What is Distinctive about Christian Analytic Theology?

I’m starting to engage in a project on the value of Analytic Theology for spiritual formation. In light of that I have been reading a lot about Analytic Theology lately (as a meta-subject). Anyway, I came across an interview with Rea and Crisp where Crisp answers the question: What is distinctive about Christian Analytic Theology:

Crisp: I have already said something about what analytic theology is, and I suppose that gives some indication of what makes an analytic approach to theology distinct from much contemporary theology which draws upon more ‘continental’ modes of philosophical thought. So the ‘analytic’ component to analytic theology will be distinctive to the extent that it is appropriating the modes and methods of an analytic approach to the subject matter of theology. It is certainly distinctive for the Christian theologian to be engaged in an analytic project qua theologian, that is, from within the bounds of the Christian tradition, pursued in a faith-seeking-understanding manner, rather than qua philosopher, as someone with an interest in these issues coming at them from the ‘outside-in’, as it were. Someone from another faith tradition might also be an analytic theologian. I do not doubt that one could do analytic theology in Judaism or as a Muslim – and there might be a good case for doing so. But that, it need hardly be said, is a rather different enterprise than Christian analytic theology. I am not responsible to the Jewish or Muslim community. But I am responsible to the Christian community. And, for obvious reasons, that shapes the sort of issues I want to deal with as an analytic theologian.

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3 thoughts on “What is Distinctive about Christian Analytic Theology?”

  1. Are you saying (through Crisp) that analytic theology relates to spiritual formation only after the fact? That after doing analytic philosophy (as someone on the outside-looking-in) you apply what you’ve learned through continental modes?

  2. I’m not sure that this paragraph necessarily relates to spiritual formation (at least directly). It was just a sidenote of my about the spiritual formation piece – neverthless what drew me to this quote was that he was talking about doing Christian analytic theology in the “faith seeking understanding” tradition as opposed to analytic theology (full stop) which approaches stuff from the outside in.

    As far as the continental stuff goes – I think he is just saying that theology has been done primarily in continental modes of thinking – thus analytic theology is in a sense different from most theology out there.

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