"This little video is a little masterpiece!" - Paul Knitter, Paul Tillich professor emeritus, Union Theological Seminary
What is Theology Without Walls?
The case for Theology Without Walls is, by now, manifest. The aim of theology is, or ought to be, to understand as fully as possible the nature of ultimate reality. Evidence about, and insight into, ultimate reality is not limited to a single tradition. Therefore, theology should be based on evidence and insights from multiple traditions. That is the project of Theology Without Walls.
This concept, first presented at a regional meeting by Jerry L. Martin, grows out of philosophizing about the aim of theology. Often theology is defined as the articulation of the beliefs about the divine reality within one’s own tradition. In light of the widespread experience of finding spiritual insight in other traditions as well, that definition seems inappropriately limited. Surely, the aim of theology should be to learn all we can about ultimate reality, regardless of the source of the insights. Even comparatively theology, when it is regarded as finally confessional, limited to asking what light other traditions throw on my own, stops short. What is needed is a Theology Without Walls, without confessional boundaries, without blinders, as it were. That does not mean that we do not stand somewhere, but that our sense of our goal is not limited to where we stand at the outset.
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