Plato (left) and Aristotle in Raphael's 1509 fresco The School of Athens
Thomas Aquinas, an influential Roman Catholic theologian
Sculpture of the Jewish theologian Maimonides
Baron d’Holbach

Systematic study of the nature of the divine and, more broadly, of religious belief.

- Theology

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Academic discipline

Subdivision of knowledge that is taught and researched at the college or university level.

Los portadores de la antorcha (The Torch-Bearers) – Sculpture by Anna Hyatt Huntington symbolizing the transmission of knowledge from one generation to the next (Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid, Spain)

The University of Paris in 1231 consisted of four faculties: Theology, Medicine, Canon Law and Arts.


Religious discipline of defending religious doctrines through systematic argumentation and discourse.

The Shield of the Trinity, a diagram frequently used by Christian apologists to explain the Trinity

In 21st-century usage, apologetics is often identified with debates over religion and theology.


Fuller Theological Seminary, in Pasadena, California, United States.

A seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, or divinity school is an educational institution for educating students (sometimes called seminarians) in scripture, theology, generally to prepare them for ordination to serve as clergy, in academics, or mostly in Christian ministry.


Absence or rejection of religion, or indifference to it.

Nonreligious population by country, 2010.

Deism is the philosophical position and rationalistic theology that rejects revelation as a source of divine knowledge, and asserts that empirical reason and observation of the natural world are exclusively logical, reliable, and sufficient to determine the existence of a Supreme Being as the creator of the universe.

Natural theology

William Paley, publisher of Natural Theology
Title page of Natural Theology by William Paley

Natural theology, once also termed physico-theology, is a type of theology that seeks to provide arguments for the existence of a deity based on reason and ordinary experience of nature.


Illumination from Liber Scivias, showing Hildegard of Bingen receiving a vision, dictating to her scribe and sketching on a wax tablet.
The mass-revelation at the Mount Horeb in an illustration from a Christian Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company, 1907
'Revelation writing': The first draft of a tablet of Bahá'u'lláh, recorded in shorthand script by an amanuensis
An 1893 engraving of Joseph Smith receiving the golden plates and other artifacts from the angel Moroni.
Muhammad's Call to Prophecy and the First Revelation; leaf from a copy of the Majmac al-tawarikh (Compendium of Histories), ca. 1425; Timurid. From Herat, Afghanistan.
Crowd looking at the Sun during the "Miracle of the Sun", Fatima, Portugal, 1917.

In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing of some form of truth or knowledge through communication with a deity or other supernatural entity or entities.


Usually defined as a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that generally relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, and spiritual elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion.

The Buddha, Laozi, and Confucius in a Ming dynasty painting
"Three laughs at Tiger Brook", a Song dynasty (12th century) painting portraying three men representing Confucianism, Taoism (Daoism), and Buddhism laughing together.
Religious symbols from left to right, top to bottom: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, the Baháʼí Faith, Eckankar, Sikhism, Jainism, Wicca, Unitarian Universalism, Shinto, Taoism, Thelema, Tenrikyo, and Zoroastrianism
Budazhap Shiretorov (Будажап Цыреторов), the head shaman of the religious community Altan Serge (Алтан Сэргэ) in Buryatia.
The Yazılıkaya sanctuary in Turkey, with the twelve gods of the underworld
A map of major denominations and religions of the world
The patriarch Abraham (by József Molnár)
The Torah is the primary sacred text of Judaism.
Jesus is the central figure of Christianity.
Muslims circumambulating the Kaaba, the most sacred site in Islam
The Baháʼí Lotus Temple in Delhi
The Temple of Heaven, a Taoist temple complex in Beijing
Folk depiction of Ganesha in Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal, Udaipur, India
Depiction of Lord Vishnu
The Padmanabhaswamy Temple houses the Padmanabhaswamy Temple treasure.
The 10th century Gommateshwara statue in Karnataka
Wat Mixay Buddhist shrine in Vientiane, Laos
An 1840 miniature of Guru Nanak
Chickasaw Native cultural/religious dancing
Peyotists with their ceremonial tools
Altay shaman in Siberia
Temple to the city god of Wenao in Magong, Taiwan
Shango, the Orisha of fire, lightning, and thunder, in the Yoruba religion, depicted on horseback
Sacred flame at the Ateshgah of Baku
Ranjit Singh established secular rule over Punjab in the early 19th century.
Average income correlates negatively with (self-defined) religiosity.

The study of religion comprises a wide variety of academic disciplines, including theology, philosophy of religion, comparative religion, and social scientific studies.


The opening of the Book of Sentences in a 14th-century manuscript (Free Library of Philadelphia, Lewis E 170, fol. 1r)
An 1841 Latin edition of the Sentences bound together with Aquinas' Summa Theologica.

The Four Books of Sentences (Libri Quattuor Sententiarum) is a book of theology written by Peter Lombard in the 12th century.

Thomas Aquinas

Italian Dominican friar and priest, who was an immensely influential philosopher, theologian, and jurist in the tradition of scholasticism; he is also known within the latter as the Doctor Angelicus, the Doctor Communis, and the Doctor Universalis.

An altarpiece in Ascoli Piceno, Italy,
by Carlo Crivelli (15th century)
The Castle of Monte San Giovanni Campano
Thomas is girded by angels with a mystical belt of purity after his proof of chastity. Painting by Diego Velázquez.
Triumph of St Thomas Aquinas, "Doctor Communis", between Plato and Aristotle, Benozzo Gozzoli, 1471. Louvre, Paris.
Icon of the crucifixion speaking to Thomas Aquinas is depicted on this stained glass window in Saint Patrick Church (Columbus, Ohio).
Triumph of St. Thomas Aquinas, "Doctor Angelicus", with saints and angels, Andrea di Bonaiuto, 1366. Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, fresco.
The remains of Thomas Aquinas are buried in the Church of the Jacobins in Toulouse.
St. Thomas Aquinas and the Pope
Detail of The Apotheosis of Saint Thomas Aquinas by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1631
Saint Thomas Aquinas by Luis Muñoz Lafuente
Super libros de generatione et corruptione
Super Physicam Aristotelis, 1595
Thomas Aquinas by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, 1650
17th-century sculpture of Thomas Aquinas
Portrait of St. Thomas by Antonio del Castillo y Saavedra, c. 1649
A stained glass window of Thomas Aquinas in St. Joseph's Catholic Church (Central City, Kentucky)

The Catholic Church honors Thomas Aquinas as a saint and regards him as the model teacher for those studying for the priesthood, and indeed the highest expression of both natural reason and speculative theology.


Classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages.

Latin is classified as extinct according to the criteria of the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger. There are no living native speakers of this language.
The linguistic landscape of Central Italy at the beginning of Roman expansion
The Lapis Niger, probably the oldest extant Latin inscription, from Rome, c. 600 BC during the semi-legendary Roman Kingdom
The Latin Malmesbury Bible from 1407
Most 15th-century printed books (incunabula) were in Latin, with the vernacular languages playing only a secondary role.
The signs at Wallsend Metro station are in English and Latin, as a tribute to Wallsend's role as one of the outposts of the Roman Empire, as the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall (hence the name) at Segedunum.
The polyglot European Union has adopted Latin names in the logos of some of its institutions for the sake of linguistic compromise, an "ecumenical nationalism" common to most of the continent and as a sign of the continent's heritage (such as the EU Council: Consilium).
Julius Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico is one of the most famous classical Latin texts of the Golden Age of Latin. The unvarnished, journalistic style of this patrician general has long been taught as a model of the urbane Latin officially spoken and written in the floruit of the Roman Republic.
A multivolume Latin dictionary in the University of Graz Library in Austria.
Latin and Ancient Greek at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, 2014.
The Duenos Inscription, from the 6th century BC, is one of the earliest known Old Latin texts. It was found on the Quirinal Hill in Rome.
A modern Latin text written in the Old Roman Cursive inspired by the Vindolanda tablets, the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain. The word Romani ('Romans') is at bottom left.

In particular, Latin (and Ancient Greek) roots are still used in English descriptions of theology, science disciplines (especially anatomy and taxonomy), medicine and law.