Analytic theology

Religion Compass 17 (12):1-11 (2023)
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Abstract

Analytic theology is often described as something like the application of analytic philosophy's tools to theological studies, but what this means can be unclear. In this paper, I offer a primer on analytic theology which clarifies this common description of the field. Particularly, following Sarah Coakley, I sketch an account of analytic theology on which it consists of a relation of familial resemblance. That is, analytic theologians are those who investigate theological loci in ways akin to those seen in contemporary analytic philosophy. In so doing, I also briefly describe how analytic theology is conceptually distinct from both philosophical theology and analytic philosophy of religion. I then provide a threefold typology for understanding analytic theology's literary landscape whereby its practitioners can generally be understood to produce works which are either philosophically-inclined, theologically-inclined, or mixed in their inclination. Finally, I offer a brief survey of new frontiers being explored by analytic theologians.

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Aaron Davis
University of St. Andrews

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2023-12-04

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