Father Thomas Maikowski on Theology

by Thomas Maikowski

Theology, the study of religion or spirituality, is taught at universities and seminaries throughout the world, many of which have evolved from cathedrals and monastic institutions. Even schools without formal religious affiliations continue to teach theology for its rich and engaging history.

The word theology translates into English from the Greek “theo” and “logos,” meaning, respectively, god and discourse. Plato introduced the word in his philosophical text The Republic. The Latin writer Varro later specified three types of discourse: the mythical, which focused on Greek gods; the rational, which analyzed gods and cosmology; and the civil, which referred to the rituals of public observance.

Over time, theology as a term has undergone refined definitions and forms of discourse, receiving input from philosophers such as Aristotle, Boethius, Augustine, and Tertullian, as well as the Christian Bible. Since the 17th century, the word theology has also referred to the comprehensive or detailed study of any religion.