The view that theology represents the highest level of academic learning and the summit of human knowledge has a long history. In this article, starting from Aristotle, the genealogy of this view is excavated. Second, it is examined how and why theology lost this special status in modernity, as this appears in Immanuel Kant’s The Conflict of the Faculties (1798). Third, it is shown in which way and for what reasons theology continued to have a place of its own in the modern university since the founding of the University of Berlin (1810). In particular, the crucial role of Friedrich Schleiermacher’s proposal is highlighted. Fourth, it is suggested that, under certain conditions, theology can still be conceived as a proper university discipline in contemporary pluralistic societies.
- practical sciences
- queen of the sciences