Theology = Study of Leprechauns

Theology is comparable to the study of leprechauns. That is according to the ballsy Richard Dawkins. For Dawkins, Theology has no place in a University.

“We
who doubt that “theology” is a subject at all, or who compare it with
the study of leprechauns, are eagerly hoping to be proved wrong. Of
course, university departments of theology house many excellent
scholars of history, linguistics, literature, ecclesiastical art and
music, archaeology, psychology, anthropology, sociology, iconology, and
other worthwhile and important subjects. These academics would be
welcomed into appropriate departments elsewhere in the university. But
as for theology itself, defined as “the organised body of knowledge
dealing with the nature, attributes, and governance of God”, a positive
case now needs to be made that it has any real content at all, and that
it has any place in today’s universities.”

My quick
reaction to it is that, I think Dawkins has an excellent point. I’m all
for comparative religious studies and I think Theology as a subject
would fit nicely under the bigger umbrella of Philosophy. Of course,
Christian Universities could keep the subject since Theology is ”peculiar to the Christian religion.”

Personally,
I see no value in Theology, at this point in time. In its entire
history, I don’t know of any convincing proof that came of out that
domain of study. Maybe because I don’t have enough faith to see the
proof.

My personal bias is towards an experiential knowledge of God
rather than a conceptual proof. I’d rather see Contemplative Science in universities, wherein all contemplative and spiritual practices of all religions are studied, practiced, evaluated, and continuously improved.

But what do I know? I’m only a person who grew up as an indoctrinated Catholic whose faith had already evolved out of the mythic-membership stage.

A
friend of mine once said, “I’m skeptical of my own skepticism.” So I’d
like to hear from readers out there. What’s your take on this issue?
Should Theology be a subject in a University? Why? Why not?

If
you live in a secular country (e.g. somewhere in Europe), what is the
state of Theology in your country and how is it treated in the academia?

P.S. Speaking of Contemplative Science, here’s B. Alan Wallace’s presentation at Google.

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