Robert Jenson on philosophy

“We usually refer to the work of Greece’s theologians with their own name for it, ‘philosophy.’ We have thereupon been led to think this must be a different kind of intellectual activity than theology, to which theology perhaps may appeal for foundational purposes or against which theology must perhaps defend itself. But this is a historical illusion; Greek philosophy was simply the theology of the historically particular Olympian-Parmenidean religion, later shared with the wider Mediterranean cultic world. […]

“The secular mood by which some forms of ‘philosophy’ contrast with Christian theology and that tempts us to take them for a different kind of thinking is simply a character of Olympian religion itself, which pursued a divinity purged of mystery. Insofar as Western philosophy is not now reduced to the pure study of logic, it is still in fact theology, Christian or Olympian-Parmenidean. Theologians must indeed converse with the philosophers, but only because and insofar as both are engaged in the same sort of enterprise.”

from Systematic Theology: The Triune God, Vol. 1, (OUP, 1997), 9-10.


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