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theology definition


This page has 10 definitions of theology in English. Theology is a noun. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .



From Middle English theologie, from Middle French theologie, from Old French theologie, from Latin theologia, from Koine Greek θεολογία (theología), from θεολόγος (theológos, adjective), from θεός (theós) + λόγος (lógos). Surface analysis is theo- +‎ -logy.[1][2][3][4]



theology (usually uncountable, plural theologies)

  1. (uncountable) The study of God, a god, or gods; and of the truthfulness of religion in general. [from mid-14th c.[5]]
    Synonym: (uncommon) godlore
  2. (uncountable) Synonym of religious studies
    • 1896 September 15, William Newton Clarke, Immortality, a Study of Belief, and Earlier Addresses[1], Yale University Press, published 1920, page 23:
      Theology is a study, but religion is an experience. Theology is the study of religion, and when we study theology we are studying religion.
  3. (countable) An organized method of interpreting spiritual works and beliefs into practical form. [1660s[5]]
  4. (countable) A particular belief within a religion.
    • 2018, Steven D. Cone, Theology from the Great Tradition[2], Bloomsbury Academic, →ISBN, page 578:
      In this context, one could conceivably hold onto the theology that baptism is essential for salvation.
    • 2019, Ben C. Blackwell & R.L. Hatchett, Engaging Theology: A Biblical, Historical, and Practical Introduction[3], Zondervan Academic, →ISBN, page 138:
      Most Muslims reject the theology that Jesus died on a cross and was resurrected from the dead (though there is some ambiguity in the Qur'an on the matter), but they do hold that he ascended to heaven and will return again.
    • 2020 February 4, Rabbi Evan Moffic, What Every Christian Needs to Know About Judaism[4], Abingdon Press, →ISBN, page 59:
      Another problem with the theology that Jews are chosen for a universal ethical mission is that one does not need to be Jewish to be a beacon of light.
  5. (uncountable, computing, slang) Subjective marginal details.
    • 1986 December 9, Seymour, Jim, “In plain English”, in PC Mag[5], volume 5, number 21, Ziff Davis, ISSN 0888-8507, page 96:
      While those folks are caught up in theological arguments about LISP versus PROLOG, []
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:theology.



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  1. ^ theologie” in the Dictionnaires d’autrefois
  2. ^ theologie”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
  3. ^ Walter W. Skeat, editor (1910), “Theology”, in An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, new edition, Oxford: The Clarendon Press, OCLC 582746570, page 640.
  4. ^ theology, n.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 2015-03-19.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “theology”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.