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Open Theology

Editor-in-Chief: Taliaferro, Charles

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Science and Spirit: A Critical Examination of Amos Yong’s Pneumatological Theology of Emergence

Mikael Leidenhag / Joanna Leidenhag
Published Online: 2015-10-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2015-0025


This paper is a critical examination of Amos Yong’s pneumatological use of emergence theory. In seeking to bridge the divide between the worldviews of science and Pentecostalism, Yong sees emergence theory as a fruitful mediating discourse. We will argue for the following: 1) the supernaturalism of Yong’s Pentecostal theology renders the concept of emergence obsolete; 2) the ontological independence of various types of spirits in Yong’s theology breaks his commitment to supervenience theory; and 3) Yong’s transference of scientific concepts into the normative discourse of theology is potentially problematic. These criticisms should be seen as a call for Yong to depart from emergence theory (and supervenience) in his admirable ambition to harmonize the spirit-filled imagination of Pentecostalism with the scientific culture of the 21st century.

Keywords: Emergence; Supervenience; Pneumatology; Amos Yong


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About the article

Received: 2015-07-17

Accepted: 2015-09-23

Published Online: 2015-10-27

Citation Information: Open Theology, Volume 1, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 2300-6579, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2015-0025.

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©2015 Mikael Leidenhag, Joanna Leidenhag. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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