Liberal theology, in its typical form, represents the attempt to approach religion from a rational perspective without denying or belittling the importance of religious experience and religious commitment.
Versions of liberal theology can be found in all the great religions. This book is primarily concerned with a Christian tradition that goes back to the second century and reached a high point in the seventeenth.
This tradition includes a method of inquiry which, when re-evaluated in the light of recent discussions on the nature of rationality and applied to contemporary issues, reveals that there are versions of materialism, monism and theism that can accord with rationality.
While liberal theology cannot demonstrate the truth of theism, it can present it not only as one of the rational options, but as an option that has uniquely attractive characteristics, and when the liberal tradition is taken at its best, it can support a version of Christianity which continues to refer to God as a transcendent 'reality', and which can continue to support recognizable doctrines of incarnation, redemption and Trinity. The liberal theology introduced and advanced in this book can be contrasted with many recent 'radical theologies', and could be called 'liberal orthodoxy'. Students of philosophy, theology and religious studies, as well as clergy and interested lay readers, will find this an accessible insight into liberal theology and to current debates on materialism, atheism and inter-faith dialogue.