Dogmatiek een wetenschap: een contradictie? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 40, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268



Attention is drawn to the question: Is dogmatics science or mere ideology? The answer depends upon our concepts of dogmatics and science. To clarify this we have to know what the object of theological research really is. If it is the Bible only, dogmatics is reduced to literature. After discussing proposals of Hodge, Barth, Pannenberg, Kaufman and Hick, it is concluded that this object is God in relation to human beings and to (the history of) the universe in connection with the question of the meaning of life. Furthermore the author puts forwards a plea for logic in the description of the object of research.

The next question concerns the status of dogmatic propositions: Are they realistic descriptions or idealistic constructions without ontological claims. The author argues for theological i.e. an attempt for a reconstruction of the between God and the world by means of relations between elements of familiar models. This reconstruction is a mapping of the unknown object onto more familiar models to provide talk of God.

After discussing problems of induction and phenomenology in theology the relevance of deduction in theological theory is shown.

In the philosophy of science the classical criterion for scientific character (i.e. testibility), is replaced by the concept of falsifiability and the puzzle-solving power of the paradigm. The theological paradigm is personal in contrast with the causal paradigm of natural science. These are different conceptual frames, but it is not reasonable to prefer the first as the only possible (compare history). The theological paradigm attempts to integrate the available paradigms of other sciences and does accept falsifiability for its propositions if they imply factual statements.


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