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Social Science versus Christian Theology, Reconsidered: The Case of British Social Policy Studies

Allen, C (2017) Social Science versus Christian Theology, Reconsidered: The Case of British Social Policy Studies. International Journal of Public Theology, 11 (2). pp. 211-235. ISSN 1569-7320

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This paper reconsiders the ‘versus’ relationship between Christian Theology (CT) and social sciences with reference to Social Policy Studies (SPS) in Britain. I argue that the organised scepticism of SPS towards CT, on the grounds that it is a conservative episteme, is unwarranted. It misrecognises Church Theology as CT writ large and thus demonstrates an oversight towards radical forms of CT with which it might make common cause. I also question radical theologians that reject social sciences on similar grounds, i.e. for lacking a sufficiently revolutionary episteme. Although I am sympathetic to intellectual projects that seek to overcome this ‘versus’ relationship by focusing on the discursive similarities of CT and SPS, such projects are precarious. I elaborate praxis rather than discursive similarities as a sounder basis for reconciliation. Much mutual learning takes place at the level of praxis that, if acknowledged, could strengthen the movement for radical social change.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2204 Religion And Religious Studies
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BT Doctrinal Theology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2017 09:32
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 11:05
DOI or ID number: 10.1163/15697320-12341483
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7367
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