The Holy Spirit in the Trinitarian Communion: ‘Love’ and ‘Gift'?



Christians in the West often have become so accustomed to naming the Holy Spirit ‘Love’ and ‘Gift’ – or at least to associating the Holy Spirit particularly with these two dynamisms – that it can come as a surprise that Scripture nowhere explicitly names the Holy Spirit either ‘love’ or ‘gift’. Indeed, as Hans Urs von Balthasar points out, the Spirit is much more clearly associated with truth, knowledge and power. How then does Augustine arrive at the view that the Holy Spirit should be named ‘Love’ and ‘Gift'? I examine and evaluate the complex exegetical steps by which Augustine draws out these names.