Philosophy and Theology 15 (1):19-56 (2003)
During the course of his lengthy career, Edward Schillebeeckx has developed a series of epistemological frameworks which inform his theology. Using the metaphor of “circle” to describe these frameworks, the article will argue that Schillebeeckx in his earlier theology describes experience and knowledge within the framework of an ontological circle of subject and object. In his later work, Schillebeeckx develops a second, hermeneutical circle and finally a critical circle of theory and praxis. Later developments in his thought both depend upon and radically re-interpret the earlier circles of epistemology. Since all theological language and practice must originate within the boundaries of human knowledge and experience, only by this reinterpretation of epistemology, Schillebeeckx argues, can Christian theology begin to meet the challenge of the understanding of faith in the modern and postmodern world
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