Natural Theology

Natural Theology - Natural Theology What is natural...

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Natural Theology What is natural theology? Concerns what can be known of God on the basis of science and philosophy -- throught the use of our natural cognitive faculties (of observation, awareness, inference), and on the basis of information that is universally available. Natural theology excludes what can be known of God through inspired messages, prophets, sacred scriptures, verbal Word of God or divine tradition. This isn't to say that natural theology denies the existence of such knowledge, but in doing natural theology, we are concerned with what can be known prior to the reception of verbal or historical revelation. Of course, many believers have been raised in the faith, so the knowledge of God through dogmatic theology has always been present. However, since prophetic messages have from time to time been preached to people without any prior contact with such prophecy, we can ask whether there is in such cases a knowledge of God that is prior to the reception of the prophecy. And, even if at all times, prophetic revelation and the natural knowledge of God have co-existed simultaneously, we can still ask whether there is any cognitive or conceptual priority to the natural knowledge of God, such that the possibility of receiving the word of God as divine revelation presupposes the existence (at the same time) of a natural knowledge of God. That is, we can attempt to find a form of knowledge of God that is logically or conceptually prior to the knowledge of dogmatic theology, even if we cannot find any knowledge that it is earlier in time. Is natural theology possible? Is there such pre-prophetic knowledge of God? Theologians in the Western tradition (Jewish, Christian, Moslem) have been divided on this question. Most accept that natural theology in some fashion is possible. There is some warrant for this position in the Bibe. The Psalms repeatedly claim that the glory of God is manifest in the heavens, and the
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This note was uploaded on 11/09/2011 for the course PHI PHI2010 taught by Professor Jorgerigol during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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Natural Theology - Natural Theology What is natural...

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