Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 2012


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name





McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

George S. Worgul

Committee Member

Elochukwu E. Uzukwu

Committee Member

Radu Bordeianu


Collaboration, Destiny, Dialogue, Difference, Liberation, Solidarity


This dissertation seeks to recover the relational quality of the Holy Spirit who is the Lord and the Giver of life as enshrined in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed (381). Neo-Scholastic theology had utilized the conceptual categories of Aristotelian metaphysics with its orientation to foundationalism and immobility in a manner destructive of difference, plurality, and the relational language of the Spirit as witnessed in the Bible. One of the upshots became the totalizing bent of Western epistemology which eventually found concretion in colonialism and the slavery of Africans among others. This dissertation utilizes the category of "relationality," a core tenet of West African Weltanschauungen, as an organizing and interpretive device for reinterpreting the creedal affirmation in a way that allows for new understandings of the Spirit. In our world in which there is an increasing awareness of the simultaneity of the dialectic of differences and interconnectedness due to the process of globalization, we are compelled to seek ways of living together without subordinating difference to the regime of sameness. The thesis is that relational pneumatology provides template for negotiating an other discourse on the Triune God which recognizes and respects equality-in-difference. To develop this thesis, I utilize an anthropological, interdisciplinary, critical, and descriptive approach. I argue that relational pneumatology invites that subalternized epistemic potentials be foregrounded and legitimized in a manner that fosters "solidarity of others." I also draw the implications of this perspective for the Nigerian church with regard to ecclesial structures and authority, interreligious dialogue, and the question of holistic liberation that fosters justice and peace.