Original Research - Special Collection: Johan Buitendag Festschrift

The address of reality as the voice of God in theological interpretation

Rick Benjamins
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 79, No 2 | a8678 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v79i2.8678 | © 2023 Rick Benjamins | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 March 2023 | Published: 14 August 2023

About the author(s)

Rick Benjamins, Protestant Theological University (PThU), Amsterdam and Groningen, Netherlands; and, Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


The relationship between theology and the sciences can be studied from a hermeneutical point of view. Essential to religion are experiences in which reality calls or addresses us. Ingolf Dalferth and John Caputo have reflected on such a call in various ways. This article claims that the call of reality shows the world to be ‘more’ than it is, as has been elaborated in the work of Jörg Lauster and Richard Kearney. In theological interpretation, we can identify the call of reality as the voice of God. With reference to Bruno Latour, both theology’s correspondence and distance to the sciences are explained in the wake of this identification.

Contribution: This article explores the relationship between theology and the sciences and contributes to a hermeneutical understanding of reality’s call as the voice of God. It concludes that theology’s approach to reality is more close, intimate, or resonant than a scientific approach.


theology; science; hermeneutics; Dalferth; Caputo; Lauster; Kearney; Latour; call; voice of God

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