Forum Philosophicum

Volume 28, Issue 1, Spring 2023

Christian Philosophy and Its Challenges

Jon KellyOrcid-ID
Pages 47-62

Demarcating the Foundations of Analytic Theology and Philosophical Theology

Analytic theology is a thriving research program at the intersection of theology and analytic philosophy. Prior to Oliver Crisp and Michael Rea’s launch of “analytic theology” in 2009, the discipline functioned under the moniker “philosophical theology.” Considerable ink has been spilled on what is analytic theology in the past decade, and most recently by William Wood (2021). Some theologians (e.g., Abraham 2009) have argued that it is systematic theology while others (e.g., Coakley 2013) have been content to remain in a family resemblance class rooted in philosophical theology. At the same time, analytic theology has welcomed Christian philosophers (e.g., Beall 2021) who have migrated into Christian doctrine via philosophy of religion. These philosophers are not systematic theologians, but, rather, philosophical theologians. This essay analyzes the relation between analytic theology, philosophical theology, and philosophy by examining their starting points and how they perceive and access truth, and then proposes a spectrum to graph their overlapping zones of research. I conclude that philosophical theology stands at the heart of the disciplines and thus remains an appropriate term for analytic theologians and Christian philosophers working somewhere in the vicinity of Jerusalem.