Why Theology? How did we jump into this deep end?
Theology is one field we have not discussed yet. In past posts and in chapter 14 of Audit of the Universe and in a downloadable pdf entitled, ‘Answering the Big Questions in Life’ we broached the ‘Big Four’ of mankind’s approaches to life, problem solving and decision-making:
- Experience (History, Government, Leadership),
- Philosophy (Human Reasoning),
We came to the conclusion that all of these foundational methods for governing this Earth and mankind have yielded results but that those results have been ‘mixed and mitigated.’ As good, or bad, as we might consider them, or that they might be, and there’s an awful lot of discord right there, these foundations have not brought planet Earth what it’s looking for: peace and prosperity.
So, let’s, hopefully with an open mind, explore a fifth option: Theology. And the first point to be made is a clarification of the term. Simply because we might incorporate or confound this with religion. They are two totally different babies.
Just check out the definition and meaning of Religion and Theology
The Merriam-Webster dictionary says: The belief in a god or in a group of gods. : an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods.
The origin of the word ‘religion’ might surprise you: Middle English (originally in the sense ‘life under monastic vows’): from Old French, or from Latin religio(n-) ‘obligation, bond, reverence’, perhaps based on Latin religare ‘to bind’.
This word can be broken into two distinct parts: ‘theo’ and ‘logy’.
The 1st part is clear = god or God
The 2nd part (from a Google definition)
-logycombining form: suffix: -logy; suffix: -ology
- denoting a subject of study or interest: “psychology”
- denoting a characteristic of speech or language: “eulogy”
- denoting a type of discourse: “trilogy”
‘Logy’ has to do with ‘study of’ or ‘language and discourse’ around a particular subject. In this case: god(s) or God.
We find a related word as part of ‘logy’: logo
- a sign or character representing a word or phrase, such as those used in shorthand and some ancient writing systems.
As you can see this word is is related to ‘sign’, ‘character’, ‘word’, ‘phrase’, ‘shorthand’, and ‘writing systems’. All of this is is part of ‘study of language and discourse’ as we saw above. We see company logos everywhere–one identifying sign, oftentimes without even a word–and we know exactly what or who it’s referring to.
Theology is: the sign or set of signs, characters, words, phrases, in short, the writing system that identifies and expounds god(s) / God.
I’m going to go a step further here because within this concept of ‘logy’ and ‘logo’ we find a familiar English word: logic.
Late Middle English: via Old French logique and late Latin logica from Greek logikē (tekhnē) ‘(art) of reason’, from logos ‘word, reason’. (Google definition)
Middle English logik, from Anglo-French, from Latin logica, from Greek logikē, from feminine of logikos of reason, from logos reason (Merriam-Webster definition). Merriam goes on to add this:
- A proper or reasonable way of thinking about something : sound reasoning <There’s no logic in what you said.>
- A science that deals with the rules and processes used in sound thinking and reasoning
When we take these concepts into consideration we can define theology as the study of words related to God. But not just any words, rather ‘sound, reasoned words‘.
Now for the next step. If we want to get into theology we first have to:
Determine WHERE these ‘sound, reasoned words, related to god(s) / God are.
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