the·​ol·​o·​gy | \thē-ˈä-lə-jē \
plural theologies

Definition of theology 

1 : the study of religious faith, practice, and experience especially : the study of God and of God's relation to the world

2a : a theological theory or system Thomist theology a theology of atonement

b : a distinctive body of theological opinion Catholic theology

3 : a usually 4-year course of specialized religious training in a Roman Catholic major seminary

Examples of theology in a Sentence

He has an interest in theology and pastoral work. The bishop was opposed to the group's theology.

Recent Examples on the Web

The aesthetics meshed nicely with the prevailing Christian theology of that era. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Newly discovered letter by Galileo resolves puzzling historical mystery," 22 Sep. 2018 Enlightenment-era philosopher Denis Diderot famously pronounced that all the world’s theologies could be toppled by an egg! Tamar Adler, Vogue, "Why Pastured Eggs Are the Perfect Food," 13 Sep. 2018 As part of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts’ Transform Fest, Campo Santo offers a portrait of the Tenderloin told through interactions in the neighborhood’s liquor stores, mixed with the theology of the Book of Revelations. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Area arts and entertainment picks, May 16," 15 May 2018 While evil is a core focus of all faiths’ theology, for charismatic groups like the People of Praise, the idea of dark forces at work is very real, not metaphoric. Michelle Boorstein, Washington Post, "The story behind potential Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s little-known Catholic group, People of Praise," 6 July 2018 Bienen canceled the offer to award Barack Obama’s former pastor an honorary doctorate in sacred theology after controversial sermons from Wright surfaced during the 2008 election cycle. Dawn Rhodes,, "Northwestern revokes honorary degree given to Bill Cosby," 18 June 2018 Fuller has more than 3,000 students pursuing graduate degrees in theology, intercultural studies and psychology, with 1,200 students studying on the Pasadena campus. Roger Vincent,, "Fuller Theological Seminary leaving Pasadena and putting campus up for sale," 23 May 2018 Saturday, at 10 am, in front of the United States Capitol Building in Washington, DC, two Christian faith leaders will spearhead a thousands-strong interfaith cross-party rebuke to that theology. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Poor People’s Campaign rally revives Martin Luther King Jr.’s mission," 22 June 2018 Southern Baptists hold to a theology of complementarianism, the belief that men and women are created as equal but have differing roles-specifically in the church and home. The Washington Post,, "Southern Baptist leader who advised abused women not to divorce says he has nothing to apologize for," 4 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'theology.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of theology

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for theology

Middle English theologie, from Anglo-French, from Latin theologia, from Greek, from the- + -logia -logy

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Statistics for theology

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for theology

The first known use of theology was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of theology

: the study of religious faith, practice, and experience : the study of God and God's relation to the world

: a system of religious beliefs or ideas


the·​ol·​o·​gy | \thē-ˈä-lə-jē \
plural theologies

Kids Definition of theology

: the study and explanation of religious faith, practice, and experience

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More from Merriam-Webster on theology

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with theology

Spanish Central: Translation of theology

Nglish: Translation of theology for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of theology for Arabic Speakers

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to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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