Theology is the critical study of the nature of the divine. It is
taught as an academic discipline, typically in universities,
seminaries, and schools of divinity.
4 In various religions
4.1 Abrahamic religions
4.2 Indian religions
6 As an academic discipline
6.1 Ministerial training
6.2 As an academic discipline in its own right
6.3 Religious studies
7.1 Criticism by philosophers
7.2 Critics of theology as an academic discipline
7.3 General criticism
9 External links
History of theology
Theology translates into English from the Greek theologia
(θεολογία) which derived from Τheos (Θεός), meaning
"God", and -logia (-λογία), meaning "utterances, sayings, or
oracles" (a word related to logos [λόγος], meaning "word,
discourse, account, or reasoning") which had passed into
theologia and into French as théologie. The English equivalent
"theology" (Theologie, Teologye) had evolved by 1362. The sense the
word has in English depends in large part on the sense the
Greek equivalents had acquired in patristic and medieval Christian
usage, although the English term has now spread beyond Christian
Augustine of Hippo
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 fields of study.
Theology begins with the assumption that the divine exists in some
form, such as in physical, supernatural, mental, or social realities,
and that evidence for and about it may be found via personal spiritual
experiences and/or historical records of such experiences as
documented by others. The study of these assumptions is not part of
theology proper but is found in the philosophy of religion, and
increasingly through the psychology of religion and neurotheology.
Theology then aims to structure and understand these experiences and
concepts, and to use them to derive normative prescriptions for how to
live our lives.
Theologians use various forms of analysis and argument (experiential,
philosophical, ethnographic, historical, and others) to help
understand, explain, test, critique, defend or promote any myriad of
religious topics. As in philosophy of ethics and case law, arguments
often assume the existence of previously resolved questions, and
develop by making analogies from them to draw new inferences in new
The study of theology may help a theologian more deeply understand
their own religious tradition, another religious tradition, or
it may enable them to explore the nature of divinity without reference
to any specific tradition.
Theology may be used to propagate,
reform, or justify a religious tradition or it may be used to
compare, challenge (e.g. biblical criticism), or oppose (e.g.
irreligion) a religious tradition or world-view.
Theology might also
help a theologian to address some present situation or need through a
religious tradition, or to explore possible ways of interpreting
Greek theologia (θεολογία) was used with the meaning
"discourse on god" in the fourth century BC by
Plato in The Republic,
Book ii, Ch. 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.
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
Theologos, closely related to theologia, appears once in some biblical
manuscripts, in the heading to the Book of Revelation: apokalypsis
ioannoy toy theologoy, "the revelation of John the theologos". There,
however, the word refers not to John the "theologian" in the modern
English sense of the word but—using a slightly different sense of
the root logos, meaning not "rational discourse" but "word" or
"message"—one who speaks the words of God, logoi toy theoy.
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
In patristic Greek Christian sources, theologia could refer narrowly
to devout and inspired knowledge of, and teaching about, the essential
nature of God.
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).
Boethius' definition influenced medieval
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).
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.
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
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).
"Theology" can also now be used in a derived sense to mean "a system
of theoretical principles; an (impractical or rigid) ideology".
In various religions
The term theology has been deemed by some as only appropriate to the
study of religions that worship a supposed deity (a theos), i.e. more
widely than monotheism; and presuppose a belief in the ability to
speak and reason about this deity (in logia). They suggest the term is
less appropriate in religious contexts that are organized differently
(religions without a single deity, or that deny that such subjects can
be studied logically). ("Hierology" has been proposed as an
alternative, more generic term.)
Sculpture of the Jewish theologian Maimonides
In Jewish theology, the historical absence of political authority has
meant that most theological reflection has happened within the context
of the Jewish community and synagogue, rather than within specialized
academic institutions, including though
Rabbinical discussion of
Jewish law and Jewish Biblical commentaries. Historically it has
been very active, and highly significant for Christian and Islamic
theology and well as for Judaism.
Thomas Aquinas was the greatest Christian theologian of the Middle
Christian theology is the study of Christian belief and practice. Such
study concentrates primarily upon the texts of the Old Testament and
the New Testament as well as on Christian tradition. Christian
theologians use biblical exegesis, rational analysis and argument.
Theology might be undertaken to help the theologian better understand
Christian tenets, to make comparisons between
Christianity and other
traditions, to defend
Christianity against objections and criticism,
to facilitate reforms in the Christian church, to assist in the
propagation of Christianity, to draw on the resources of the Christian
tradition to address some present situation or need, or for a variety
of other reasons.
Abul A'la Maududi
Abul A'la Maududi was the most influential Islamic
theologian of the 20th century.
Islamic theological discussion that parallels Christian theological
discussion is named "Kalam"; the Islamic analogue of Christian
theological discussion would more properly be the investigation and
Sharia or Fiqh. "
Kalam ... does not hold the leading
place in Muslim thought that theology does in Christianity. To find an
equivalent for 'theology' in the Christian sense it is necessary to
have recourse to several disciplines, and to the usul al-fiqh as much
as to kalam." (L. Gardet)
Some academic inquiries within Buddhism, dedicated to the
investigation of a Buddhist understanding of the world, prefer the
Buddhist philosophy to the term Buddhist theology, since
Buddhism lacks the same conception of a theos. Jose Ignacio Cabezon,
who argues that the use of "theology" is appropriate, can only do so,
he says, because "I take theology not to be restricted to discourse on
God ... I take 'theology' not to be restricted to its etymological
meaning. In that latter sense,
Buddhism is of course atheological,
rejecting as it does the notion of God."
Within Hindu philosophy, there is a tradition of philosophical
speculation on the nature of the universe, of
God (termed "Brahman",
Bhagavan in some schools of Hindu thought) and of the
Atman (soul). The
Sanskrit word for the various schools of Hindu
Darshana (meaning "view" or "viewpoint"). Vaishnava
theology has been a subject of study for many devotees, philosophers
and scholars in
India for centuries. A large part of its study lies in
classifying and organizing the manifestations of thousands of gods and
their aspects. In recent decades also has been taken on by a number of
academic institutions in Europe, such as the Oxford Centre for Hindu
Studies and Bhaktivedanta College. See also: Krishnology
Further information: Outline of theology
As an academic discipline
The history of the study of theology in institutions of higher
education is as old as the history of such institutions themselves.
Taxila was an early centre of Vedic learning, possible
from the 6th century BC or earlier; the
Platonic Academy founded
in Athens in the 4th century BC seems to have included theological
themes in its subject matter; the Chinese
Confucian teaching from the 2nd century BC; the School of Nisibis
was a centre of Christian learning from the 4th century AD;
India was a site of Buddhist higher learning from at least
the 5th or 6th century AD; and the Moroccan University of
Al-Karaouine was a centre of Islamic learning from the 10th
century, as was
Al-Azhar University in Cairo.
The earliest universities were developed under the aegis of the Latin
Church by papal bull as studia generalia and perhaps from cathedral
schools. It is possible, however, that the development of cathedral
schools into universities was quite rare, with the University of Paris
being an exception. Later they were also founded by Kings
(University of Naples Federico II, Charles University in Prague,
Jagiellonian University in Kraków) or municipal administrations
(University of Cologne, University of Erfurt). In the early medieval
period, most new universities were founded from pre-existing schools,
usually when these schools were deemed to have become primarily sites
of higher education. Many historians state that universities and
cathedral schools were a continuation of the interest in learning
promoted by monasteries. Christian theological learning was
therefore a component in these institutions, as was the study of
Church or Canon law: universities played an important role in training
people for ecclesiastical offices, in helping the church pursue the
clarification and defence of its teaching, and in supporting the legal
rights of the church over against secular rulers. At such
universities, theological study was initially closely tied to the life
of faith and of the church: it fed, and was fed by, practices of
preaching, prayer and celebration of the Mass.
During the High Middle Ages, theology was therefore the ultimate
subject at universities, being named "The Queen of the Sciences" and
serving as the capstone to the Trivium and
Quadrivium that young men
were expected to study. This meant that the other subjects (including
Philosophy) existed primarily to help with theological thought.
Christian theology's preeminent place in the university began to be
challenged during the European Enlightenment, especially in
Germany. Other subjects gained in independence and prestige, and
questions were raised about the place in institutions that were
increasingly understood to be devoted to independent reason of a
discipline that seemed to involve commitment to the authority of
particular religious traditions.
Since the early nineteenth century, various different approaches have
emerged in the West to theology as an academic discipline. Much of the
debate concerning theology's place in the university or within a
general higher education curriculum centres on whether theology's
methods are appropriately theoretical and (broadly speaking)
scientific or, on the other hand, whether theology requires a
pre-commitment of faith by its practitioners, and whether such a
commitment conflicts with academic freedom.
In some contexts, theology has been held to belong in institutions of
higher education primarily as a form of professional training for
Christian ministry. This was the basis on which Friedrich
Schleiermacher, a liberal theologian, argued for the inclusion of
theology in the new University of Berlin in 1810.
For instance, in Germany, theological faculties at state universities
are typically tied to particular denominations, Protestant or Roman
Catholic, and those faculties will offer denominationally-bound
(konfessionsgebunden) degrees, and have denominationally bound public
posts amongst their faculty; as well as contributing 'to the
development and growth of Christian knowledge' they 'provide the
academic training for the future clergy and teachers of religious
instruction at German schools.'
In the United States, several prominent colleges and universities were
started in order to train Christian ministers. Harvard,
Georgetown, Boston University, Yale, and Princeton all had
the theological training of clergy as a primary purpose at their
Seminaries and bible colleges have continued this alliance between the
academic study of theology and training for Christian ministry. There
are, for instance, numerous prominent US examples, including Catholic
Theological Union in Chicago, The
Graduate Theological Union
Graduate Theological Union in
Criswell College in Dallas, The Southern Baptist
Seminary in Louisville,
Trinity Evangelical Divinity
School in Deerfield, Illinois, Dallas Theological Seminary,
North Texas Collegiate Institute in Farmers Branch, Texas and the
Seminary in Springfield, Missouri.
As an academic discipline in its own right
In some contexts, scholars pursue theology as an academic discipline
without formal affiliation to any particular church (though members of
staff may well have affiliations to churches), and without focussing
on ministerial training. This applies, for instance, to many
university departments in the United Kingdom, including the Faculties
Divinity at the
University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge and University of Oxford,
the Department of
Religion at the University of Exeter,
and the Department of
Theology and Religious Studies at the University
of Leeds. Traditional academic prizes, such as the University of
Aberdeen's Lumsden and Sachs Fellowship, tend to acknowledge
performance in theology (or divinity as it is known at Aberdeen) and
in religious studies.
In some contemporary contexts, a distinction is made between theology,
which is seen as involving some level of commitment to the claims of
the religious tradition being studied, and religious studies, which by
contrast is normally seen as requiring that the question of the truth
or falsehood of the religious traditions studied be kept outside its
Religious studies involves the study of historical or
contemporary practices or of those traditions' ideas using
intellectual tools and frameworks that are not themselves specifically
tied to any religious tradition and that are normally understood to be
neutral or secular. In contexts where 'religious studies' in this
sense is the focus, the primary forms of study are likely to include:
Anthropology of religion
History of religions
Philosophy of religion
Psychology of religion
Sociology of religion
Sometimes, theology and religious studies are seen as being in
tension, and at other times, they are held to coexist without
serious tension. Occasionally it is denied that there is as clear
a boundary between them.
See also: Criticism of religion
There is an ancient tradition of skepticism about theology, followed
by a more modern rise in secularist and atheist criticism.
Criticism by philosophers
Whether or not reasoned discussion about the divine is possible has
long been a point of contention. Protagoras, as early as the fifth
century BC, who is reputed to have been exiled from Athens because of
his agnosticism about the existence of the gods, said that "Concerning
the gods I cannot know either that they exist or that they do not
exist, or what form they might have, for there is much to prevent
one's knowing: the obscurity of the subject and the shortness of man's
Lord Bolingbroke, an English politician and political philosopher
wrote in his political works his views on theology, "
Theology is in
fault not religion.
Theology is a science that may justly be compared
to the Box of Pandora. Many good things lie uppermost in it; but many
evil lie under them, and scatter plagues and desolation throughout the
Thomas Paine the American revolutionary, wrote in his two part work
The Age of Reason, "The study of theology, as it stands in Christian
churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests
on no principles; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it
can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion. Not anything
can be studied as a science, without our being in possession of the
principles upon which it is founded; and as this is the case with
Christian theology, it is therefore the study of nothing."
Ludwig Feuerbach, the atheist philosopher sought to dissolve theology
in his work Principles of the
Philosophy of the Future: "The task of
the modern era was the realization and humanization of
God – the
transformation and dissolution of theology into anthropology."
This mirrored his earlier work
The Essence of Christianity
The Essence of Christianity (pub.
1841), for which he was banned from teaching in Germany, in which he
had said that theology was a "web of contradictions and
A.J. Ayer the former logical-positivist, sought to show in his essay
Critique of Ethics and Theology" that all statements about the divine
are nonsensical and any divine-attribute is unprovable. He wrote: "It
is now generally admitted, at any rate by philosophers, that the
existence of a being having the attributes which define the god of any
non-animistic religion cannot be demonstratively proved... [A]ll
utterances about the nature of
God are nonsensical."
Walter Kaufmann the philosopher, in his essay "Against Theology",
sought to differentiate theology from religion in general. "Theology,
of course, is not religion; and a great deal of religion is
emphatically anti-theological... An attack on theology, therefore,
should not be taken as necessarily involving an attack on religion.
Religion can be, and often has been, untheological or even
anti-theological." However, Kaufmann found that "
inescapably a theological religion".
Critics of theology as an academic discipline
Critics dating back to the 18th century have questioned the
suitability of theology as an academic discipline and in the 21st
century criticism continues.
Charles Bradlaugh believed theology prevented human beings achieving
liberty. Bradlaugh noted theologians of his time stated that
modern scientific research contradicted sacred scriptures therefore
the scriptures must be wrong.
Robert G. Ingersoll
Robert G. Ingersoll stated that when theologians had power the
majority of people lived in hovels while a privileged few had palaces
and cathedrals. In Ingersoll's opinion science rather than theology
improved people's lives. Ingersoll maintained further that trained
theologians reason no better than a person who assumes the devil must
exist because pictures resemble the devil so exactly.
Mark Twain stated that several mutually incompatible religions claimed
to be the true religion and that people cut the throats of others for
following a different theology.
In 1993, Richard Dawkins wrote, "The achievements of theologians don't
do anything, don't affect anything, don't achieve anything, don't even
mean anything. What makes you think that 'theology' is a subject at
^ "theology". Wordnetweb.princeton.edu. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
^ The accusative plural of the neuter noun λόγιον; cf. Walter
Bauer, William F. Arndt, F. Wilbur Gingrich, Frederick W. Danker, A
Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 2nd ed., (Chicago and
London: University of Chicago Press, 1979), 476. For examples of
λόγια in the New Testament, cf. Acts 7:38; Romans 3:2; 1 Peter
Piers Plowman A ix 136
^ a b City of
God Book VIII. i. "de divinitate rationem sive sermonem"
Archived 4 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
^ "''Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity'', 3.8.11" (PDF). Retrieved
^ McGrath, Alister. 1998. Historical Theology: An Introduction to the
History of Christian Thought. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. pp. 1–8.
^ See, e.g., Daniel L. Migliore,
Faith Seeking Understanding: An
Introduction to Christian
Theology 2nd ed.(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans,
^ See, e.g., Michael S. Kogan, 'Toward a Jewish
Christianity' in The Journal of Ecumenical Studies 32.1 (Winter 1995),
89–106; available online at  Archived 15 June 2006 at the Wayback
^ See, e.g., Duncan Dormor et al (eds), Anglicanism, the Answer to
Modernity (London: Continuum, 2003)
^ See, e.g., John Shelby Spong, Why
Christianity Must Change or Die
(New York: Harper Collins, 2001)
^ See, e.g., David Burrell, Freedom and Creation in Three Traditions
(Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1994)
^ See, e.g., Timothy Gorringe, Crime, Changing Society and the
Churches Series (London:SPCK, 2004)
^ See e.g., Anne Hunt Overzee's gloss upon the view of Ricœur
(1913–2005) as to the role and work of 'theologian': "Paul Ricœur
speaks of the theologian as a hermeneut, whose task is to interpret
the multivalent, rich metaphors arising from the symbolic bases of
tradition so that the symbols may 'speak' once again to our
existential situation." Anne Hunt Overzee The body divine: the symbol
of the body in the works of Teilhard de Chardin and Rāmānuja,
Cambridge studies in religious traditions 2 (Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1992), ISBN 0-521-38516-4,
ISBN 978-0-521-38516-9, p.4; Source:  (accessed: Monday 5
^ Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon''.
^ Aristotle, Metaphysics, Book Epsilon. Archived 16 February 2008 at
the Wayback Machine.
^ As cited by Augustine, City of God, Book 6, ch.5.
^ This title appears quite late in the manuscript tradition for the
Book of Revelation: the two earliest citations provided in David
Aune's Word Biblical Commentary 52:
Revelation 1–5 (Dallas: Word
Books, 1997) are both 11th century – Gregory 325/Hoskier 9 and
Gregory 1006/Hoskier 215; the title was however in circulation by the
6th century – see Allen Brent ‘John as theologos: the imperial
mysteries and the Apocalypse’, Journal for the Study of the New
Testament 75 (1999), 87–102.
^ See Augustine, City of God, Book 6, ch.5. and Tertullian, Ad
Nationes, Book 2, ch.1.
Gregory of Nazianzus
Gregory of Nazianzus uses the word in this sense in his
fourth-century Theological Orations; after his death, he was called
"the Theologian" at the
Council of Chalcedon
Council of Chalcedon and thereafter in Eastern
Orthodoxy—either because his Orationswere seen as crucial examples
of this kind of theology, or in the sense that he was (like the author
of the Book of Revelation) seen as one who was an inspired preacher of
the words of God. (It is unlikely to mean, as claimed in the Nicene
and Post-Nicene Fathers introduction to his Theological Orations, that
he was a defender of the divinity of Christ the Word.) See John
McGukin, Saint Gregory of Nazianzus: An Intellectual Biography
(Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's
Seminary Press, 2001), p.278.
^ "Boethius, On the Holy Trinity" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-11-11.
^ G.R. Evans, Old Arts and New Theology: The Beginnings of
Discipline (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), 31–32.
^ See the title of Peter Abelard's Theologia Christiana, and, perhaps
most famously, of Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica
^ See the 'note' in the
Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary entry for
^ See, for example, Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology, vol. 1, part 1
^ Oxford English Dictionary, sense 1
^ Oxford English Dictionary, 1989 edition, 'Theology' sense 1(d), and
'Theological' sense A.3; the earliest reference given is from the 1959
Times Literary Supplement 5 June 329/4: "The 'theological' approach to
Soviet Marxism ... proves in the long run unsatisfactory."
^ E.g., by Count E. Goblet d'Alviella in 1908; see Alan H. Jones,
Independence and Exegesis: The Study of Early
Christianity in the Work
of Alfred Loisy (1857–1940), Charles Guignebert (1857 [i.e.
1867]–1939), and Maurice Goguel (1880–1955) (Mohr Siebeck, 1983),
^ Randi Rashkover, 'A Call for Jewish Theology', Crosscurrents, Winter
1999, starts by saying, "Frequently the claim is made that, unlike
Judaism is a tradition of deeds and maintains no strict
theological tradition. Judaism's fundamental beliefs are inextricable
from their halakhic observance (that set of laws revealed to Jews by
God), embedded and presupposed by that way of life as it is lived and
^ Lerman, Eran (October 1981). "Maududi's Concept of Islam". Middle
Eastern Studies. JSTOR. 17 (4): 492–509.
doi:10.1080/00263208108700487. JSTOR 4282856. it is hard to
exaggerate the importance of its [Pakistan's] current drift toward's
Maududi's version of Islam
^ L. Gardet, 'Ilm al-kalam' in The Encyclopedia of Islam, ed. P.J.
Bearman et al (Leiden: Koninklijke Brill NV, 1999).
^ Jose Ignacio Cabezon, 'Buddhist
Theology in the Academy' in Roger
Jackson and John J. Makransky's Buddhist Theology: Critical
Reflections by Contemporary Buddhist Scholars (London: Routledge,
1999), pp. 25–52.
^ See Anna S. King, 'For Love of Krishna: Forty Years of Chanting' in
Graham Dwyer and Richard J. Cole, The Hare Krishna Movement: Forty
Years of Chant and Change (London/New York: I.B. Tauris, 2006), pp.
134–167: p. 163, which describes developments in both institutions,
and speaks of Hare Krishna devotees 'studying Vaishnava theology and
practice in mainstream universities.'
^ Timothy Reagan, Non-Western Educational Traditions: Alternative
Approaches to Educational Thought and Practice, 3rd edition (Lawrence
Erlbaum: 2004), p.185 and Sunna Chitnis, 'Higher Education' in Veena
Das (ed), The Oxford
India Companion to Sociology and Social
Anthropology (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp.
1032–1056: p.1036 suggest an early date; a more cautious appraisal
is given in Hartmut Scharfe, Education in Ancient
Brill, 2002), pp. 140–142.
^ John Dillon, The Heirs of Plato: A Study in the Old Academy,
347–274BC (Oxford: OUP, 2003)
^ Xinzhong Yao, An Introduction to
Confucianism (Cambridge: CUP,
^ Becker, Adam H. (2006). The Fear of
God and the Beginning of Wisdom:
School of Nisibis and the Development of Scholastic Culture in
Late Antique Mesopotamia. University of Pennsylvania Press.
^ "The School of Nisibis". Nestorian.org. Archived from the original
on 3 March 2016.
^ Hartmut Scharfe, Education in Ancient
India (Leiden: Brill, 2002),
^ The Al-Qarawiyyin mosque was founded in 859 AD, but 'While
instruction at the mosque must have begun almost from the beginning,
it is only ... by the end of the tenth-century that its reputation as
a center of learning in both religious and secular sciences ... must
have begun to wax.' Y. G-M. Lulat, A
History of African Higher
Education from Antiquity to the Present: A Critical Synthesis
(Greenwood, 2005), p.71
^ Andrew Beattie, Cairo: A Cultural
History (New York: Oxford
University Press, 2005), p.101.
^ Gordon Leff, Paris and Oxford Universities in the Thirteenth and
Fourteenth Centuries. An Institutional and Intellectual History,
^ Johnson, P. (2000). The Renaissance : a short history. Modern
Library chronicles (Modern Library ed.). New York: Modern Library, p.
^ Walter Rüegg, “Themes” in Walter Rüegg, A
History of the
University in Europe, vol.1, ed. H. de Ridder-Symoens, Universities in
the Middle Ages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp.
3–34: pp. 15–16.
^ See Gavin D'Costa,
Theology in the Public Square: Church, Academy
and Nation (Oxford: Blackwell, 2005), ch.1.
^ Thomas Albert Howard, Protestant
Theology and the Making of the
Modern German University (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006),
p.56: '[P]hilosophy, the scientia scientarum in one sense, was, in
another, portrayed as the humble "handmaid of theology".'
^ See Thomas Albert Howard, Protestant
Theology and the Making of the
Modern German University (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006):
^ See Thomas Albert Howard's work already cited, and his discussion
of, for instance, Immanuel Kant's Conflict of the Faculties (1798),
and J.G. Fichte's Deduzierter Plan einer zu Berlin errichtenden
höheren Lehranstalt (1807).
^ See Thomas Albert Howard, Protestant
Theology and the Making of the
Modern German University (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006); Hans
W. Frei, Types of Christian Theology, ed. William C. Placher and
George Hunsinger (New Haven, CT:
Yale University Press, 1992); Gavin
Theology in the Public Square: Church, Academy and Nation
(Oxford: Blackwell, 2005); James W. McClendon, Systematic
Witness (Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2000), ch.10: '
Theology and the
^ Friedrich Schleiermacher, Brief Outline of
Theology as a Field of
Study, 2nd edition, tr. Terrence N. Tice (Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen,
1990); Thomas Albert Howard, Protestant
Theology and the Making of the
Modern German University (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006),
^ Reinhard G. Kratz, 'Academic
Theology in Germany',
^ 'The primary purpose of
Harvard College was, accordingly, the
training of clergy.' But 'the school served a dual purpose, training
men for other professions as well.' George M. Marsden, The
Soul of the
American University: From Protestant Establishment to Established
Nonbelief (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), p.41.
^ Georgetown was a Jesuit institution founded in significant part to
provide a pool of educated Catholics some of whom who could go on to
full seminary training for the priesthood. See Robert Emmett Curran,
Leo J. O'Donovan, The Bicentennial
History of Georgetown University:
From Academy to University 1789–1889 (Georgetown: Georgetown
University Press, 1961), Part One.
^ Yale's original 1701 charter speaks of the purpose being 'Sincere
Regard & Zeal for upholding & Propagating of the Christian
Religion by a succession of Learned & Orthodox' and
that 'Youth may be instructed in the Arts and Sciences (and) through
the blessing of Almighty
God may be fitted for Publick employment both
in Church and Civil State.' 'The Charter of the Collegiate School,
October 1701' in Franklin Bowditch Dexter, Documentary
History of Yale
University, Under the Original Charter of the Collegiate School of
Connecticut 1701–1745 (New Haven, CT:
Yale University Press, 1916);
available online at 
^ At Princeton, one of the founders (probably Ebeneezer Pemberton)
wrote in c.1750, 'Though our great Intention was to erect a seminary
for educating Ministers of the Gospel, yet we hope it will be useful
in other learned professions – Ornaments of the State as Well as the
Church. Therefore we propose to make the plan of Education as
extensive as our Circumstances will admit.' Quoted in Alexander
Leitch, A Princeton Companion (
Princeton University Press, 1978).
^ "The CTU Story". Catholic Theological Union. Archived from the
original on March 7, 2013. Retrieved March 16, 2013. lay men and
women, religious sisters and brothers, and seminarians have studied
alongside one another, preparing to serve God's people
^ See 'About the GTU' at The
Graduate Theological Union
Graduate Theological Union website
(Retrieved 29 August 2009): 'dedicated to educating students for
teaching, research, ministry, and service.'
^ "The Criswell Vision". Criswell College. Archived from the original
on April 26, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2009.
Criswell College exists
to serve the churches of our Lord Jesus Christ by developing
God-called men and women in the Word (intellectually and academically)
and by the Word (professionally and spiritually) for authentic
^ "Mission Statement". Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Archived
from the original on March 29, 2015. Retrieved August 29, 2009. the
mission of The Southern Baptist Theological
Seminary is ... to be a
servant of the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention by
training, educating, and preparing ministers of the gospel for more
Divinity School. Archived from the original on August 30, 2011.
Retrieved August 29, 2009.
Divinity School (TEDS)
is a learning community dedicated to the development of servant
leaders for the global church, leaders who are spiritually,
biblically, and theologically prepared to engage contemporary culture
for the sake of Christ's kingdom
^ See 'About DTS' at the Dallas Theological
(Retrieved 29 August 2009): 'At Dallas, the scholarly study of
biblical and related subjects is inseparably fused with the
cultivation of the spiritual life. All this is designed to prepare
students to communicate the Word of
God in the power of the
^ ".::North Texas Collegiate Institute ::". .::North Texas
Collegiate Institute ::.
^ See the 'Why Study Theology?' Archived 9 August 2009 at the Wayback
Machine. page at the
University of Exeter
University of Exeter (Retrieved 1 September
2009), and the 'About us' page at the University of Leeds. "Archived
copy". Archived from the original on 9 August 2009. Retrieved
^ See, for example, Donald Wiebe, The Politics of Religious Studies:
The Continuing Conflict with
Theology in the Academy (New York:
Palgrave Macmillan, 2000).
^ See K.L. Knoll, 'The Ethics of Being a Theologian', Chronicle of
Higher Education, 27 July 2009.
^ See David Ford, '
Theology and Religious Studies for a Multifaith and
Secular Society' in D.L. Bird and Simon G. Smith (eds),
Religious Studies in Higher Education (London: Continuum, 2009).
^ Timothy Fitzgerald, The Ideology of Religious Studies (Oxford:
Oxford University Press, 2000).
^ Protagoras, fr.4, from On the Gods, tr. Michael J. O'Brien in The
Older Sophists, ed. Rosamund Kent Sprague (Columbia: University of
South Carolina Press, 1972), 20, emphasis added. Cf. Carol Poster,
Protagoras (fl. 5th C. BCE)" in The Internet Encyclopedia of
Philosophy; accessed: 6 October 2008.
^ The philosophical works of Lord Bolingbroke Volume 3, p. 396
^ Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason, from "The Life and Major Writings
of Thomas Paine", ed. Philip S. Foner, (New York, The Citadel Press,
1945) p. 601.
^ Ludwig Feuerbach, Principles of the
Philosophy of the Future, trans.
Manfred H. Vogel, (Indianapolis, Hackett Publishing Company, 1986) p5
^ Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity, trans. George Eliot,
(Amherst, New York, Prometheus Books, 1989) Preface, XVI.
^ A.J. Ayer, Language, Truth and Logic, (New York, Dover Publications,
1936) pp. 114–115.
^ Walter Kaufmann, The
Faith of a Heretic, (Garden City, New York,
Anchor Books, 1963) pp. 114, 127–128, 130.
^ Gerard Loughlin. "
Theology in the university". Cco.cambridge.org.
Charles Bradlaugh (1833-1891)". Positiveatheism.org. Archived from
the original on 1 May 2013. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
^ "Humanity's Gain from Unbelief". Positiveatheism.org. Archived from
the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
^ "Robert Green Ingersoll". Positiveatheism.org. 11 August 1954.
Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 11 November
^ "Directory of Mark Twain's maxims, quotations, and various
opinions". Twainquotes.com. 1902-11-28. Retrieved 2012-11-11.
^ "Letter: Scientific versus theological knowledge". 20 March
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