This article explores the sense in which Christian theology should speak in a manner befitting its nature and content: namely, with humility and boldness in equipoise. The article uses the term vox theologiae (the voice of theology) to do so. The article builds on the works of Herman Bavinck and Karl Barth and various earlier theological approaches to virtue and aesthetics, in order to understand the particulars of theology’s voice. As such, the article attempts to explain why theology gears its practitioner towards a form of public speech rooted in simultaneous daringness and modesty; in so doing, it enters public theology with a particular focus on the place of dogmatics (as a distinct theological discipline) in the public realm.
Rowan WilliamsFaith in the Public Square (London: Bloomsbury Continuum2012); Roger Trigg Religion in Public Life: Must Faith Be Privatized? (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2007) and Jonathan Chaplin Talking God: The Legitimacy of Religious Public Reasoning (London: Theos 2008).
Herman Bavinck‘Schoonheid en Schoonheidsleer’ in Verzamelde Opstellen op het gebied van Godsdienst en Wetenschap(Kampen: J.H. Kok 1921) pp. 262–80. English version: Herman Bavinck ‘Of Beauty and Aesthetics’ in Herman Bavinck Essays on Religion Science and Society ed. John Bolt trans. Harry Boonstra and Gerrit Sheeres (Grand Rapids: Baker 2008) pp. 245–60.
Welker‘Is Theology in Public Discourse Possible outside Communities of Faith?’ p. 120. For multiple publics see David Tracy The Analogical Imagination: Christian Theology and the Culture of Pluralism (New York: Crossroad 1981) p. 3. Tracy writes of three publics: society the academy and the church.