Dave’s post over at DMI reminded me of first time I heard that Mormonism didn’t have “theology”. Back then I thought, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” As I listened, though, I slowly understood. I also agreed. However, the more I’ve listened to discussions on the topic, the more I’ve found the claim problematic.
The problem with this, as I see it is (at least) two-fold:
First of all, “theology” is removed from it’s broader sense of “faith seeking understanding” to a more specialized/technical sense that disqualifies not only Mormonism from having theology, but just about every religion besides Christianity (and only certain kinds of Christianity there in). Etymological concerns aside, I’m not persuaded that this amounts to much more than saying Mormons have not engaged in activities such as those done by Schleiermacher or convened councils to enact creeds. Many, if not all of these conclusions are already known, and could be arrived at without invoking the term ‘theology’. I am also not persuaded that much is gained by using so narrow a definition.