James Michael Lee's Crusade for Empiricism

From: Volume 3, Issue 1: Spring 2006 Pages 6-26


James Michael Lee advocated a social scientific "macrotheory" for religious and Christian education from the late 1960s until his death in 2004. Lee said that theology should no longer direct methods of education. Social scientific empirical results would provide firm ground for the teaching of faith and make a way past confessional educational expressions. However, empirical data are now recognized to arise from philosophical pre-commitments, especially since Thomas Kuhn. Lee's socieal scientific macrotheory is not neutral but comes from his understanding of "fact," based in turn on a commitment to immanentism and a theology of faith. The article traces stated and unstated philosophical and theological commitments that give rise to Lee's macrotheory.



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