Original essays demonstrate that sociology, history, anthropology, and psychology all leave their mark on theology and open new paths to understanding, and that theology in turn provides significant questions and perspectives for the social sciences.
By providing archeological data, sociological theory, demographics and economic data, psychological insights, and new methods of historical interpretation, the social sciences can open the way for a more sophisticated understanding of the social nature of human existence. Theology challenges the social sciences through moral and transcendental questions as well as informs the social sciences through its larger and deeper perspectives.
The symbiotic nature of this relationship is described in the lead-off essays by John Coleman and Gregory Baum. The rich conversation between theologians and sociologists that follows moves from Von Balthasar's use of the social sciences and Rahner's approach to ecumenism to the roles of psychology and neuropsychology in understanding religious events.