Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Theology - queen of sciences or the study of nothing?

Neil Godfrey, bless his evil Ocker heart, has a few things to say on the study of theology in public universities. Among the comments is this quote from some bloke - significant in American history I believe...

“The study of theology, as it stands in Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion. Not anything can be studied as a science, without our being in possession of the principles upon which it is founded; and as this is the case with Christian theology, it is therefore the study of nothing.”

–Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

Ouch! What a pain(e)! It's worth rememembering that theology was once described as the queen of the sciences. Mind you, the same honorific was also applied to astrology. In a varsity essay I wrote a couple of years back I quoted Richard Tarnas (The Passion of the Western Mind) who uses it with reference to astrology, only to get a snooty note back from the marker that I should have specified that I meant theology!

Anyway, may I say, as someone who has just completed a course of study in the queen of sciences (here I do mean theology) at a public university, and state with some passion, that I thoroughly...

Ack! Ggnnn! (sound of throttling)

[Normal service will be resumed shortly]


  1. Western governments have many funding follies, New Zealand is no exemption.