Dogmatics is work on and interpretation of Christian faith today. The basis for research within dogmatics is the historical sources: the Bible and the tradition of interpretation right through the history of Theology and the Church.
(Ole Lislerud: God is a Woman. Foto: TF)
At the same time, such an understanding may not take place outside of the interpretive thinker’s own founding in their own body, gender, culture and society. This discipline has long been called a part of Systematic Theology. Since all thought is locally based, we have in recent decades also used words such as Contextual Theology, in order to bring out the fact that the understanding we end up with is marked by our own local and often gendered starting points.
Work on dogmatic questions is both concerned with giving an exposition of the content of Christian faith in the present age, and with critically discussing what can rightly count as Christian faith. The discipline therefore works both on the foundation of thought and on elements of content such as creation, Christology (the doctrine of the significance of Jesus’ life and fate) Pneumatology (the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, i.e. faith as event, on the church, etc.) and a series of other subjects actualized by the tradition and the present, such as hermeneutic Theology (where the focus is on conditions for understanding and proposals for understanding) liberation Theology, gender-analytic Theology, inter-contextual Theology. Such critical and constructive work is both a scholarly task and a critical help for the Church.