Philosophical Theology and Rational Theology

  • Mikael Stenmark Uppsala University


Vincent Brümmer’s philosophical theology project has been of utmost importance for philosophers of religion, and will continue to be so for the next generation of such scholars. In this essay I defend his position against the objections to philosophical theology raised by Eberhard Herrmann. But I further argue that philosophers of religion must go beyond philosophical theology and also engage in rational theology. Once we have established the meaning and coherence of certain religious beliefs and their connection to other religious beliefs, philosophers should go on to ask whether it is rational to accept these beliefs in the first place; and, if not, should consider what religious people might believe instead. Whereas philosophical theology attempts to test the coherence of doctrinal claims, their implications and their connection to other doctrinal claims, rational theology attempts to test the rationality and warrant of these doctrinal claims and to explore their connection to philosophical, scientific, political and moral claims.