Sociological and Theological Imagination in a Post-secular Society
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Warmia and Mazury University in Olsztyn
Publication date: 2014-07-07
Polish Sociological Review 2014;186(2):179–194
In Comte’s vision, humanity progressed from a theological to a metaphysical to a positive phase. This transition was to be mirrored by the replacement of theology and metaphysics by a new science of society—sociology. Comte’s prophecy was quickly fulfilled—within a century the new discipline had successfully undermined the legitimacy of other systems of knowledge in the social realm—like philosophy, theology, and literature. Even theologians learned to adopt the findings of their rival and incorporate them into their framework. At the same time, the emerging social sciences borrowed heavily from theology, while trying to mask the debt. The recent constructivist turn has challenged social scholars to rethink that positivist paradigm. This article tries to take up the challenge and see whether theology and sociology can possibly learn from one another.