The Holy Spirit giver of common life

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So far, I have argued that the actions of the Spirit in support of unity and diversity are contextualised with reference to democracy: the political

95. As Boff notes, Ecology and Liberation, p. 88, social injustice must be related to ecological injustice.

96. Gundersen, The Environmental Promise of Democratic Deliberation, p. 196.

affirmation of peaceable relations between humanity and nature identifies an ecological deficit, human impoverishment and political paths to fellowship. These are the contours of un/natural fellowship. A concrete pneumatology, indeed, for a political theology of nature! By this means the openness of God's Trinity and of the common realm is best understood. Such openness is, to borrow again from Pannenberg, 'creative activity in the bringing forth of life and movement'. This life is fellowship in a democracy of the commons. Such movement is to be understood as democratic negotiation in an extended system of representative democracy. How then - to return to the question I put at the beginning of this chapter - shall we learn to act in the common realm of God, nature and humanity.? Not, I have maintained, as stewards or as valuers of nature, but as democrats-in-common, committed to the political representation of nature by reference to groups who are (self-)identified with nature or who experience difficulties in accessing nature's goods. This is my recommendation of a theological account of contextuality - a political way of acknowledging the in-betweenness of nature - for a political theology of nature.

Such democratic practices are sourced to the eschatological actions of the Spirit. Such actions are liberatory affirmations of diversity towards fellowship through the personal work of the Holy Spirit. In this account, the Spirit is not some general divine presence through the world but is rather the force and movement of democratic extension, negotiation and renewal through the common realm. Such force and movement is not to be understood as levelling or simplifying. (This tendency can be safely left for the bankrupt options of stewardship and valuing nature.) Instead, pneu-matological force and movement turn outwards and intensify the social relations that bind together nature and humanity. These relations are rendered concrete and energised by the actions of the Spirit who liberates diversely into diversity. Such liberative diversity is the direction of a common democracy, enlivened by the Holy Spirit, towards fellowship.

Democratic practice, we may conclude, diversifies but always in the unity of collective action. Here the terminology of movement, structure and tendency, first broached in chapter 2, may be grasped in its full significance: as categories of historico-natural emergence to be related to the openness of the Holy Spirit. In the account of the Spirit's actions given here, through the open structure of a representative democracy, the movement is towards the intensification ofthe rich ontologyofhuman-nature relations in a tendency that affirms both humanity and nature, yet differently. Democratic negotiation in a common democracy is the impress of, and towards, the fellowship of God: of God with God, of God with creatures. Such a pedagogy of fellowship presents the practice of the common realm towards richer forms of association. Such associations in turn enliven, energise and empower the social, temporal and spatial dynamics of the common realm by the conferral of the blessings of the Spirit. Hence, in the movement towards fellowship sourced to the diversifying actions of the Spirit - who opens up and turns outwards - humanity and nature in their social relations practise the redoubling ofthe blessing ofcreatureli-ness, in eschatological expectation and preparation.

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The big book of affirmations from personal development authors. An affirmation is something you say to yourself. Everybody uses them on purpose or accidentally. You get up in the morning, leap out of bed and proclaim,

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