THEOLOGY, Philosophy, and Science constitute our spiritual triumvirate. The limits of their several dominions have been insensibly shifting, so that at various epochs in History they have been of very varied importance. For centuries the predominance of Theology was absolute and undisputed. Philosophy, meanwhile, grew apace, till at last it was enabled to assert an independent position; and while these two rivals struggled for supremacy, Science was also quietly and obscurely feeling its way to independence.
The office of Theology is now generally recognised as distinct from that of Philosophy and from that of Science. Its ancient claim to authority over all regions of inquiry has long been felt to be untenable, and has been frankly relinquished. Although claim ing to hold the keys of the highest Truth, it nevertheless no longer pretends to decide upon the lower, but confesses its inability to furnish Research with effective Methods, or Knowledge with available data.
It restricts itself to the region of Faith, and leaves to Philosophy and Science the region of Inquiry. Its main province is the province of Feel ing; its office is the systematisation of our religious conceptions. This is the office not of one Theology, but of all. No matter what other functions the various Theologies may assume, they invariably assume this, and give it pre-eminence.
It is thus not only their common characteristic, but also their highest characteristic; and now that the course of human evolution has detached both Philosophy and Science from Theology, this systematisation remains its sole function.
- WHAT is PHILOSOPHY?
- THE OBJECTIVE AND SUBJECTIVE METHODS
- THE TEST OF TRUTH
- SOME INFIRMITIES OF THOUGHT
- NECESSARY TRUTHS