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Pneumatology refers to either the Christian doctrine of the nature and work of the Holy Spirit, or the study of human beliefs in spiritual beings. The term pneumatology also refers to the scientific study of air or gases. The Greek word pneuma suggests both wind and smell, as well as divine or human breath. Whereas notions of pneuma and spirit in ancient and medieval times referred to an earthly or bodily quality, since the sixteenth century the dichotomy of spirit and body emerged, modifying the conception of pneuma in time with the modern split of man and nature. The question of whether and how nature and human beings are empowered by spiritual energies and a divine spirit ought to be at the core of a dialogue between religion and sciences that claim to investigate nature in regard to invisible dialectics behind visible phenomena. The Judeo-Christian tradition offers a manifold of concepts for pneumatology, even if these have not yet been adequately tapped in a larger-scale dialogue with modern science.

See also Holy Spirit

sigurd bergmann

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