Discussion, study, and inquiry into the nature of God or the gods. The first theology appeared in ancient Greece, with numerous writers and thinkers writing stories about and speculating on the nature of the gods. The tradition continued in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and its role was especially distinct in Christianity, where theology emerged as a branch of scholarship as well as of religious thinking. Some of the most important Christian thinkers, notably Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, are properly considered theologians. Among the main concerns of these and other theologians were the na- ture of God, the human relationship with God, ethics, salvation, and eschatology (the last days). Hinduism, Buddhism, and other Asian religious traditions cannot be said to have theology as such, since they do not consider philosophical inquiry in any way separate from ritual or other kinds of religious practice or belief. The term is used in all religions, nonetheless, in a very broad sense, to refer to the teachings of religious authorities. SEE ALSO: Augustine, Saint; philosophy of religion; Thomas Aquinas, SaintTheology ppt

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