Pentecostal pneumatology claims that the Holy Spirit is present and active throughout the world. Yet, at the same time, Pentecostal pneumatology also asserts that there are "dark," demonic spaces where the light of God is absent. How can the Holy Spirit be both omnipresent and at times absent? In this essay, I argue that the Mahāyāna Buddhist philosophy of Buddha-nature can aid this apparent inconsistency. Like the Holy Spirit, Buddha-nature is present and active throughout the universe, though at times Buddha-nature also seems to be absent. Consequently, I begin by explicating Buddhist epistemology regarding skillful means, framing how I use Buddha-nature philosophy within Pentecostal pneumatology. Then I outline current scholarship on Pentecostal pneumatology, which appears to vacillate between the Holy Spirit's ubiquitous presence and the Holy Spirit's ostensible absence. I conclude by incorporating Buddha-nature philosophy into Pentecostal pneumatology, maintaining that Buddhist thought helps uncover the omnipresent Holy Spirit. My goal is not to force compatibility between different religious movements but rather to demonstrate how interreligious dialogue can benefit conceptual challenges across religions. For Pentecostal pneumatology, Buddha-nature is able to explain how the Holy Spirit is all-pervasive and yet seemingly absent.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 287-305
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.