Roland and Theology
So, Roland reveals a bit more about his position on “theology”: given the way he uses the term, “theism” is not the sine qua non.
Okay, so we know what Roland thinks theology isn’t. Is there anything positive to be said about what it is, on his use of the term? Yes.
[O]nce we move past the assumption that religious belief [in a god?] is the core or perhaps the overarching unity of theology and realize that it is one part and by no means a necessary one, then theology shows all its other colors. It deals with nature and the environment (creation), with the human condition (anthropology), why the world is the way it is (harmatology), the problem of suffering, the nature of the human subject (via Christology), the nature of history, hopes for the future, how human beings might live together (ecclesiology), and the nature of mythology (the central stories with which theology deals).
In the end, then, it looks like when Roland uses the term “theology” he is talking about a combination of certain types of ontology, anthropology, existentialism, and constructive social philosophy.
I think any disagreement between him and I would be semantic beyond this point. I wouldn’t use the word “theology” in this way, but if he wants to, that’s fine with me. When I’m criticizing the presence of “theology” in religious studies, I’m talking about something other than these things.
On a side note: have you ever looked at Roland’s CV? He’s a publishing machine. He’s brilliant. He’s the type of guy whose CV you hate to look at because it will give you an inferiority complex.