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Verbum et Ecclesia

On-line version ISSN 2074-7705
Print version ISSN 1609-9982

Verbum Eccles. (Online) vol.33 n.2 Pretoria  2012 



Escaping from the ghetto



Vincent BrümmerI, II, III

IFaculty of Theology, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
IIDepartment of Systematic Theology, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
IIIResearch associate, Department of Dogmatics and Christian Ethics, University of Pretoria, South Africa





'Revealed theology' claims that religious belief derives from divine revelation and can only be justified in the light of such revelation. This entails a retreat into an intellectual ghetto: Only believers can participate in this kind of theology because only believers have access to divine revelation. The usual alternative to revealed theology is 'natural theology', which tries to prove the truth of (Christian) faith in the light of the universally accessible criteria of reason and experience. It is argued that natural theology fails to provide such proof and therefore cannot liberate theology from the intellectual ghetto of revealed theology. This paper argues for a 'philosophical theology' which analyses the meaning of (Christian) doctrine rather than proving its truth. Since the methods and criteria of this analysis are universally acceptable and not reserved for believers, this form of theology liberates believers from the intellectual ghetto of revealed theology.



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Vincent Brümmer
Valklaan 1, 3722ZJ
The Netherlands

Received: 13 Apr. 2012
Accepted: 22 May 2012
Published: 06 Dec. 2012

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