Theology: objective or subjective?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I read this about theology in Terrien under the topic of “The Theology of the Psalms” (The Psalms, p.45):
    The word “theology” is of Greek origin and does not correspond exactly to the Hebraic expression “the knowledge of God.” For Plato and Aristotle the word “theological” designated the objective science of “divine things”, such as cultic rites of adoration, propitiation, expiation and divination. Quite different is the semantic implication of the Hebrew sentence, which indicates a process of subjectivity as well as objectivity in the intimate rapport of humankind with God.
Looking at it from the Greek perspective, is the knowledge of God limited to the objective? It goes without saying that there is more that we don’t know than that we know about God. Is that what the Hebrew view of theology is trying to capture? In that what we cannot understand objectively about God calls for the subjective?

And what would be a subjective rendering of the knowledge of God? Would the doctrine of the Trinitarian God be theology in the objective or subjective view?

I do realise I have a lot of questions lately.

Maeghan
Picture by Neil Gould

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3 comment(s)

  1. Hi Maeghan,

    I would think of Theology, the "study of God", as a different thing than knowledge of God. Knowing God involves much more than what we do with our head. The Hebrews learned about God through word pictures and experience.

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  2. I took some time thinking about what you said - you are right since that is what -logy meands but the study of God would naturally extend into the knowledge of God.

    Knowing God involves much more than what we do with our head.

    I think that is exactly what he is trying to get at. A study of God is mainly in the head but the Hebraic way of theology would be more than that - it also involves the heart.

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  3. means not meands ... sorry :)

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