n HTS : Theological Studies - Detecting God in practices theology in an empirical-theological research project : original research
|Article Title||Detecting God in practices theology in an empirical-theological research project : original research|
|Journal||HTS : Theological Studies|
|Publication Date||Jan 2010|
|Pages||1 - 5|
|Keyword(s)||Critical realism, Empirical theology, Epistemology, Methodology, Ontology, Protestant Theological University, The Netherlands, Research strategy and University of Pretoria|
What is the nature of reality in theological research and how can this 'theological' reality be known? Can we empirically research God's performance in reality? This article tries to find some common ground on this contested issue by presenting a debate between three Dutch practical theologians: Van der Ven, Immink, and Ganzevoort. Their positions on the theological dimension of empirical reality are traced, followed by some thoughts on critical realism and on a 'cataphysic' approach to empirical theological research, inspired by the theologian Alister McGrath and the philosopher of science Roy Bhaskar. This results in three concluding remarks. Firstly, realisme and social constructionism are not excluding options. Social constructions presuppose the existence of reality. Secondly, a stratified model of reality, perceiving the nature of reality as emergent, layered, and complex, points in the direction of multidisciplinary discourses and helps to avoid forms of reductionism. Thirdly, prioritizing the ontology of a stratified reality that reflects revelation, creates a common ground for the debate on the nature of theological reality.
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