What is Theology? 101

The most simple answer to the question ‘what is theology’ is that it is ‘the study of God’. The term itself comes from a combination of two greek words: theos and logia. The first of these is the word for ‘god’; the second can be translated as ‘sayings’ or ‘utterances’.

Theology is often conceived of as ‘any idea or knowledge about God’. This is to use the word broadly – and indeed correctly. But it also has a more narrow definition: the critical study of God undertaken in the context of a university or seminary.

As an academic discipline, how does theology relate to other academic disciplines? Theology is often thought of as a cross between philosophy, history, sociology, psychology and poetry, and in order to comfortably learn about it it takes at least a working knowledge in each of these fields listed.

At one point theology was know as ‘the queen of the sciences’. This was in reference to its place as the unifying discipline that crowned and undergirded all other sciences. In this day and age theology has a much more modest place in most universities (if it exists there at all).