All theology is natural theology: The hermeneutic necessity of natural theology?

  • Ernst M. Conradie
Keywords: Hermeneutics, Natural theology, Nature, Theology of nature, Hermeneutiek, Natuur, Natuurlike teologie, Teologie van die natuur


This article first offers a brief overview of the history of what is understood under“natural theology”. The contrast between the Barthian critique against naturaltheology and the dangers of repudiating natural theology as stressed within thecontext of contemporary discourse on science and theology is highlighted. Inresponse, the author offers a constructive proposal in which the hermeneuticnecessity of natural theology is affirmed. This follows from a notion of that whichis “natural” which includes human constructs (also ideas). In this sense all theologyis by definition natural theology. However, the Barthian critique against naturaltheology may still be appropriate as a selection of those signs that can express theinexpressible with relative adequacy.