John Templeton Foundation
Home Approach Chair Participants
Purpose Contact: Mary Ann Meyers, Ph.D., Senior Fellow

"The Spirit, like the wind, blows where it wills," Jesus told Nicodemus, according to the Gospel of John. But where is it at work and how can we tell? The recent resurgence in work on the Holy Spirit suggests that the question is of continuing relevance. Furthermore, it seems possible that pneumatology could provide for a new religious orientation in general, as well as interdisciplinary conversation about central theological concerns. Contemporary Pentecostal movements, which together comprise the second largest communion of Christians in the world, claim renewal of the spectacular gifts—speaking in tongues, supernatural healing, prophecy embodying new revelations—associated with the apostles’ personal ministry. Earlier, Reformers and Puritans developed a doctrine of sanctification linked to belief in the power of a sovereign Spirit to stir Christians to will and act in God-pleasing obedience. Catholic and Orthodox traditions have always affirmed the creative activity of the Holy Spirit in the world. Some twenty-first century theologians speak of its breath driving the primordial energy of the universe towards complexity and order. They hope to discover the Spirit’s work through the lenses of social dynamism, ontology in information, and the psychology of creativity. Fourteen scholars and scientists gather at The Yale Club in New York City to explore the most pressing questions in pneumatology that have to be dealt with by contemporary Pentecostal theologians, as well as the revision of basic pneumatological concepts and ideas in classic theology and the quest for a realistic pneumatology that will be related to lived experience and our evolving understanding of creation. Their conversation takes place under the aegis of the John Templeton Foundation.