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Study of the nature of God and the relationship of the human and divine. The term was first used in the works of Plato and other Greek philosophers to refer to the teaching of myth, but the discipline expanded within Christianity and has found application in all theistic religions (seetheism). It examines doctrines concerning such subjects as sin, faith, and grace and considers the terms of God's covenant with humankind in matters such as salvation and eschatology. Theology typically takes for granted the authority of a religious teacher or the validity of a religious experience. It is distinguished from philosophy in being concerned with justifying and explicating a faith, rather than questioning the underlying assumptions of such faith, but it often employs quasi-philosophical methods.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on theology, visit Britannica.com.