Divinity vs Theology
There is a difference between Divinity and Theology in general parlance though the two terms are treated as the same in academic disciplines. Divinity and Theology are often confused due to the appearing similarity between their meanings and connotations. Divinity refers to the state of things that are believed to have originated from the God or a deity. As a result, these things are considered holy or sacred. Theology, on the other hand, is the study of Gods or deities and the religions that are based on such beliefs. However, in the academic level, a course of study in divinity and a course of study in theology both refer to studying Christian traditions using different perspectives such as textual, doctrinal, and historical. Let us explore these subjects more.
What is Divinity?
In divinity, people believe that certain things, sometimes even people, are sacred or holy because they come straight from God or deities. So, a godlike nature is attributed to these things by general public. These special things are accepted to be divine because they have transcendental origins. Having transcendental origins means, these things contain immense power that make them go beyond the physical laws. All of these divine things were considered superior to the things on the Earth. They are eternal and they are also based on the truth. Things such as apparitions, miracles, prophecies, and visions are considered divine. For example, think about a person who is lost in the dessert without any water. There is no pasture for him to find water. However, then suddenly that person finds water. That is a miracle. You cannot explain it logically or with the physical evidence. So, these kinds of unexplainable situations are attributed to divine features by people who believe that these things came into being as a result of God watching over them.
Later on divinity was attributed to mortals too. This was done because people believed certain people were gifted by the gods. For example, take the ancient Pharaohs. Egyptian people accepted them as living gods. However, as an academic principle, divinity studies Christianity from a historical, textual, and doctrinal perspective.
What is Theology?
Theology is the study of Gods or deities and the religions that are based on such beliefs. Theology also studies how these types of beliefs influence people. Theology also focuses on the nature of different religious traditions. In following theology, a theologian expects to understand different religious topics. They not only try to understand but they also try to explain and critique such religious beliefs. Always remember theology can be applicable to a religion that has the belief of a God or a deity. In studying theology, theologians expect to understand their religion better, to understand other religions better, to compare different religions so as to get a better understanding of each religion, defend or justify a tradition followed by a specific religion and even to support or to challenge a tradition of a religion or the world view of a religion.
As an academic discipline, theology studies mainly Christianity with a textual, historical and doctrinal perspective. People who believe that there is no God or there are no deities question the suitability of theology as an academic subject because they see it as a subject that has no facts to back it. All the facts in theology come from religious texts, which do not present any physical evidence of the God’s presence or the presence of deities. Critics say that theology confuses the ordinary people.
What is the difference between Divinity and Theology?
• Definition of Divinity and Theology:
• Divinity refers to the state of things that are believed to have originated from the God or a deity.
• Theology is the study of Gods or deities and the religions that are based on such beliefs.
• Academic Discipline:
• Both divinity and theology study Christian traditions as academic disciplines using different perspectives such as textual, doctrinal and historical.
• Both theology and divinity gain criticism by people who do not believe in God or deities, as not useful and misleading.
As you can see, divinity and theology are one and the same as academic disciplines. In normal sense, divinity is attributing sacredness and holiness to certain things as they are believed to have connection with the God or deities. Theology is the study of these God based religions.
- Elizabeth I and the three Goddesses Juno, Minerva & Venus via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
- Theology via Pixabay (Public Domain)