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Meta-paradigms in Theological Thought

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Author(s): Herman J. Pietersen

Journal: Journal for Christian Theological Research
ISSN 1087-1624

Volume: 6;
Issue: 5;
Date: 2001;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Archetypal frameworks of knowing and being are introduced, in an analysis that places the science of God in meta-theological perspective. Four basic types of knowledge orientation are identified, each of which represents a different way of understanding and making sense of God and Creation. They are: the rationalist-transcendent (example: Augustine); rationalist-immanent (example: Aquinas); subjectivist-immanent (example: Luther), and subjectivist-transcendent (example: Calvin). These ways of understanding provides a basic set of different, and often also conflicting but complementary knowledge approaches or meta-paradigms in theology. The history of thought also points to the primacy of three fundamental dimensions of being: the Natural (physis), the Social/Cultural (nomos), and the Spiritual (logos). Utilizing a combined epistemological and ontological approach, the paper briefly outlines key elements characteristic of the thought of a number of well-known theological pioneers.
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