Theology is literally the study of God. By extension, it also refers to the study of other religious topics. The term theology originated in Christianity, but by it can also be used to refer to the study of the beliefs of other religions.
Theology assumes the truth of at least some religious beliefs and therefore can be distinguished from the philosophy of religion, which does not presume the truth of any religious beliefs. The philosophy of religion, when it seeks to study these topics, uses reason and experience as its sources; while theology can also use religious sources such as scriptures (e.g. the Bible), traditions, etc.
Theology is divided into several subdisciplines:
- theology proper - God, his attributes, nature, and relation to humanity.
- theodicy - Attempts at reconciling the existence of all the evil and suffering in the world with the assumption that God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent.
- eschatology - literally, the study of the 'end of days'. Covers subjects such as death and the afterlife, the end of history, reincarnation, the end of the world, the last judgment, etc.
- anthropology - nature of man
In Christianity all of the above subjects are covered, as well as these:
- christology - Christ, the nature of Christ, the relationship between the divine and human in Christ
- bibliology - the bible, the means of its inspiration, etc.
- pneumatology - the Holy Spirit
- missiology - missions, evangelism, etc.
- soteriology - sins and atonement
- ecclesiology - the church
- angelology - angels,the unseen world
- demonology - satan, demons, evil spirits