Philosophical theology is a term used to describe the process of doing theology with the aid and support of philosophical reflection, language, and methods. Philosophical theology is sometimes viewed as a sub-category of
philosophy of religion, providing ways to understand different
doctrines or theological concepts through the use of philosophy. There are typically two different categories in philosophical theology: "The first category includes attempts to demonstrate the truth of religious claims by
appeal to evidence available apart from purported divine revelations. The second category includes attempts to demonstrate the consistency and plausibility of theological claims using philosophical techniques." ^
^ This first category uses what is called
natural theology to understand Christian claims. The second appeals to philosophy to understand theological convictions derived from
"Everyone needs to know some philosophy in order to understand the major doctrines of Christianity or to read a great theologian intelligently" (Allen,Philosophy for Understanding Theology, iii)
- Thomas Flint and Michael Rea,
The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology. Oxford University Press, 2009.
- James K. Beilby, ed.,
For Faith and Clarity: Philosophical Contributions to Christian Theology. Baker Academic, 2006.
- Diogenes Allen, Philosophy for Understanding Theology. Westminster John Knox Press, 1985.
Branches of Theology
Biblical theology |
Historical theology |
Philosophical theology |
Systematic theology |