- Theology is defined as a collection of assembled religious beliefs, or is the study of God and religion.
An example of theology is the study of God.
- the study of religious doctrines and matters of divinity; specif., the study of God and the relations between God, humankind, and the universe
- a specific formulation or systemization of religious doctrine or belief as set forth by a given religion or denomination or by one or more individuals
Origin of theologyMiddle English theologie ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin theologia ; from Gr: see theo- and amp; -logy
- The study of the nature of God and religious truth; rational inquiry into religious questions.
- A system or school of opinions concerning God and religious questions: Protestant theology; Jewish theology.
- A course of specialized religious study usually at a college or seminary.
Origin of theologyMiddle English theologie, from Old French, from Latin theologia, from Greek theologiā : theo-, theo- + -logiā, -logy.
Albertist a student or supporter of the theological ideas of Albertus Magnus, 13th-century German Scholastic philosopher. annihilationism the theological doctrine that states that the wicked have no afterlife. —annihilationist, n. antilapsarianism the doctrine that denies the fall of man. —antilapsarian, n. antinomianism the belief that Christians are freed from the moral law by the virtue of God’s grace. —antinomian, n., adj. apologetics the study of the methods and content of defenses or proofs of Christianity. —apologetical, adj. Augustinianism 1. the doctrines and ideas of St. Augustine, 5th-century archbishop of Hippo, and the religious rule developed by him. 2. the support of his doctrines. 3. adherence to his religious rule. —Augustinian, n., adj. chiliasm the belief that Christ will return to earth in visible form and establish a kingdom to last 1000 years, after which the world will come to an end. Also called millenarianism. —chiliast, n. —chiliastic, adj. confessionalism an advocacy of the maintenance of a confession of faith as a prerequisite to membership in a religious group. —confessionalian, n., adj. consubstantiation the doctrine that the substance of the body and blood of Christ coexist in and with the substance of the bread and wine of the Eucharist. Cf. receptionism, transubstantiation, virtualism. Erastianism the doctrine stating that in ecclesiastical affairs the state rules over the church. —Erastian, n., adj. eschatology any set of doctrines concerning final matters, as death, the judgment, afterlife, etc. —eschatological, adj. —eschatologist, n. Hutchinsonianism 1. the theories of John Hutchinson, an 18th-century Yorkshireman, who disputed Newton’s theory of gravitation and maintained that a system of natural science was to be found in the Old Testament. 2. the tenets of the followers of Mrs. Anne Hutchinson, an antinomian who lived in the early days of the Massachusetts Colony. —Hutchinsonian, adj. hypostasis 1. the unique nature of the Godhead and hence the Holy Trinity. 2. any of the three parts of the Holy Trinity. 3. the personality of Christ separate from his dual nature, human and divine. —hypostatic, hypostatical, adj. impanation the theological doctrine that the body and blood of Christ are present in the bread and wine after they are consecrated. Jehovist 1. Obsolete, a person who believes that the vowel-marks on the word Jehovah in Hebrew represent the actual vowels of the word. 2. the name given to the author(s) of the parts of the Hexateuch in which the sacred name is written Jehovah, instead of Elohim. —Jehovistic, adj. latria worship of the highest order that can be offered only to God. Majorism the doctrines of Georg Major, a German theologian who believed that good works, being a necessary product of Christian faith, are necessary for salvation. —Majorist, n., adj. millenarianism chiliasm. neologism neology. neology 1. the introduction of new, especially rationalistic, views or doctrines in theology. 2. such a view or doctrine. Also neologism. See also language. —neologist, n. Neo-Scholasticism the 19th-century movement by Catholic scholars to reinstitute the doctrines of the Schoolmen in their teachings. —Neo-Scholastic, adj. Occamism 1. the precepts and ideas of William of Occam, 14th-century English Scholastic. 2. support of his precepts. —Occamist, Occamite, n. —Occamistic, adj. Origenism 1. the doctrines and precepts of Origen of Alexandria, 3rd-century Christian theologian and teacher. 2. adherence to his doctrines. —Origenist, n. —Origenian, Origenistic, adj. pantheology 1. Obsolete, all that is contained in theology. 2. a comprehensive, synthetic theology that covers all gods and religious systems. —pantheologist, n. —pantheologic, pantheological, adj. patrology 1. Also patristics. the branch of theology that studies the teachings of the early church fathers. 2. a collection of the writings of the early church fathers. —patrologist, n. —patrologic, patrological, adj. ponerology a branch of theology that studies the doctrine of evil. See also evil. pre-Adamitism the belief that a race of men existed before Adam. —pre-Adamite, n. —pre-Adamitic, adj. predestinarianism a belief in predestination. —predestinarian, n., adj. predestination 1. the action of God in foreordaining from eternity whatever comes to pass. 2. the doctrine that God chooses those who are to come to salvation. premillennialism the belief that the second coming of Christ will usher in the millennium. —premillennialist, n. —premillennian, adj. receptionism the doctrine that in the communion service the body and blood of Christ are received but the bread and wine remain unchanged. Cf. consubstantiation, transubstantiation, virtualism. —receptionist, n. scholasticism the doctrines of the schoolmen; the system of theological and philosophical instruction of the Middle Ages, based chiefly upon the authority of the church fathers and on Aristotle and his commentators. —Scholastic, n., adj. semi-Arianism the belief of a sect that arose in the 4th century that the substances of the Father and Son were similar but nonetheless different. —semi-Arian, n., adj. solifidianism the theological doctrine that faith insures salvation, irrespective of good works. —solifldian, n. soteriology, adj. stercoranism the belief that the bread and wine consecrated in the Eucharist are subject to natural processes, as decay. —stercorarian, stercoranist, adj. tartarology a doctrine concerning heil and punishment in the afterlife. theologaster Rare. a quack or spurious theologian; a charlatan of theology. theologism 1. any theological speculation. 2. the assumption that other disciplines, as philosophy or science, are inferior to theology. transubstantiation the doctrine that the consecrated elements of the communion only appear as bread and wine, for they have been converted into the whole substance of the body and blood of Christ. Cf. consubstantiation, receptionism, virtualism. —transubstantiationalist, n. trichotomy division into three parts, especially the theological division of man’s nature into the body, the soul, and the spirit. —trichotomic, trichotomous. adj. virtualism the doctrine attributed to Calvin and other reformers that the bread and wine of the communion remain unchanged but are the vehicle through which the spiritual body and blood of Christ are received by the communicant. Cf. consubstantiation, receptionism, transabstantiation.
(usually uncountable, plural theologies)