Theology reigns as queen of sciences

The study of God is not only important in humanities, but also most significant in the sciences.

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Marika Adamopoulos

Matthew Maitz/THE CHIMES

Jacqueline Lewis, Writer

Theology, or the study of God, may not involve bunsen burners or beakers, but it does qualify as a science — and the highest one at that.

QUEEN OF HUMANITIES

A 2013 article in the Atlantic entitled “Study Theology, Even if You Don’t Believe in God” argues students should consider the importance of studying theology from a non-religious perspective. It notes the theology of religion holds great weight on the developments in politics and in history through a better understanding of the worldviews of past significant historical figures.

The author of the article, Tara Isabella Burton, states that in the Medieval Era, theology was considered the “Queen of the Sciences.” Now, according to Oxford’s William Wood, a university lecturer in philosophical theology, the theologian must be “a historian, a philosopher, a linguist, a skillful interpreter of texts both ancient and modern, and probably many other things besides.” According to Wood, theology is no longer Queen of the Sciences, but the Queen of Humanities.

AT ITS CORE

Although it is important to acknowledge the influence theology has on the humanities, academia must also acknowledge its essentiality as a science.

The word “science” comes from the Latin word scientia, meaning knowledge. At its core, that is what science is — simply knowledge. The dictionary defines science in a multitude of ways, only one being what most people would consider science — the study of the natural world. The other definitions of science describe it simply as a systematic body of knowledge or any knowledge of a particular subject.

If knowledge is the understanding of truth, or whatever corresponds with reality, and if God is real as we believe at Biola, certainly the study of God qualifies as a legitimate science.

It is not merely opinion — there is truth about God and there is falsehood about him. He is a reality and if we are to know truth about him, we must study the Bible and what the universe says about him to know this truth — together, this knowledge constitutes theology.

INCREDIBLE COMPLEXITIES

But theology is not merely a simple science or a lowly one. Chemistry, physics and biology involve incredible complexities and the most intelligent still do not know everything about them. If we assert God is the Creator of these complexities, then theology not only seeks knowledge, but it seeks knowledge of the generator of knowledge — the One who knows all things and generated humanity’s ability to obtain knowledge.

Theology is not only a science, but it is the science that precedes and creates all sciences. It is understanding and knowing and growing closer to God, the Creator and Savior of the universe. Few universities offer theology as a major and even fewer mandate it as a core course. Biola University is one of the last few who mandate theology classes, but even in Christian circles, the natural sciences receive the greatest promotion as true sciences.

Surely it is about time theology retakes its rightful place on the throne as Queen of the Sciences.

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