- Religion and Philosophy
The Theology of Worship in Christianity
The intellectual claims of worship and religion in general can better be understood from the perspective of theology and philosophy. A study of theology enables one to comprehend the intellectual foundation of religious traditions including worship, alongside the cultural and social contexts of religious practices. This study also brings into focus a range of disciplines, skills, sociological and philosophical aspects among others. Philosophy on the other hand, provides a basis for a logical reasoning and criticism, as well as establishing a moral judgment to questions regarding the philosophy of religion including worship, God’s nature and existence. The focus of this paper is to analyze the interrelationship of theology and philosophy and particularly how theology informs philosophy.
Theology is in two forms: religious and philosophical. Philosophical theology employs human reasoning in exploring questions regarding religion. On the other hand, religious theology explores the consequence and meaning of faith in a particular religion. Religious philosophy employs philosophical methodologies in evaluating various aspects of religion, including God’s existence, the different aspects of religion, the problem of evil and the different systems of believe.
Hall (2016) explains that there exists what he calls the “harmony of truth” between theology and philosophy. He goes on to point out that despite philosophical truth appearing superior to religious truth, the truths are compatible to each other. The author continue to reveal that if philosophers are able to comprehend the inner meaning of religion, they will find that their understanding on knowledge, faith, God and the world may not be so divergent with those of the theologians.
Dean and Clark (2001) stresses that youth ministers have to put theological priorities first in each context and at the same time be open to novel ways of doing their practice. In their book, “Starting Right” the authors explain how theological truths and thinking can be applied by youth ministers in creating priorities. In this book, the author uses various theological examples in explaining the interrelationship of theology and philosophy, how theology informs philosophy and vice versa. For instance, his opening statement is a quote from the book of Mathew 7: 24-26 which says
“Each person who has heard my words and opts to practice them can be compared with a man who establishes his houses on a rock. The house was able to withstand heavy rain, winds and upward streams and it still stood strong. On the other hand, one who opted not to practice my words despite hearing them can be compared with a foolish man who establishes his house on a weak foundation and when there was an outpouring of rain, winds and the streams, the house collapsed”. Mathew 7: 24-26
This passage can be construed to stress the essence of applying theological truth and knowledge in everyday activities and life. In particular, Jesus explains that his words which are in this sense theoretical knowledge can help one gain an understanding on avoiding and overcoming challenges presented by life. The words described by Jesus are the gospel which he presented while on his earthly ministry. Therefore, these theological truths inform philosophy by answering queries regarding how to live well and how to overcome challenges from a religious perspective.
Theological philosophy is important in shaping how one thinks about God, how to do service to God and how to apply religious truths and believes in living a fulfilling life. It should be understood that philosophy is interested in gaining knowledge regarding all forms of life aspects irrespective of the discipline. Therefore, theological philosophy contributes to general philosophy by presenting theological knowledge on life from a religious context.