Max Weber in a Theological Perspective

Sammanfattning: The dissertation deals with the problem of how Christian theology can be integrated with secular thinking. It is claimed that since modern science applies many different perspectives, this integrative effort can only take place as a never-ending dialogue between different interpretations of both theology and science. Max Weber is often regarded as a classic interpreter of modern Western culture, and the investigation is a conversation between his thinking and Christian theology. The investigation aims at 1) providing an interpretation of Max Weber's texts in regard to the function of views of life in modern society and 2) suggesting one possible way of revising Christian theology so that it can be integrated with Weber's view on views of life, science and modernity. Weber presents traditional Christian theology with two basic challenges, namely an epistemological challenge and a cultural challenge. Christian theology, as classically formulated, has lost much of its credibility in the face of scientific discoveries and philosophical criticism. In Weber's view, it therefore is questionable if any well-educated person can be rationally justified in holding on to a traditional form of Christian faith. The cultural challenge implies, that if religion divorces itself from modernity, it risks becoming a form of escapism and thus contributing to alienation. In order to meet these challenges, it is claimed that Christian theology should be oriented towards praxis rather than towards metaphysical speculation. The dissertation suggests one way of formulating such a theological perspective. This suggestion is based around the understanding of the symbol of the kingdom of God as a way to formulate a Christian utopian realism.

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