To date, analytic theologians have focussed on applying existing work in contemporary analytic philosophy to identify, clarify, and propose solutions to conceptual problems in particular theological traditions. Because each theological tradition is distinct, so are the associated analytic theologies corresponding to them. Nevertheless, certain traditions share common theological problems. For instance, in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, it is held that God speaks. But how could an incorporeal being, as these traditions also maintain, do this? And how could he be subject to the kind of obligations that govern speakers if he is also the source of obligation itself, as these traditions, again, maintain? This problem seems representative of a number that appear in common across the three Abrahamic faiths. This project asks whether there is scope for identifying conceptual similarities and dissimilarities between diverse theological traditions and scope for sharing solutions between the three Abrahamic faiths. Surprisingly, given this potential convergence of approach, there is a marked absence of work addressing this question. Our planning grant will begin the process of rectifying this lacuna by laying a foundation for constructive comparative analytic theology of, initially, the three Abrahamic faiths.
Our one-year Comparative Analytic Theology Planning Project will (1) build a network of interfaith analytic theologians willing to work on comparative analytic theology, (2) identify specific loci that the various Abrahamic religions might fruitfully address together (through the production of a comprehensive research bibliography, interactive visual map, and proof-of-concept white papers), and (3), determine the kinds of activities that would best stimulate interfaith research on topics of common concern. Our planning project will culminate with a major multi-year grant application built upon these outputs.