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All I can say is what I am is what I am; you what you are or what.

Theology investigates the subjects of religion using the tools of philosophy. So to fit in with Brickell's quote, theology would be the search for light while walking on slippery rocks.

Your questions assume the quote to be true, something which has hardly been established in the case of philosophy or religion.

Jeff G, the quote was just a reader-friendly point of entry. I wasn't really endorsing the content, although re-reading the paragraph I can see how my questions came across as "philosophy bad, religion good." I was just asking, "So what do you think of theology?"

Okay, here's my perspective on the three. Religion is pretty much a way of situating ourselves within the world by appealing to authority (which is not necessarily bad). Philosophy (very roughly) amounts to a way of situating ourselves within the world by appealing to reason (which is not necessarily good). Theology seems like a pretty uneasy mix between the two since there will always be tension between when authority should give to reason and when reason should give to authority. One wonders if by attempting to bring philosophy to religion one compromises both philosophy and religion.

Philosophy is the study of the positing of questions. Religion is the hoped for answers to man's longings, ( Dawkins' "dummy/pacifier") - latter day revelation not withstanding - but Science, by its definition and by its action, is reality, as far as we know it at any moment in history. As for me and my house, I choose what can be proved. Give me reality.

Dave, when I was in grad school, I had to take a course called "the philosophy of religion." Since I was an OT exegesis major, I found it blaze and unnecessary, but I do recall that many of the great philosophical thinkers of their times began their intellectual odysseys due to religious questions or problems. The church had a much stronger hold on the populous at large back in their day than it does in ours, to the point that even bloody wars were fought over religion. Now we just fight bloody wars for oil.

David J., yes, modern accounts of history of science and history of philosophy often edit out any reference to the religious or mystical concerns, even obsessions, of the scientists and philosophers of the past. Which only strengthens the convictions of young and impressionable college students that scientists and serious thinkers don't concern themselves with religious or moral questions. I think that reflects the sensitivities of the secular academy rather than an objective reading of history.

You would think the good work that has been done in philosophy of science — showing that what scientists think they do is rather different from what they actually do — and the increasingly narrow focus of academic philosophy would temper that trend, but experts always tend to overrate the depth and scope of their own expertise.

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