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:
- understand more truly his or her own religious tradition,
- understand more truly another religious tradition,
- make comparisons among religious traditions,
- defend or justify a religious tradition,
- facilitate reform of a particular tradition,
- assist in the propagation of a religious tradition, or
- draw on the resources of a tradition to address some present situation or need,
- draw on the resources of a tradition to explore possible ways of interpreting the world, or
- explore the nature of divinity without reference to any specific tradition.
- challenge (ex. biblical criticism) or oppose (ex. irreligion) a religious tradition or the religious world-view.
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Famous quotes containing the word definition:
“One definition of man is an intelligence served by organs.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“The physicians say, they are not materialists; but they are:MSpirit is matter reduced to an extreme thinness: O so thin!But the definition of spiritual should be, that which is its own evidence. What notions do they attach to love! what to religion! One would not willingly pronounce these words in their hearing, and give them the occasion to profane them.”
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“The definition of good prose is proper words in their proper places; of good verse, the most proper words in their proper places. The propriety is in either case relative. The words in prose ought to express the intended meaning, and no more; if they attract attention to themselves, it is, in general, a fault.”
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