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Ultimate Concerns features interviews and discussions with religion experts about their research. Insights from these discussions are applied to contemporary cultural and political questions. Topics are related to many different religions (such as Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism) and methods of study (such as literary studies, history, theology, and philosophy). Ron Mourad, professor of religious studies at Albion College, hosts the show.

Oct 20, 2016

When Catholic theologians speak about God, what sources and what kinds of reasoning should they use? What role does faith play in the practice of theology? In this episode, I discuss these questions with Paul Griffiths, the Warren Professor of Catholic Theology at Duke Divinity School. We also discuss broader questions about the rules and rationality of specialized languages like theology.

Griffiths argues that theology is reasoned discussion about God. Anyone with the relevant background knowledge, resources, and skills can practice it. Theology isn’t only a spiritual exercise for Christians.

How should Catholics answer questions about God? They need to discover what their authoritative sources like Scripture and traditional teaching say about those questions, to interpret those sources, and then to speculate about the best answer in light of them.

Although Catholic theologians trust distinctive sources, they can still communicate with speakers of other specialized languages (those used in other religions or science, for example). This possibility has important political and cultural implications.

The Practice of Catholic Theology: A Modest Proposal by Paul Griffiths is available here.

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