Past and Future
Edited By Michael Welker
A Postfoundationalist Approach to Theology and Science
Introduction: The Task of Public Theology
I have always, first in my earliest work on methodology, then later in my work on epistemology, rationality and hermeneutics, and finally in my more recent work in theology, science, and theological anthropology, seen my own work as fundamentally defined by its interdisciplinary nature: a theology on a journey, if you will, to find its public voice. In this sense I have argued quite specifically for a public theology: a theology that can and should claim the right to a democratic presence in the interdisciplinary, political and cross-contextual conversation that constitutes our public discourse, including the discourse in the secular academy.1 In this form of public inquiry I see the church, or rather specifically, contextualized churches, as the natural context, but not the only context for theological inquiry.2
More specifically, I have argued that our interdisciplinary reflection and the specialized forms of knowing it presupposes in reasoning strategies like theology and the sciences, differ from other ways of knowing and every day knowing only in degree and emphasis. All our knowing is grounded in embodied, interpreted experience and is accountable to many layers of interpreted experience, and the adequacy of this accountability is subject to rational justification as justification through interpersonal expertise. These problem solving judgments apply to both theology and the sciences as we use the same kinds of interpretative and evaluative procedures to, broadly, understand nature, humans, and the social historical, and religious aspects of our lives. And in this fact is found the...
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