The article is a very concise analysis where the author, after noting the sharp dichotomy existing between the lex orandi and the lex credenda in the life of the early Christian community, shows the way that between the second and the third century led the early thinkers to affirm the personal and relational identity of the Holy Spirit, and to recognize its soteriological and cosmological function, as well.
Starting from the first, rudimentary reflections on the feminization of the Spirit contained in the apocryphal Gospel of the Jews and in the gnostic speculations, the article then examines the thought of the most well-known doctors in a very accurate way. The precious contribution given by Tertullian is underlined as well as the contradictory consequences of his adhesion to the new prophecy of Montanism.
The article ends by indicating the contribution of the Alexandrians, and of Origen in particular, as the decisive turning point in the catholic theology, whose effects will be noticed however in the second half of the fourth century.
(author: Manlio Simonetti)