Religion Past and Present

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Natural Theology
(2,264 words)

[German Version]

I. Philosophy of Religion

The notion and theme of “natural theology” are of philosophical origin and thus antedate Christian theology. They go back to the Middle Stoa (Stoics, Panaetius), whose division of theology into three genera – mythical, natural, and political or civil – can be traced through Augustine of Hippo and Thomas Aquinas to the dawn of the Enlightenment. Natural theology plays a critical role in this triad: because it claims to represent the divine in accor…

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Link, Christian, “Natural Theology”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 21 November 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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