Chapter

The Emergence of Theological Disciplines

John Renard

in Islam and Christianity

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520255081
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948334 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520255081.003.0005
The Emergence of Theological Disciplines

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This chapter deals with how Christian and Muslim thinkers began to confront and sort out the problems and questions that arose. Creedal formulations have historically often given impetus to developments in systematic theology as an intellectual religious discipline. In the story of both Christian and Islamic thought, systematic thinking became an essential vehicle for theological content as the faith communities expanded into new cultural, social, intellectual, and linguistic contexts and adapted accordingly the language and logic in which they communicated their creeds. Christian authors began to engage in the rudiments of systematic theology during the patristic period. They confronted an important challenge: how to translate the essential concepts of a faith tradition rooted in a reinterpretation of Semitic sources and culture into terms adaptable to the spread of Christianity to a Greco-Roman Gentile world. Muslim scholars similarly first confronted thorny theological issues as Arab conquests facilitated Islam's spread beyond the Arabian Peninsula into parts of the Byzantine Empire.

Keywords: doctrinal themes; Christian authors; Muslim scholars; religious discipline; systematic theology

Chapter.  9072 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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