Studying Christian Theology in the Secular University

Journal of the American Academy of Religion 78 (4):991-1024 (2010)
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Abstract

In this article, I take my own position within an ongoing debate about what place (if any) Christian theology should have within the secular university. Against both “secularists” and “sectarians,” I argue that we can and should locate the study (teaching and learning) of theology squarely within the secular university, once we cease to demand that all academic study within the secular university be framed by a narrowly defined and overly constrictive “secular perspective.” Freed from the controlling dogma of the “secular perspective,” theology in the secular university can proceed unhindered in its quest for knowledge, following the classical method of “faith seeking understanding,” while still remaining remarkably inclusive of, and respectful toward, those who do not share specific theological commitments.

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Paul A. Macdonald Jr.
United States Air Force Academy

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