Wittgenstein en de natuurlijke theologie | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 48, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268



In the so-called Enlightenment Project, the task of natural theology is to establish the truth of the proposition that God exists by deriving it from religiously neutral and universally compelling premises. In theology this project is rejected by the followers of Karl Barth and in philosophy of religion by the followers of Wittgenstein. The latter considers the claim that God exists to be a tacit presupposition which is constitutive for the religious form of life. As such its truth cannot be established apart from the form of life as is attempted in the Enlightenment Project. This Wittgensteinian critique of natural theology is defended against the charge of fideism and it is argued that Wittgenstein’s views on religion correspond to the Anselmian project of faith seeking understanding which is also defended by Karl Barth. Finally it is shown what this entails for the nature and limits of a dialogue between believers and sceptics.


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