In wiktionary.org theology is defined as "study of God", while in Microsoft's Encarta Dictionaries, it's defined as "study of Religion".

Can we use theology in terms of "study of religion"? I mean isn't it stemming from Greek theos meaning God?

When studying God, we don't necessarily study religion, do we? We study God's existence (not related to religion yet), we might study its attributes (still not related), and then we might study its products (now we're talking about religion).

  • I feel like this might be just a little bit too basic. (As stoicfury points out a direct answer is in the etymology of the word -- it is literally "study of God[s]".) – Joseph Weissman Aug 5 '11 at 0:16

You can study the idea of God independent of religion, but because the concept of God is usually invoked as part of a set of religious beliefs, the two will be inevitably linked. Somewhat like you mention, I took a course back in college called "Philosophy of Religion" but we did not talk about any religion specifically, just the idea of God, specifically the Abrahamic one.

If you want to get technical:

"theo-" meaning God or gods

"-logy" meaning science or study of



Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.