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Theology (Civ6)

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"Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun."
–Alan W. Watts
"We can no more have exact religious thinking without theology, than exact mensuration and astronomy without mathematics, or exact iron-making without chemistry."
–John Hall



Historical Context Edit

Once civilization created organized religion, it was inevitable that theologians would follow. Theology is a “philosophical discipline concerned with religious speculation and apologetics” focused on the divine and sacred, humanity and “god,” salvation, and eschatology. In its efforts to be as applicable and systematic as any science, theology has spawned a host of “isms”: agnosticism, atheism, deism, dualism, monotheism, pantheism, polytheism, animism, totemism and such. Although certainly applicable to all religions, theology has been a major thread primarily in the Abrahamic faiths – Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and their offshoots.

The philosopher Plato identified the term “theology” with the mythical, which might have a temporary pedagogical significance but that would eventually be cleansed from the rational state. This identification of theology with mythology remained common throughout the Mediterranean civilizations until the Christians took umbrage and declared that theology was a means of proclaiming the divine, of confessing to it, and of preaching this confession. Thus, by the early Medieval Era theology was the attempt by adherents to make a logical and reasonable statement of faith, to explicate that statement in terms of rationalism, and to place it in the context of the “real” world as well as the spiritual. By the Renaissance, theologians were striving mightily to distance themselves from mysticism and be taken seriously by other academic disciplines.

During the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance, theology was the ultimate subject at most universities, being labelled the “Queen of the Sciences” and serving as the capstone for the Trivium and Quadrivium that learned young men were expected to master. Theology’s eminent place in the university curriculum finally began to be challenged during the Enlightenment, especially in Germany. Most of the unresolved debate since has centered on whether theology’s methods are appropriately theoretical and scientific.

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