Northern Illinois University Press

The Science and Theology of Godly Love

Matthew T.  Lee Amos Yong

Arguing that there are ways to move beyond the limitations of methodological atheism without compromising scientific objectivity, the essays gathered in The Science and Theology of Godly Love explore the potential for collaboration between social science and theology. They do so within the context of the interdisciplinary study of Godly Love, which examines the perceived experience of loving God, being loved by God, and thereby being motivated to engage in benevolent service to others. This volume serves as an introduction to and a call for further research in this new field of study, offering ten methodological perspectives on the study of Godly Love written by leading social scientists and theologians.

Drawing on the work of Douglas Porpora and others, the chapters raise the question of whether agnosticism is the appropriate methodological stance when religious experience is under the microscope. Godly Love does not force a theistic explanation on data, instead these essays show that it sensitizes researchers so that they can take seriously the faith and beliefs of those they study without the assumption that these theologies represent an incontestable truth. The volume will be of interest to scholars concerned with the interface of social science and theology, as well as students of topics such as altruism, religious experience, and the Christian Great Commandment.

Matthew T. Lee is Associate Professor and Interim Chair of Sociology at the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio. He has published widely in sociology/criminology and authored or edited four books, including A Sociological Study of the Great Commandment in Pentecostalism: The Practice of Godly Love as Benevolent Service. Amos Yong is J. Rodman Williams Professor of Theology at Regent University School of Divinity in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He has authored or edited eighteen books, including Godly Love: Impediments and Possibilities.

ISBN: 978-0-87580-499-1
$35.00, Cloth
6x9, 268 pages

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-499-1
Cloth $35.00