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SYNCRETISM OR CORRELATION: TEILHARD AND TILLICH'S CONTRASTING METHODOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO SCIENCE AND THEOLOGY

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Abstract.

I revisit Paul Tillich's theological methodology and contrast his practice of correlation with the syncretistic methodological practices of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. I argue that the method of correlation, as referred to in Robert John Russell's 2001 Zygon article, fails to uphold Tillich's self-limitation of his own methodology with regard to Tillich's insistence upon the theological circle. I assert that the theological circle, as taken from Tillich's Systematic Theology I, is a central facet within his methodology and that this often-ignored concept needs to be resuscitated if one is to remain authentically Tillichian in one's approach to the science-and-theology dialogue.
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Keywords: Albert Einstein; Christology; David Klemm; Paul Tillich; Pierre Teilhard de Chardin; Robert John Russell; cosmology; evolution; method of correlation; religion; science; syncretism; theological circle; theological method; theology

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ph.D. candidate at the University of Glasgow in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. His mailing address is No. 4 The Square, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, G12 8QQ, United Kingdom;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2005-09-01

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