Illuminating Grace: The Spirit’s Work in Forming the Intellect

RGTRP, Adam Room, Grove House

Image - Illuminating Grace: The Spirit’s Work in Forming the Intellect

Speaker: Professor Tom Greggs (University of Aberdeen)
Time: 11.30 am - 12.45 pm

This paper seeks to offer a retrieval of the doctrine of illumination in relation to the appropriation of the revelation of God in Scripture to the mind. Identifying the limitations of hermeneutical theory in relation to a belief in the ongoing activity of the Spirit’s sanctifying grace in forming the people of God (including their intellects), the paper traces the rise and fall of the doctrine of illumination, and seeks to reappropriate it as a means of describing the hermeneutical task. Recognising that individuals and communities are formed by their hearing and interpreting the gospel, the paper seeks to offer a constructive account of the ongoing work of sanctification in which the Spirit is engaged with the intellect, as this takes place through the shared readings of scripture and forms the life of faith and practice.

Professor Tom Greggs, FRSE, holds the Marischal (1616) Chair in Divinity and currently serves as Head of Divinity at the University of Aberdeen. He is a Methodist preacher and serves on the Faith and Order Commission of the Methodist Church and the World Council of Churches (for which he convenes the subgroup on religious pluralism). He is currently working on a three volume ecclesiology, the first volume of which was published in 2019 as Dogmatic Ecclesiology Volume 1: The Priestly Catholicity of the Church. His earlier publications include Theology against Religion; New Perspectives for Evangelical Theology; and Barth, Origen, and Universal Salvation.

We are very grateful to The Susanna Wesley Foundation for sponsoring a series in the 2019/20 programme on the theme of 'formation'. 

Click here for the full RGTRP seminar programme for 2019/20.