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Empirical Theology: Defining The Task And Selecting The Tools

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines two issues of fundamental importance to the development of empirical theology as an innovative and core activity of the theological academy. The first issue concerns the justification for empirical techniques to be fully incorporated within the range of academic tools available to theologians. The second issue concerns the selection and critique of empirical tools appropriate for use within the theological academy. In the design of empirical research in theology (using the quantitative tradition) there are (at least) three different kinds of instruments which hold a key place. The first kind of instrument is to do with the empirical exploration of fundamental human differences. The second kind of instrument is to do with the empirical exploration of the human religious response to God. The third kind of instrument is to do with the exploration of the human consequences of experience of God.

Keywords: empirical theology; fundamental human differences; God; human consequences of experience; human religious response



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