Why is there no such thing as a Nobel Prize of Theology? It would be granted for major advancements in theology … .

The most prominent reason is probably that we have no well-accepted epistemology how to arrive at new knowledge in theology. People have different hypotheses (= different religions), claiming them to be true due to some revelation. But what we need is a way to test them against reality. Otherwise, theology would be about opinions only, and the war of opinions. Like flame wars in Internet forums, but nothing well-founded.

While it seems relatively simple to test, say, Hinduism and Paganism against our (Western) concept of reality (multiple millions of gods are prohibited by Occam’s razor) … how to test Christianity and Islam against reality?

Probably, history (as historical science) would help. But as with any non-empiric science, preconceptions are a great danger here. The historical-critical method of theology is full of them, and so are the interpretations of history and the Bible by believers. We would need a “sober”, scientific interpretation of history that excludes the influence of preconceptions by some sort of method …

One thought on “Nobel Prize of Theology

  1. “Theology is the only academic discipline where people get paid not to investigate their beliefs, but to rationalize them. ”

    — Jerry A. Coyne

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