Analytic philosophy of religion deals with questions regarding the ultimate constitution of reality from a philosophical point of view. Analytic theology is not only based on philosophical insights, but takes religious assumptions regarding the nature of reality for granted. Analytic theology, typically, is also based on the assumption that faith and reason cannot contradict each other. To show that this is indeed the case, it is essential to analytic theology to refer to recent debates in metaphysics and epistemology and to take into account the latest insights of the natural sciences. This is the only way to actually show that religion and science together constitute a plausible worldview to live by.
Although analytic theology is clearly necessary to show the consistency of science and religion and popular amongst young theologians, it is in a difficult position and often under attack in Germany: The reason is that the vast majority of settled German theologians work in a postmodern paradigm. They no longer assume that theological claims can be understood as having a rational claim to truth. Theological questions, to them, are no longer questions of fact, but only questions of meaning. In light of its difficult standing, the main purpose of this project is to help put science-engaged analytic theology on firm ground by supporting three students to read for their doctoral theses. Each student will work in the intersection of theology and the natural sciences. By deploying the means of analytic theology, they will show that theology is well understood as dealing with questions of fact and that theological claims concerning (a) special divine action and (b) divine providence can be given an interpretation that is both faithful to the tradition and coherent with the insights of the natural sciences.
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