On conditional theology: John Webster and theological reason

Rolfe King* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


I illustrate the subject of conditional theology through discussing John Webster’s theology. This is a form of philosophical theology, with interesting links to natural theology, but not subject to Barthian strictures about natural theology. Webster started out with a Barthian emphasis, but later increasingly drew on Aquinas, emphasising God’s aseity. Webster, though, continued to emphasise the priority of the revelation of God as triune, and to resist what he saw as abstract notions of God deriving from natural theology and philosophy of religion. I argue, however, that his work illustrates an underlying reliance on philosophical theology, related to conditional theology, and that dogmatic theology cannot be formed without such reliance. I comment on divine self-naming and conclude my reflections on Webster by discussing dogmatic science and grace, drawing links between conditional theology, special revelation and natural theology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-503
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Philosophy and Theology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2020


  • natural theology
  • John Webster
  • special revelation
  • dogmatic theology
  • conditional theology


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