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CTNS Research Conference | Annual Russell Family Research Fellowship in Religion and Science
Engaging Hypotheticals: Groundwork for the Study of Theology in a Secular Academic Context

The study of religion in the secular academy is dominated by the “religious studies” approach, which situates theological ideas within their social context and privileges the cornucopic variety of lived religion over more systematized expressions of religious thought. On the other hand, in religious academic contexts the sociological and psychological dimensions of religion often take a back seat to theological explication of scripture and tradition. One possibility elided by this dichotomy is the study of theological ideas and traditions from a secular perspective. In this presentation, Annual Russell Family Research Fellow Dr. Kirk Wegter-McNelly explores the potential fruits of treating theological claims not from a confessional perspective as products of “faith seeking understanding” but from a secular perspective as hypotheses to be investigated alongside those of science. Dr. Wegter-McNelly's analysis hinges on the notion that hypotheses worthy of our consideration are not always testable hypotheses.

Sep 25, 2021 01:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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