Proposing Theology (Veritas) Hardcover – 29 Aug 2008
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In a revised curriculum, that responds in part to the challenge of Islam, the study of the Biblical legacy should take its place at the outset alongside that of the classical legacy. In continuity with this, higher education needs to develop a new structure in which the three main strands would be theology, philosophy and literature. The core of this new curriculum concerns the interaction between theology and philosophy. This book sketches a genealogical critique of the notion of philosophy as autonomous with respect to religious outlooks and then shows how modern philosophy is an outgrowth of debatable shifts within medieval theology. On this basis a theological critique of modern philosophy as such is then outlined. It is proposed that theologians must study the 'whole' of philosophy not just a 'philosophy of religion' which rests upon a doubtful claim of rational judgment upon faith.Meanwhile, "Philosophical Theology" is a redundant term, and what is rather required is the joint study of the two disciplines which is linked to the interplay of our intuitive and discursive faculties.Philosophy is not 'foundational' for theology, but neither can theology ever in this life finally supercede the philosophical. All these considerations are shown to apply to practical and political as well as to theoretical concerns: modern political thought and practice also rests on debatable theological foundations, which theologians are in a unique position to be able to question.The book concludes by arguing that a true pegadogic practice must be theological, as this alone offers to students an integrating vision that will not perversely encourage psyhic fragmentation and disturbance. Such a practice is balanced between induction into a tradition and an assumption that the divine light will thereby be awakened within students minds, leading them to proffer their own new insights from the outset. Hence theological education is neither conservative nor progressive, though in a sense it is both. A theological vision should be proposed as thinkable and liveable, even though it may be freely rejected.
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