Vol 20 No 2 2013

The Ascension: Recollecting the Experience

Anthony Kelly


Given the richness of the New Testament perspectives on the ascension as an event (Luke), movement (John), state (Paul) and activity (Hebrews, Revelation), this article focuses on the ascension as an experienced phenomenon, the better to exclude mythological fantasies and to prepare for a critical theological exploration – even if by definition the ascension eludes any overly ambitious systematic treatment. As a phenomenon, the ascension saturates the consciousness of faith both negatively and positively: negatively, e.g., in terms of departure, ending, invisibility, beyond-ness and otherness; positively, e.g., in terms of presence, universal accessibility, and anticipation, novelty and hope.