Theology’s Handmaid, Again

Leithart | 1/11/2019 | Staff
jollyjetta (Posted by) Level 3
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Steve Duby objects to my brief set of warnings about the uses of philosophy in theology. I suppose I’ve said ill-considered things about philosophy or some philosopher in some of my writing. But this post was, in my judgment, generous in spirit, moderate in its claims, and modest in its aims. Duby says nothing to modify this assessment, because in the main his response attacks views I didn’t defend, or even mention, in my post.

To summarize what I said: My post offered a set of cautions about the risks that philosophy can pose to theologians. In honoring philosophy as a “handmaid” of theology – the premise of my post, the Thomistic image I describe as “apt” – I wasn’t dismissing philosophy. I didn’t claim that every use of philosophy seduces and bewitches, only that we should beware of the potential for bewitchment. Duby seems to have taken my whimsical personifications of the handmaid Philosophy as universal statements about all uses of philosophy by all theologians. Of course not. Handmaids are useful to queens, but they can get uppity; my post explored some of the ways the handmaids try to take over the mistress’ position.

Duby - Scripture - Doctrine - Times - Dismissal

Duby concludes that I am “wrong (either naïve or misleading) in suggesting that he manages to draw upon Scripture alone in articulating Christian doctrine.” Several times he attacks my supposed dismissal of all “extra-biblical” concepts in theology. The quotation marks make it appear that the term is from my post. It’s not. He claims that I attempt to take the high ground “by asserting that he or she is simply drawing from Scripture.”...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Leithart
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