History of theology

medieval theologytheological historyByzantine theologytheologyEastern TheologymedievalMedieval-Patristic theologytheologians
Greek theologia was used with the meaning "discourse on god" around 380 BC by Plato in The Republic, Book ii, Ch.wikipedia
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Theology

theologiantheologicaltheologians
Greek theologia was used with the meaning "discourse on god" around 380 BC by Plato in The Republic, Book ii, Ch.
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, although the English term has now spread beyond Christian contexts.

Plato

Plato's dialoguesDialogues of PlatoPlatonic dialogues
Greek theologia was used with the meaning "discourse on god" around 380 BC by Plato in The Republic, Book ii, Ch.

Republic (Plato)

RepublicThe RepublicPlato's Republic
Greek theologia was used with the meaning "discourse on god" around 380 BC by Plato in The Republic, Book ii, Ch.

Aristotle

AristotelianAristotelesAristote
18. Aristotle divided theoretical philosophy into mathematike, physike and theologike, with the last corresponding roughly to metaphysics, which, for Aristotle, included discourse on the nature of the divine.

Metaphysics

metaphysicalmetaphysicianmetaphysic
18. Aristotle divided theoretical philosophy into mathematike, physike and theologike, with the last corresponding roughly to metaphysics, which, for Aristotle, included discourse on the nature of the divine.

Stoicism

StoicStoicsStoic philosophy
Drawing on Greek Stoic sources, the Latin writer Varro distinguished three forms of such discourse: mythical (concerning the myths of the Greek gods), rational (philosophical analysis of the gods and of cosmology) and civil (concerning the rites and duties of public religious observance).

Latin

Latin languageLat.la
Drawing on Greek Stoic sources, the Latin writer Varro distinguished three forms of such discourse: mythical (concerning the myths of the Greek gods), rational (philosophical analysis of the gods and of cosmology) and civil (concerning the rites and duties of public religious observance).

Marcus Terentius Varro

VarroMarcus VarroVarro Reatinus
Drawing on Greek Stoic sources, the Latin writer Varro distinguished three forms of such discourse: mythical (concerning the myths of the Greek gods), rational (philosophical analysis of the gods and of cosmology) and civil (concerning the rites and duties of public religious observance).

Myth

mythologymythologicalmyths
Drawing on Greek Stoic sources, the Latin writer Varro distinguished three forms of such discourse: mythical (concerning the myths of the Greek gods), rational (philosophical analysis of the gods and of cosmology) and civil (concerning the rites and duties of public religious observance).

Tertullian

Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianusintersection of Athens and JerusalemQ. Septimius Florens Tertullianus
Some Latin Christian authors, such as Tertullian and Augustine, followed Varro's threefold usage, though Augustine also used the term more simply to mean 'reasoning or discussion concerning the deity'

Augustine of Hippo

AugustineSt. AugustineSaint Augustine
Some Latin Christian authors, such as Tertullian and Augustine, followed Varro's threefold usage, though Augustine also used the term more simply to mean 'reasoning or discussion concerning the deity'

Church Fathers

Church FatherFathers of the Churchpatristic
In patristic Greek Christian sources, theologia could refer narrowly to devout and inspired knowledge of, and teaching about, the essential nature of God.

Matter

corporealsubstancematerial
The Latin author Boethius, writing in the early 6th century, used theologia to denote a subdivision of philosophy as a subject of academic study, dealing with the motionless, incorporeal reality (as opposed to physica, which deals with corporeal, moving realities).

Scholasticism

scholasticScholasticsscholastic philosophy
In scholastic Latin sources, the term came to denote the rational study of the doctrines of the Christian religion, or (more precisely) the academic discipline which investigated the coherence and implications of the language and claims of the Bible and of the theological tradition (the latter often as represented in Peter Lombard's Sentences, a book of extracts from the Church Fathers).

Doctrine

doctrinaldoctrinesreligious doctrine
In scholastic Latin sources, the term came to denote the rational study of the doctrines of the Christian religion, or (more precisely) the academic discipline which investigated the coherence and implications of the language and claims of the Bible and of the theological tradition (the latter often as represented in Peter Lombard's Sentences, a book of extracts from the Church Fathers).

Christianity

ChristianChristiansChristian faith
In scholastic Latin sources, the term came to denote the rational study of the doctrines of the Christian religion, or (more precisely) the academic discipline which investigated the coherence and implications of the language and claims of the Bible and of the theological tradition (the latter often as represented in Peter Lombard's Sentences, a book of extracts from the Church Fathers).

Discipline

self-disciplinedisciplinariandisciplinary
In scholastic Latin sources, the term came to denote the rational study of the doctrines of the Christian religion, or (more precisely) the academic discipline which investigated the coherence and implications of the language and claims of the Bible and of the theological tradition (the latter often as represented in Peter Lombard's Sentences, a book of extracts from the Church Fathers).

Peter Lombard

Peter the LombardPetrus LombardusLombard
In scholastic Latin sources, the term came to denote the rational study of the doctrines of the Christian religion, or (more precisely) the academic discipline which investigated the coherence and implications of the language and claims of the Bible and of the theological tradition (the latter often as represented in Peter Lombard's Sentences, a book of extracts from the Church Fathers).

Sentences

Four Books of SentencesBook of SentencesSentences of Peter Lombard
In scholastic Latin sources, the term came to denote the rational study of the doctrines of the Christian religion, or (more precisely) the academic discipline which investigated the coherence and implications of the language and claims of the Bible and of the theological tradition (the latter often as represented in Peter Lombard's Sentences, a book of extracts from the Church Fathers).

Renaissance

the RenaissanceEarly RenaissanceEuropean Renaissance
In the Renaissance, especially with Florentine Platonist apologists of Dante's poetics, the distinction between "poetic theology" (theologia poetica) and "revealed" or Biblical theology serves as steppingstone for a revival of philosophy as independent of theological authority.

Dante Alighieri

DanteDante’sDantean
In the Renaissance, especially with Florentine Platonist apologists of Dante's poetics, the distinction between "poetic theology" (theologia poetica) and "revealed" or Biblical theology serves as steppingstone for a revival of philosophy as independent of theological authority.

Theologia Poetica

In the Renaissance, especially with Florentine Platonist apologists of Dante's poetics, the distinction between "poetic theology" (theologia poetica) and "revealed" or Biblical theology serves as steppingstone for a revival of philosophy as independent of theological authority.

Theology proper

It is in this last sense, theology as an academic discipline involving rational study of Christian teaching, that the term passed into English in the fourteenth century, although it could also be used in the narrower sense found in Boethius and the Greek patristic authors, to mean rational study of the essential nature of God – a discourse now sometimes called theology proper.

Natural theology

Bridgewater TreatisesBridgewater Treatisenatural religion
From the 17th century onwards, it also became possible to use the term theology to refer to study of religious ideas and teachings that are not specifically Christian (e.g., in the term natural theology which denoted theology based on reasoning from natural facts independent of specifically Christian revelation, ) or that are specific to another religion (see below).

Ancient Greek religion

Greek PolytheismGreek religionGreek
Various forms of systematic and philosophical reflection on Ancient Greek religion and Greek mythology arose in the classical period—from Hesiod's attempts to organize the diverse materials of mythology into a unified Theogony to the more properly philosophical analysis reportedly carried out by Socrates.