12 Theses of Theology from a Liberal.

As the end of my formal theological education approaches, I thought I’d share my theses for theology that should be considered when taking this age-old discipline into the future¹. Of course these theses demonstrate a fairly radically liberal approach to theology, but hopefully when read as a whole, they will make sense and convince you that if theology and belief in religion is to continue into the future, there is no other way to approach Christianity but from a liberal perspective. I shan’t be discussing each thesis in turn, I would rather leave them for your consideration. If you have any questions or comments on what I have written then of course, all feedback is welcome.

The image that graces the cover of my dissertation.
The image that graces the cover of my dissertation.

1) God is a personal concept unique to the individual, but at its core, can be understood to be the first cause of everything in existence.

2) Theology is done to make sense of the unfathomable; to help shape one’s own ideas about God.

3) Theology should be tailored to the individual – what holds truth and meaning for one, does not need to be the same for everyone.

4) Theology as a universal discipline, should seek to uncover the truth behind religious myths.

5) Theology should be conducted in a public forum, with the opportunity for personal reflection and open debate.

6) Theology should be taught and treated with the same care and respect as the sciences; in schools and universities.

7) Theology is a science that utilises a different language; science deals with the physical, theology ponders the metaphysical.

8) Theology should be liberal and inclusive.

9) Theological conclusions should be relevant to the context in which they are reached.

10) The theologian and his/her hypotheses are no more or less wise/intelligent than the biologist/chemist/physicist.

11) The clergy should embrace relevant theological conclusions and deliver them to the pews.

12) Theology is open to all, who are open to theology.

¹ This discussion takes its influence from David Ford’s chapter entitled “Twelve Theses for Christian Theology in the Twenty-First Centruy” in Ford, D (ed) (2005) The Modern Theologians Oxford: Blackwell. p760-761.

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