Theology is an attempt to see past the ‘brain scan’ and infer how it ‘feels to feel’ love in a direct way; it is an attempt to see past the footprints and understand where the hiker wants to go, as well as why he wants to go there. In this sense, theology and the natural sciences are entirely complimentary.
Both nature itself and religious texts are expressions of a mysterious divine perspective and, as such, valid sources of concrete data for theological study. Theology has a clear, concrete subject, as well as a clear and concrete challenge: to decode the divine mystery behind the images — both ‘unconscious’ and empirical — that we experience during life.
While the natural sciences attempt to model and predict patterns and regularities of nature, theology attempts to interpret those patterns and regularities so to make some sense of their first-person perspective; that is, God’s perspective. Theology also attempts to interpret the symbols and allegories in religious literature so to reveal the ‘unconscious’ psychic processes behind them, which betray something about the inner-workings of God’s mind. In both cases, theology represents an attempt to provide a hermeneutics of texts and nature. This is essential, because a life worth living isn’t only about practical applications; it is about meaning and purpose.
Background on Bernardo Kastrup