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On Dogmatic Virtue

August 16th, 2018 | 9 min read

By Matthew Emerson

By Matthew Emerson

Much of the current scholarship on theological method concerns itself with prolegomena and/or with practical matters like steps, tasks, and tools. This is right and good – dogmatic inquiry requires right philosophical and theological foundations and right practice. And yet, there seems to me to be a vital aspect of theological method that is underappreciated and rarely discussed, namely the need for virtuous theologians.

Over the last few weeks I’ve reflected disparately on some of what I’ll call dogmatic virtues; here I want to tie those threads together and try to paint a picture of what a virtuous dogmatician might look like. I do not intend this list or the explication of individual components to be exhaustive, but preliminary. I want to begin to make the case here that dogmatic inquiry ought to exhibit (at least) the virtues of charity, justice, and wisdom.

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