theology

Theology is the study of religion, plain and simple. Of course, religion isn’t simple, so theology covers a lot of subjects, like rituals, divine beings, the history of religions, and the concept of religious truth.

Theology is taught to priests and ministers so they can better understand their religion, and it’s also taught in non-religious colleges to anyone who is curious about the ideas and effects of religion. The first half of theology is theo-, which means god in Greek. The suffix -logy means “the study of,” so theology literally means “the study of god," but we usually expand it to mean the study of religion more broadly.

Definitions of theology
  1. noun
    the rational and systematic study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truth
    synonyms: divinity
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    angelology
    the branch of theology that is concerned with angels
    apologetics
    the branch of theology that is concerned with the defense of Christian doctrines
    ecclesiology
    the branch of theology concerned with the nature and the constitution and the functions of a church
    eschatology
    the branch of theology that is concerned with such final things as death and Last Judgment; Heaven and Hell; the ultimate destiny of humankind
    hermeneutics
    the branch of theology that deals with principles of exegesis
    homiletics
    the branch of theology that deals with sermons and homilies
    liturgics, liturgiology
    the study of liturgies
    theodicy
    the branch of theology that defends God's goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil
    type of:
    bailiwick, discipline, field, field of study, study, subject, subject area, subject field
    a branch of knowledge
  2. noun
    the learned profession acquired by specialized courses in religion (usually taught at a college or seminary)
    “he studied theology at Oxford”
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    type of:
    learned profession
    one of the three professions traditionally believed to require advanced learning and high principles
  3. noun
    a particular system or school of religious beliefs and teachings
    “Jewish theology
    “Roman Catholic theology
    synonyms: theological system
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    Christian theology
    the teachings of Christian churches
    liberation theology
    a form of Christian theology (developed by South American Roman Catholics) that emphasizes social and political liberation as the anticipation of ultimate salvation
    natural theology
    a theology that holds that knowledge of God can be acquired by human reason without the aid of divine revelation
    Christology
    the branch of theology concerned with the person and attributes and deeds of Christ
    Jesuitism, Jesuitry
    the theology or the practices of the Jesuits (often considered to be casuistic)
    patristics, patrology
    the study of the lives, writings, and doctrines of the Church Fathers
    polemics
    the branch of Christian theology devoted to the refutation of errors
    soteriology
    the branch of Christian theology that deals with salvation as the effect of a divine agency
    type of:
    system, system of rules
    a complex of methods or rules governing behavior
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