Empirical research in theology can assist to develop several issues and to provide new ground and motives to update and offer endow with more evidence in fields that were just subject to speculative analysis and textual interpretation. The themes that could be better addressed or even enlightened by empirical approaches are:

  • Assessment of theological claims, which could find in some cases greater support, or contrary evidence, in fields where data become more available, like anthropological issues. A similar point is made when trying to assess the impact of theological proposals, as Lindbeck suggested.
  • Discernment about the ‘signs of time’ or the necessary analysis and judgment of trends in society, culture and the churches to better understand them.
  • An empirical ecclesiology, or a better approach to church and Christian community based in the observation of real processes.
  • An empirical moral, again able to collect and contrast data and to compare effective proposals.
  • A more effective apologetic approach, in dialogue with concrete experience and observing the benefits of religious faith.