Spirit Christology and Models of Sanctification

“… equip ordained and lay leaders with resources to envision and foster spiritual practices congruent with such models in U.S. churches and communities. ”

Team Members/Contributors

Leopoldo A Sanchez Concordia Seminary Contact Me

About this sabbatical grant for researchers

I propose to develop a rigorous yet accessible Spirit Christology—i.e., an account of the Spirit’s activity in Jesus’ life—that yields diverse models of sanctification, and equips church leaders with resources to envision and foster spiritual practices congruent with such models in North American churches and communities.

Scholars in the field of Spirit Christology have focused on its productivity for Trinitarian theology and Christology. While such proposals may at times affirm the continuity between the Spirit in Jesus and humans, they are preliminary in that they deal only briefly (in discrete articles or a chapter here and there) with what life in the Spirit looks like daily. Most studies come from Europe and do not address U.S. churches, including the needs and aspirations of North American groups (e.g., the religiously unaffiliated or "nones"; and ethnic-racial minorities, including Global South people) who seek the meaningful integration of spirituality and everyday life. Moreover, U.S. studies on sanctification tend to be apologetic vis-à-vis justification theology or holiness traditions, and thus are not properly grounded in a robust account of the Spirit in Jesus and humans. As a result, the practical aspects of the field of Spirit Christology for the U.S. church are limited or neglected.

My project is distinct from the literature in the field in three ways. 1. It will yield a fuller study on Spirit Christology, focusing on its pastoral or practical usefulness for envisioning and fostering the sanctified life. 2. A models-based approach to sanctification, with its focus on narratives and sources across theological traditions, will move beyond a merely apologetic approach and towards a more ecumenical vision of life in the Spirit. 3. The book will be written by a member of a group underrepresented in the field, yet belonging to one of the fastest-growing segments of the U.S. church—namely, a Hispanic/Latino from the Global South.

Image Title Year Type Contributor(s) Other Info
Sculptor Spirit: Models of Sanctification from Spirit Christology 2019 Book Leopoldo A Sanchez