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date: 05 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter, which considers debates surrounding the status of theology as science or , suggests that a closer look at some of the most formative debates indicates an overlap of two very different problems. The first is the justification of modern theology as a critical discourse whose parameters are not automatically set by Church doctrine or tradition. The second is the need to classify theology within an overall system of knowledge institutionalized in the university. While the former originated in seventeenth-century England and Holland, the latter is an inheritance from the high Middle Ages. Both inform nineteenth- and twentieth-century debates about theology as , but whereas the more spectacular issues and controversies are products of modern criticism, the underlying questions are often better explained by reference to its institutional context. It is argued that, for theology, being and being recognized as is neither indispensable nor inherently dangerous. It has been, and for many still is, one way of situating the rational reflection of the Christian faith within the horizon of contemporary conceptions of knowledge, its acquisition, justification, and presentation, and to defend its legitimacy against this background.

Keywords: theology, science, university, modern criticism, Christian faith

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