What if religions encouraged the conditions of possibility for progress in theology? UNTAMED, an international film company based in Seattle, plans to produce a 6-part short documentary film series that will profile the life and work of Christian theologians who exemplify what Sir John Templeton called “the humble approach”.
According to Sir John, egotism is the enemy of progress, and humility its primary condition of possibility. Through intimate, narrative-driven profiles, these films will feature humilty-in-theology heroes, best practices in person who exemplify one or more of the conditions necessary for progress in theology.
It could be said that above all else Sir John’s aim was, as he put it, “to encourage researches [sic] for vastly more spiritual information to supplement the wonderful ancient scriptures.” (Possibilities, 3) He believed that humility-in-theology would drive this progress, leading ultimately to the rescue of religions of all kinds from obsolescence. More concretely, he wanted to encourage researchers to draw on novel sources of data, and to follow progressive methods of intellectual discovery such as we find in the scientific method.
Some theological methods are more well suited to this approach than others, and the working hypothesis of this project is that in order to attract theologians to science-engaged theology, we must first attend to the conditions of possibility for progress in theology, what Sir John referred to as “a beginning point for continual revision and improvement.” (The Humble Approach, 56)
With this background in mind, UNTAMED has selected six theologians whose approach to theology is – and whose new concepts are – consonant with Sir John’s vision for progress in theology.