Assumption of Theological Theories tied to Religious Studies
Theology in its own right deserves a place amongst the scholastic attempts to put forth answers to the questions Hinnells deems as “meaning, truth, beauty and practice” (108), yet Rodrigues deciphers as “studying, reflecting on, systematizing, disseminating, defending and promoting one’s religion from within that tradition.” (35) Either way, it is assumed that theology is but a tool used to help the religious scholar interpret the difference between religion, religious studies and being religious. Theology, in and of itself continues to fight for space between all the other methodologies used to answer the questions of life’s most pervious questions found that cannot be touched within the study of religion. The many assumptions of theological analysis stem from application of terminology, misunderstanding of concept, and individual interpretation.
Hinnells offers eight different branches of theology: systematic, historical; biblical; moral; philosophical; practical; mystical; and as a confessional discipline. (96-97) Even with these different branches, there is still the scholar of one particular tradition (or background of schooling) attempts to apply his terminology on to a concept of the other. This raises the question: whose label is the accurate version to use? While Augustine’s ChristineDoctrine could for all intense purposes, be used when applying terminology towards the analysis of any faith, it would not comprehend the scope of Hinduism.
Not to mention that the concept in and of theology itself is not shared between religions. The Jewish tradition is skeptical (with good reason) of using Western terminology “since Christians (or others) could use it to see...
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...ile the secular environment leaves the door open for interpretation.
Repeatedly, commonality of understanding continues to carry the barrier of misinterpretation. Removing the assumptions of application of terminology, misunderstanding of concept, and individual interpretation will help the scholar studying religion. Theology continues to fight for space between all the other methodologies used to answer the questions of why, how, when and where does God and religion fit in with life. Where religion cannot go, theology can. Akin to the outdated use of Morse code, theology is alive through each branch of analytical science, with application to the study of religion. Theology should have its’ own place in the schematics of study, but has more pizzazz when tied in with the study of religion.
Hinnells, study of religion
rodrigues, study of religion
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