Re: MD Philosophy and Theology

From: Elizaphanian (
Date: Mon Apr 07 2003 - 11:45:32 BST

  • Next message: Elizaphanian: "Re: MD Philosophy and Theology"

    Hi again David,

    > DMB SAYS:
    > I think these discussions about objectivity, neutral ground and
    > abstractions are really just tangets to the original objection, and have
    > only served as a distraction. I think they are not directly relevant
    > the objection was not about metaphysical claims or final truth claims. I'd
    > simply objected that, to the extent that it is tied to sectarian religion,
    > theology begins with the conclusion.

    I don't agree that they are tangents, but we can come back to that. If
    theology is necessarily sectarian, how do you account for the movement of
    intellectuals to and from sectarian belief whilst still remaining

    > An objection that it "begins with the conclusion", is simply pointing out
    > that perhaps the difference between what's social and what's intellectual
    > can be demonstrated by the tension between doctrinal authority and
    > intellectual freedom. My questions about and objections to putting
    > on the fourth level revolve around that. Its not just a matter of whether
    > not the church officals will admit the earth is round, its about the aims
    > and purposes of that mode of study. Is it fair to say that theologians are
    > encouraged or even free to question the Church's central doctrines? The
    > distinction between social and intellectual levels, in this case, seems to
    > revolve around the issue of authority and freedom.

    This is a very good way to move the discussion forward, thank you. I agree
    that the issues of aims and purposes, authority and freedom are vital. For
    myself, I find theology liberating, and I have certainly not experienced any
    form of 'intellectual oppression' - rather the opposite. It is possible that
    Anglicanism is different to other faith traditions in that regard.

    Be that as it may, I think that any understanding of theology which I would
    be prepared to defend would have to be 'open ended' and intellectually free.


    "A good objection helps one forward, a shallow objection, even if it is
    valid, is wearisome." Wittgenstein

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