Theology Without Walls: Sic et Non

Peter Feldmeier 1
  • 1 University of Toledo, USA

Abstract

The emerging project, Theology Without Walls, is fascinating and potentially highly fruitful, particularly given the recognized imperative for doing theology in light of a religiously plural world. But it is also a project with daunting methodological and philosophical problems. In the first part of the paper, the author describes why he is attracted to the project and how it might bear theological insight. He also frames the project along the lines of multiple religious belonging, comparative theology, and the current cultural zeitgeist. In the second part of the paper, he challenges how such a project would actually work, given various religions’ diverse and competing metaphysical claims which undergird their theological principles. Finally, he questions whether such a project would undermine the very purpose of theology for the kind of public most inclined to being influenced by it. His title’s Sic et Non (Yes and No) refers to both his commending Theology Without Walls and challenging its viability. He concludes that the collective weight leads him to challenge the project, at least until it provides a method that satisfactorily addresses his fundamental concerns.

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