Why Students Study Theology
Everyone has heard about such a study as Theology and has his own point of view about its importance for the highly educated person. But the meaning of Theology for the forming of the world and universe understanding by whole mankind cannot be underestimated. Theology books can tell us a lot about how people connected themselves to something heavenly, incredibly strong and wise. Library cataloging today provides us a lot of information about the ways human perceives the world and God. So we can easily talk about Theology as a special doctrine or a valuable study.
As it can be understood from the Greek term itself Theologia is a word about the gods or God. The word “theology” and “theologian” historically had several meanings:
1) in the Greek pre-Christian literature, theology was called the doctrine of the gods, and theologians – poets who told of gods, for example Homer and Hesiod;
2) Aristotle’s theology is identical to the “first philosophy” (metaphysics) – the first study of being as itself;
3) theologian Philo from Alexandria called Moses the first theologist, and Christian writers often said the first theologists were St. authors who wrote the Bible. It was a beginning of evangelical theology.
In XI-XII centuries the knowledge about God in a rational meaning was highly valued. Such understanding of Theology coincided with the appearance of the first universities in Europe. Theologians were people who helped this establishments happen. Since then college theology and higher education in general have been closely connected.
Today Theology can be defined as a systematic rational study of different concepts of God and the origin of religious ideas.
In a modern society it’s becoming more difficult for theological education to find its niche. Some people assume practical theology doesn’t exist. It’s only a “study of nothing” by the words of Thomas Paine or a self-serving matter.
Still recent researches have shown that applications for theology courses have increased by 7%. So self-serving and as many claim useless religious studies like theology classes do not loose popularity in regular or theological colleges.
Teaching theology in secular universities today is non-confessional or at least it should be.
Theology course and theological subjects are divided into two groups: 1. with content mainly common to all denominations 2. those that are specific for each denomination. Teaching the first group of subjects is held by specialists regardless of their denomination, and the second group is better to be taught by representatives of each denomination.
If you want to study Theology you have some options. Theology classes are available at most of the universities. Also there are usually separate theology courses, giving the student more freedom and self-dependence in following theology program. Anyway, you will need to spend time at library setup or even visit church library a few times. Well, Theology is such a study that has lots of interpretations, so you must be really aware what you are going to read and accept as a doctrine.