Science and the Future of Theology: Critical Issues

Zygon 35 (1):119-140 (2000)
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Abstract

The ambivalent reputation of theology as an academic discipline is attributed to the often circular character of its procedures based on presumed authoritative sources. Recently, science too has come under the shadow of “postmodernist” critiques but, it is argued, has been able to withstand them successfully and make epistemologically warrantedclaims to be depicting reality—thereby vindicating human rationality. Evolutionary epistemological considerations also reinforce confidence in the more general deliverances of the human exploration of reasonableness through inference to the best explanation (IBE). The consequences of applying IBE, with its associated criteria, in theological investigation are considered in relation to theology as it is and as it might be. A number of issues critical for thedevelopment of a credible theology are identified. In spite of the challenging and somewhat negative view of contemporary theology to which this leads, hope is expressed that a genuinely credible “evangelical,”“catholic,” and liberal theology may yet emerge for the new millennium.

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