STEVEN T OSTOVICH, Marquette University


Theology must be involved in interdisciplinary dialogue with the sciences if it is to fulfill adequately its task of critically correlating religious tradition and the contemporary situation. The relationship of theology and science has been a problem, however, since the rise of modern science spelled the end of natural theology. The goal here, then, is to focus on what theologians and scientists do as the means of access to the historical human rationality that grounds both activities. The political theology of Johann Baptist Metz is presented as an example of fundamental theology, i.e., the discipline concerned with the nature of theological activity. This theology is "political" in its attempt to counter the existentialist privatization of faith, in its concern for the world as history and the eschatological promises of the biblical tradition, and in its orientation towards religious and theological praxis. Metz turns to narrative as the means for passing on the truths of religious praxis and to basic communities as the best way to realize the political implications of the tradition. There is also an interest in interdisciplinary dialogue in political theology, but attempts made to become involved in such dialogue have suffered from imprecision and accepting the split between natural and human sciences. On the other side, attention is focused on the work of Thomas Kuhn and others who frame an historical philosophy of science. Their work challenges the picture of science as a rule-governed activity by becoming more aware of how change in science is revolutionary, involving changes in scientific rules and standards. This new understanding of scientific rationality coincides with attempts to reformulate descriptions of human rationality in general. In philosophy, this has taken the form of questioning modern, post-Cartesian epistemological traditions by becoming more aware of the historical character of a human reason that is rooted in praxis, narrative, and community. It is this historical human rationality that provides the convergence point for the activities of theology and science.

Recommended Citation

OSTOVICH, STEVEN T, "HISTORY, THEOLOGY, AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE (METZ, KUHN)" (1986). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI8708732.