I seek salary support for personal research and writing for a three-year project that will compare the methods and norms of analytic theology with the very different methods and norms of the academic discipline of religious studies. Many prominent scholars of religious studies assert that, in principle, theology cannot be a genuine academic discipline with a legitimate place in the modern academy. They deny that theology exemplifies the free, open-ended pursuit of objective knowledge that characterizes academic research. They also deny that intellectual progress is possible in theology. I will argue that analytic theology is a counter-example to these critiques, and therefore shows how theology can flourish in the secular academy as a genuine academic discipline. I will produce a full-length scholarly monograph and at least two articles submitted for publication in scholarly journals. With the exception of one fifteen-year old book about differing approaches to philosophy of religion, at present there is no body of literature that brings analytic philosophical theology into sustained dialogue with the discipline of religious studies. My research would be the first foray into what will, I hope, be very promising waters. The project will have an enduring impact on the broader fields of theology and religious studies by shifting the terms of their debate in a new direction that is more favorable to theology. As a result of my argument, practitioners of theology and religious studies will have to engage one another along different argumentative lines, which will (I hope) provoke a more fruitful inter-disciplinary conversation. The process will also demonstrate the value of analytic theology to non-analytic theologians by showing that analytic theology can help them make stronger arguments against some of their most entrenched intellectual opponents.
Templeton.org is in English. Only a few pages are translated into other languages.
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