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Open Theology: Analytic Perspectives on Method and Authority in Theology

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Dr. Joshua R. Farris, Houston Baptist University & Heythrop College
Dr. James M. Arcadi, Fuller Theological Seminary



The present issue will contain topics on revelation, theological method, traditioned method, with the aim toward advancing philosophical and systematic theology for contemporary discussions from a diversity of ecumenical perspectives. 

In light of the growth of what has been called analytic theology represented in several recent works (e.g., Analytic Theology: The Philosophy of Theology, An Invitation to Analytic Theology, and Oxford Studies in Analytic Theology series), there is a need to think more specifically about analytic systematic theology and how it relates to normative practice in systematic theology. Recently philosophers have dominated the discussions on analytic theology, but many practitioners are convinced that the analytic approach has something to contribute to the broader discipline of systematic theology. One of the issues needing additional clarification is how to order theological authorities and employ them in theological method. 

In the present issue, contributors explore various ways in which to parse out both an analytic theology method and/or an analysis of theological authorities. Two broad issues concern us here. First, we invite contributors to address analytic theology as a particular method. Are there particular methods distinctive to analytic theologians or is the project more modest in nature? Second, we invite contributions on the topic of ordering of theological authorities utilizing analytic tools. In other words, how can analytic tools be brought to bear on the ordering of theological sources in various traditions (e.g., Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Protestantism, Judaism, Islam, etc.). We invite contributors from a variety of religious perspectives as well as religious disciplinary backgrounds to engage in the questions of analytic theological method and authority.

Research Questions/Topics: 

  • Is there a way to integrate analytic approaches to theology with the theological interpretation of Scripture? What would that look like? 
  • In light of REFO 500, what are ways in which analytic tools can help facilitate the distinctions of theological sources between Roman Catholicism and Reformation
  • How is it that analytic theology is a distinct discipline from analytic philosophy of religion and philosophical theology? 
  • Are there different ways of parsing out analytic theology? (e.g., biblical theology, systematic theology) 
  • Are there deficiencies in an analytic theological method? 
  • What are the sources of theological authority? 
  • What is a distinctively traditioned (e.g. Roman Catholic or Hasidic) approach to theology and how might analytic resources serve in the process of theologizing? 
  • Is there an analytically sympathetic method in Reformed catholic theology?
  • Is analytic theology even compatible with non-Christian religions?
  • How might Islamic or Jewish theologians appropriate analytic theology? 
  • Can the practice of modeling from philosophy of science be employed in approaches to specific doctrines? 

Authors publishing their articles in the special issue will benefit from:

  • transparent, comprehensive and fast peer review 
  • efficient route to fast-track publication and full advantage of De Gruyter Open’s e-technology, 
  • free language assistance for authors from non-English speaking regions. 

Publication costs should be covered by so called Article Processing Charges (APC), paid by authors, their affiliated institutions, funders or sponsors. Authors who would like to apply for discounts or free publication are asked to discuss it with Managing Editor of the journal Dr. Katarzyna Tempczyk (katarzyna.tempczyk@degruyteropen.com) before submitting their article.



Submissions are due July 1, 2017. To submit an article for the special issue of Open Theology, authors are asked to access the on-line submission system at: http://www.editorialmanager.com/openth/

Please choose as article type: “Topical Issue Article: ANALYTIC PERSPECTIVES”.

Before submission the authors should carefully read over the Instruction for Authors, available at: http://www.degruyter.com/view/supplement/s23006579_Instruction_for_Authors.pdf 

All contributions will undergo critical review before being accepted for publication.

Further questions about this thematic issue can be addressed to Dr. Joshua Farris at jfarris@hbu.edu or Dr. James Arcadi at jamesarcadi@fuller.edu. In case of technical or financial questions, please contact journal Managing Editor Dr. Katarzyna Tempczyk at katarzyna.tempczyk@degruyteropen.com.