How rational is rational theology? A reply to Mikael Stenmark

Religious Studies 35 (1):89-97 (1999)
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In this response to Stenmark's critique of my views on rational theology, I concentrate on his distinction between the epistemic and the practical goals of religion and between descriptive and normative rational theology. With regard to the first distinction, I grant that truth claims play an essential role in religious belief and that it is indeed the task of philosophy of religion to decide on the meaning and rationality of such claims. I argue, however, that since such claims are internally related to the practical context of religious belief, their meaning and rationally cannot be determined apart from this context as is done in the kind of rational theology which Stenmark calls 'scientific'. With regard to the second distinction, I reject Stenmark's view that philosophy of religion has a descriptive task with reference to religion, and hence also his claim that I have put forward a false description of 'the religious language game'



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