1.) Pragmatic belief: We don’t act from certainty, but from the best information we have on hand.
2.) Religious Experience: We only get “hints” and “guesses” about God’s activity and will in the world. Thus, we act humbly.
3.) Discernment: We cannot interpret our own religious experience. To do so would lead to deviance. We must intermingle our story with both Scripture and the larger community.
4.) Agreement: We seek to find expanding circles of agreement, thus reducing ingroup/outgroup tensions.
The first is that Quest and Castle necessarily influence belief content to some extent, at least if that belief system is coherent. For Castle theology, one must somehow account for one’s certainty; what is important with regard to religious knowledge is correctness, that one’s beliefs align with orthodoxy (defined by some standard). In Protestantism, this tends to lead to particular ideas about the Bible and the hermeneutics of reading; in Catholicism, this tends to lead to particular kinds of ecclesiology. I think this is the conventional picture many people have of religion, that it has an authority-based epistemology. For Quest theology, however, one must instead account for the possibility of knowledge that isn’t certain. To a lot of people, I think, knowledge that isn’t certain is hard to imagine—knowledge just isn’t knowledge if it isn’t certain. But that’s a poor (or immature) epistemology. Knowledge is always pieced together pragmatically. The question is how a mature epistemology works in relation to religious knowledge.
*Speaking of knights like this, I remember I must get around to another taxonomy sometime: Kierkegaard’s knight of faith and knight of resignation.
**I cannot recall for sure if Dawkins uses the moderate/extremist distinction. I think he does, but I might be misremembering. It’s worth noting that this language is a problem; “moderate” and “extremist” imply that the primary difference is degree of religiosity, when the difference is something more like socialization or propensity for violence. Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig has recently written about this.