Theology (from Ancient Greek Θεός meaning "God" and λόγος, -logy, meaning "study of") is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary
Augustine of Hippo defined the Latin equivalent, theologia, as "reasoning or discussion concerning the Deity"; Richard Hooker defined "theology" in English as "the science of things divine".
The term can, however, be used for a variety of different disciplines or forms of discourse.
Theologians use various forms of analysis and argument (philosophical, ethnographic, historical, spiritual and others) to help understand, explain, test, critique, defend or promote any of myriad religious topics. Theology might be undertaken to help the theologian:
Theology translates into English from the Greek theologia (θεολογία) which derived from theos (θεός), meaning God, and logia (λόγια meaning utterances, sayings, or oracles (a word related to logos [λόγος], meaning word, discourse, account, or reasoning) which had passed into Latin as theologia and into French as théologie. The English equivalent "theology" (Theologie, Teologye) had evolved by 1362.
The sense the word has in English depends in large part on the sense the Latin and Greek equivalents had acquired in Patristic and medieval Christian usage, though the English term has now spread beyond Christian contexts.
In academic theological circles there is some debate as to whether theology is an activity peculiar to the Christian religion, such that the word "theology" should be reserved for Christian theology, and other words used to name analogous discourses within other religious traditions.
It is seen by some to be a term only appropriate to the study of religions that worship a deity (a theos), and to presuppose belief in the ability to speak and reason about this deity (in logia)—and so to be less appropriate in religious contexts that are organized differently (religions without a deity, or that deny that such subjects can be studied logically). ("Hierology" has been proposed as an alternative, more generic term.)
Some academic inquiries within Buddhism, dedicated to the rational investigation of a Buddhist understanding of the world, prefer the designation Buddhist philosophy to the term Buddhist theology, since Buddhism lacks the same conception of a theos. Jose Ignacio Cabezon, who argues that the use of "theology" is appropriate, can only do so, he says, because "I take theology not to be restricted to discourse on God ... I take 'theology' not to be restricted to its etymological meaning. In that latter sense, Buddhism is of course atheological, rejecting as it does the notion of God."
Within Hindu philosophy, there is a solid and ancient tradition of philosophical speculation on the nature of the universe, of God (termed "Brahman" in some schools of Hindu thought) and of the Atman (soul). The Sanskrit word for the various schools of Hindu philosophy is Darshana (meaning "view" or "viewpoint"). Vaishnava theology has been a subject of study for many devotees, philosophers and scholars in India for centuries, and in recent decades also has been taken on by a number of academic institutions in Europe, such as the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and Bhaktivedanta College.
Islamic theological discussion that parallels Christian theological discussion is named "Kalam"; the Islamic analogue of Christian theological discussion would more properly be the investigation and elaboration of Islamic law, or "Fiqh". "Kalam ... does not hold the leading place in Muslim thought that theology does in Christianity. To find an equivalent for 'theology' in the Christian sense it is necessary to have recourse to several disciplines, and to the usul al-fiqh as much as to kalam." (L. Gardet)
In Judaism, the historical absence of political authority has meant that most theological reflection has happened within the context of the Jewish community and synagogue, rather than within specialized academic institutions. Nevertheless, Jewish theology historically has been very active and highly significant for Christian and Islamic theology. It is sometimes claimed, however, that the Jewish analogue of Christian theological discussion would more properly be Rabbinical discussion of Jewish law and Jewish Biblical commentaries.
The history of the study of theology in institutions of higher education is as old as the history of such institutions themselves. For example, Taxila was an early centre of Vedic learning, possible from the 6th century BC or earlier; the Platonic Academy founded in Athens in the 4th century BC seems to have included theological themes in its subject matter; the Chinese Taixue delivered Confucian teaching from the 2nd century BC; the School of Nisibis was a centre of Christian learning from the 4th century AD; Nalanda in India was a site of Buddhist higher learning from at least the 5th or 6th century AD; and the Moroccan University of Al-Karaouine was a centre of Islamic learning from the 10th century, as was Al-Azhar University in Cairo.
Modern Western universities evolved from the monastic institutions and (especially) cathedral schools of Western Europe during the High Middle Ages (see, for instance, the University of Bologna, Paris University and Oxford University). From the beginning, Christian theological learning was therefore a central component in these institutions, as was the study of Church or Canon law): universities played an important role in training people for ecclesiastical offices, in helping the church pursue the clarification and defence of its teaching, and in supporting the legal rights of the church over against secular rulers. At such universities, theological study was initially closely tied to the life of faith and of the church: it fed, and was fed by, practices of preaching, prayer and celebration of the Mass.
During the High Middle Ages, theology was therefore the ultimate subject at universities, being named "The Queen of the Sciences" and serving as the capstone to the Trivium and Quadrivium that young men were expected to study. This meant that the other subjects (including Philosophy) existed primarily to help with theological thought.
Christian theology’s preeminent place in the university began to be challenged during the European Enlightenment, especially in Germany. Other subjects gained in independence and prestige, and questions were raised about the place in institutions that were increasingly understood to be devoted to independent reason of a discipline that seemed to involve commitment to the authority of particular religious traditions.
Since the early nineteenth century, various different approaches have emerged in the West to theology as an academic discipline. Much of the debate concerning theology's place in the university or within a general higher education curriculum centres on whether theology's methods are appropriately theoretical and (broadly speaking) scientific or, on the other hand, whether theology requires a pre-commitment of faith by its practitioners, and whether such a commitment conflicts with academic freedom.
In some contexts, theology has been held to belong in institutions of higher education primarily as a form of professional training for Christian ministry. This was the basis on which Friedrich Schleiermacher, a liberal theologian, argued for the inclusion of theology in the new University of Berlin in 1810.
For instance, in Germany, theological faculties at state universities are typically tied to particular denominations, Protestant or Roman Catholic, and those faculties will offer denominationally bound (konfessionsgebunden) degrees, and have denominationally bound public posts amongst their faculty; as well as contributing ‘to the development and growth of Christian knowledge’ they ‘provide the academic training for the future clergy and teachers of religious instruction at German schools.’
In the United States, several prominent colleges and universities were started in order to train Christian ministers. Harvard, Georgetown University, Boston University,Yale, and Princeton all had the theological training of clergy as a primary purpose at their foundation.
Seminaries and bible colleges have continued this alliance between the academic study of theology and training for Christian ministry. There are, for instance, numerous prominent US examples, including The Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Criswell College in Dallas, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and Dallas Theological Seminary. Assemblies of God Theological Seminary in Springfield, Missouri.
In some contexts, theology is pursued as an academic discipline without formal affiliation to any particular church (though individual members of staff may well have affiliations to different churches), and without ministerial training being a central part of their purpose. This is true, for instance, of many departments in the United Kingdom, including the Department of Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter, and the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Leeds.
Traditional academic prizes, such as the University of Aberdeen's Lumsden and Sachs Fellowship, tend to be awarded for performance in theology (or divinity as it is known at Aberdeen) and religious studies.
In some contemporary contexts, a distinction is made between theology, which is seen as involving some level of commitment to the claims of the religious tradition being studied, and religious studies, which is not. If contrasted with theology in this way, religious studies is normally seen as requiring the bracketing of the question of the truth of the religious traditions studied, and as involving the study of the historical or contemporary practices or ideas those traditions using intellectual tools and frameworks that are not themselves specifically tied to any religious tradition, and that are normally understood to be neutral or secular.
In contexts where 'religious studies' in this sense is the focus, the primary forms of study are likely to include:
What is a Soul Reading?
We all have a Soul level purpose in life and want, deep in our hearts, to express it. We each have guides, masters and angels who surround and protect us and who can help us to access what our Soul's purpose is
Palmistry invokes a sense of curiosity, mystic, fear, and thrill within all. Highly prevalent and in vogue throughout the world, Palmistry has roots that can be traced to the ancient country, India. True, ancient in nature and origin, Palmistry is of different types. And among them, Indian Palmistry is held to be the oldest with a history spanning nearly 3000 years.
Spiritualism is based upon three main tenets or basic beliefs: 1. the inner spirit is the only reality, 2. the inner self which we call also as the higher self is distinct and different from the outer self or the lower self , also known as the physical self and 3.through a process of detachment and spiritual discipline, it is possible for us to detach ourselves from the outer self and discover the inner self that is hidden in all of us. Spiritualism is religion plus. It is above religion and can be a good cure for the petty and narrow minded thinking that often people cultivate because of their excessive attachment to religion. Religion separates man from man and divides people into groups, where as spiritualism helps us see the whole. Spiritualism is way beyond dogmatism, fundamentalism and obscurantism which are responsible for many problems among nations and peoples. The need of the hour is spiritualism, and this section will help you know more about this subject.
Information comes to us in so many ways, some very subtle, as in symbols. Psychics are especially skilled at noticing and interpreting these gentle signals that appear in our lives. To be efficient and proficient in our work, we must also develop a broad understanding of the meaning of a great many signs, symbols and archetypes. Here we share some of what we have learned.
THE MOON, HER PROPERTIES AND SIGNIFICATIONS.
The Moon we find called by the ancients Lucina, Cynthia, Diana, Phœbe, Latona, Noctiluca, Proserpina; 1 she is nearest to the earth of all the planets.
Motion.--She terminates her course through the whole twelve signs in 27 days, 7 hours, 43 minutes, 5 seconds; her mean motion is 13 degrees, 10 minutes, and 36 seconds; but she moves sometimes less and sometimes more, never exceeding 15 degrees and 12 minutes in 24 hours' time.
Latitude.--Her greatest north latitude is 5 degrees and 17 minutes. Her greatest south latitude 5 degrees and 12 minutes. She is never retrograde; but when she is slow in motion, and goes less in 24 hours than 13 degrees and 11 minutes; she is then equivalent to a retrograde planet.
Nature.--She is a feminine, nocturnal planet; cold, moist, and phlegmatic.
Manners when well placed or dignified.--She signifies one of composed manners, a soft tender creature, a lover of all honest and ingenious sciences, a searcher of and delighter in novelties, naturally inclined to flit and shift his habitation; unsteadfast, wholly caring for the present times; timorous prodigal, and easily frightened; loving peace, however, and to live free from the cares of this life. If a mechanic, the man learns many occupations, and frequently will be tampering with many ways to trade in.
When ill.--A mere vagabond, idle person, hating labour; a drunkard, a sot, one of no spirit or forecast, delighting to live beggarly and carelessly; one content in no condition of life, either good or ill.
Corporature.--She generally presents a man of fair stature, whitely coloured; the face round, grey eyes, and a little lowering; much hair both on the head, face, and other parts; usually one eye a little larger than the other; short hands and fleshy; the whole body inclining to be fleshy, plump, corpulent, and phlegmatic. If she be impedited of the ☉ in a nativity or question, she usually signifies some blemish in or near the eye; a blemish near the eye, if she be impedited in succeedent houses; in the sight, if she be unfortunate in angles, and with fixed stars called nebulae.
Qualities of Men and Women.--She signifies queens, countesses, ladies, all manner of women, as also the common people, travellers, pilgrims, sailors, fishermen, fishmongers, brewers, tapsters, publicans, letter carriers, coachmen, huntsmen, messengers, mariners, millers, maltsters, drunkards, oysterwives, fishwomen,
also midwives, nurses, &c.; hackneymen, watermen, water-bearers. 1
Sickness.--Apoplexies, palsy, the cholic, the stomach-ache, diseases in the left side, the bladder and members of generation; the menstrues and liver in women, dropsies, fluxes of the belly, all cold rheumatic diseases, cold stomach, the gout in the wrists and feet; sciatica, worms, hurts in the eyes, surfeits, rotten coughs, convulsive fits, the falling sickness, king's evil, abscess, smallpox, and measles.
Orb.--Is 12 degrees.