The Louisville Institute

The Louisville Institute
1044 Alta Vista Road Louisville, KY 40205 (502) 992-5432

Proposal Summary

Words of Spirit and Life: Theology, Preaching, and Spirituality

Mary Catherine Hilkert
University of Notre Dame

Summary

Although most theological work on preaching takes the Word of God as its starting point, the thesis of this project is that a pneumatological lens can contribute a fuller trinitarian understanding to what it means to speak about the Word of God as “living and active” (Hebr. 4:12). The primary goal of this project is to make a contribution both to scholarship on the theology of preaching and to the revitalization of the preaching ministries of the Christian Church.

This proposed book will emphasize that it is the Spirit who empowers the proclamation and the hearing of the Word of God as a word that is creative and prophetic and one which calls forth a response. Core chapters will explore the work of the Spirit in empowering believers to discover wisdom in the face of the folly of the cross and to testify with their lives to a radical hope in the power of God to bring life out of death. The volume also will consider the gifts of the Holy Spirit bestowed at baptism in relation to the authority to preach and address the importance of the spirituality of the preacher. Finally, the book will grapple with the challenges and the opportunities that arise for preachers of the Gospel from the awareness that the Holy Spirit is at work in “many and varied ways” in the Jewish Covenant and in other religious traditions as well as throughout creation.

The primary audience for this book is a broad group of theologically educated preachers, pastors, catechists, religious educators, spiritual directors, and other ministers of the Word from a wide range of Christian denominations. The book should be of particular interest to those who share what is sometimes referred to as a “sacramental imagination.”


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