Talk:Theology

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 Definition Discipline that engages in dialogue and reflection about God and religion. [d] [e]

Theology is a vast subject. Good to see it started. I would like to contribute as well. My area of interest is systematic theology in particular, less in confessional dogmatics; the difference for me will be clearer below. Generally on the topic of theology, some thoughts came to mind, that could be considered. It is true that the etymology of the word “Theo-“ is God, god, deity or divine. As is said, it is not limited to one particular perception of God, or a god. "-ology" is a Greek suffix used by any branch of knowledge; any science or academic field of study that is a variant of “-logy”; “one who speaks” in a certain manner or “one who deals with”, “talks” or “speaks” about a certain topic. The historical usage of the word is also relevant. There are uses by Plato, Aristotle (calls Hesiod & Homer theologians), other Greek philosophers, the Christian church fathers, Christian and other communities of faith that have effects on the meaning of the word. The connotations differs, depending on various Religions’ practices that can be described as “a theology” and different types of theologies in different cultures. There are different understandings of the word by some seminaries and academic institutions in Christian circles. The fields addressed in theology like the writings, traditions, history, faith, creeds and dogmas, enquiry, ethical praxis and relationship with other disciplines need to be covered. Methods used in theology from philosophical presuppositions, mythological constellations used, scientific methods (like the deductive, inductive, analytical and synthetic) are important elements that also need description in terms of theology. As mentioned about ‘who does theology’, it is true that all are engaged in theology in some way. It is a human endeavour to understand. It need not be the prerogative of academics, using ivory tower dialects to impress outsiders. Our aim should be to describe and explain theology in such a manner, that anyone with a fair amount of interest could follow. It is perhaps the main challenge in an encyclopaedic project; professionally and academically correct, but clear to all. It could be helpful perhaps to build an outline for theology, and then populate it. Different authors could contribute to the outline and content. I would welcome contributions by all major religions to their way of working and understanding their faith. I have had very limited contact to other faiths’ theological dimension and the theologians. Hopefully we will meet in this project. The Christian practice is largely two fold, a dogmatic study done in confessional boundaries in seminaries and confessional institutions of higher education on the one hand and a scientific academic approach as done in other disciplines in non-confessional universities. Both need space here I believe. Another point to consider is the relationship between the disciplines of theology and that of science of religion. --Lando Leonhardt Lehmann 19:15, 12 April 2008 (CDT)