Karl Barth
  • Provides insight into the logic of pneumatology


  • Augustine and the Problem of the Spirit in Contemporary Trinitarian Theology
  • The Exercise of Faith and the Trinitarian Logic of Self-Giving in De Trinitate1–7
  • Pneumatology and the Psychological Analogy in De Trinitate 8–15
  • The “Whole Christ” and the Pneumatology of Deification in Augustine
  • The Development of Barth’s Dialectical Pneumatology of Participation in the Church Dogmatics
  • The Vicissitudes of Barth’s Trinitarianism in CD 4
  • Self-Consciousness and Spirit: The Trinity after Hegel
  • Incarnational Realism and the Augustinian Logic of the Trinity

Product Details

About Travis E. Ables

Travis E. Ables is visiting assistant professor of historical theology at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri.