- Angelology- study of Angels
- Anthropology- study of humanity's nature
- Christology- Study of Christ's nature
- Cosmology- Study of the the origin of the cosmos/ Creation
- Demonology- Study of Satan and his forces
- Ecclesiology- study of the church
- Epistemology- Study of knowledge and understanding
- Eschatology- study of the life after death and the end of the world
- Ontology- study of existence
- Pneumatology- study of the Spirit
- Sacramentology- study of the sacraments/ordinances
- Soteriology- study of salvation
- Theology- study of God
There are also many branches of Christian study that do not end with '-ology', such as:
- Ethics- study of right living (moral or practical)
- Hermeneutics- study of interpreting a text/Scripture
- History- study of past events (Also Archeology)
- Liturgy- Study of public worship (Also liturgiology)
- Metaphystics- study of supernatural forces
- Pastoral theology- study of the role of the pastor
- Philosophy- Systematic study of reality
- Science-Systematic study of tangible reality
- Theodicy- Study of the existence of evil given a just God
Though this list is not exhaustive, I would consider these to be the major branches of Christian study.
However, there is one branch of Christian study which I believe is a major aspect of Christian understanding that, as far as I am aware, has no name. Therefore, I gave it a name: ecotheology.
What is Ecotheology
The prefix 'eco-' is used to reference environment, usually in terms of Nature, but not necessarily. 'Theology' is of course the study of God. Therefore, what I mean by 'Ecotheology' is the study of the interactions between a faith community or religious perspective with its cultural environment.
Interestingly enough, this area of theology has already had a lot of development within Christianity. The most notable ecotheological movement would be Emergent Church movement which is defined by it "discussion" ecotheological issues. However, Fundamentalism and the Amish would also be groups which are defined by an ecotheological stance (In that they both view that interactions between the faith community and the cultural environment should be limited, or non-existent). Again Liberalism is also a position based off of an ecotheological stance (That the faith community should adapt and accommodate to the ambient culture's academy). Thus I am not proposing that we create a new area of theology inquiry, but that we should identify as a legitimate category of Christian study that already exists.
Within Christianity, we conveniently have a base question from which we can base our study: "how can we be in the world and not of the world?" Any attempt to answer or consider this question is Christian ecotheology.
Therefore, Christian ecotheology starts with two basic assumptions: A) That we (the Church) are something distinct and other within our culture and B) that we do belong where we are. Thus we can see that Christian ecotheology is intimately related to ecclesiology (The study of the Church). This shouldn't be surprising since in the definition I gave ["the study of the interactions between a faith community or religious perspective with its cultural environment"], the faith community mentioned there would be the church within Christianity.
However, I would argue that ecotheology is indeed something entirely distinct from ecclesiology since it is a study of interactions rather than a study of nature. It would be similar to the distinction between Christology (the study of who Christ is) and soteriology (the study of what Christ accomplished).
Indeed, ecotheology is intimately concerned with ethics: How are we to maintain our otherness, and yet still fulfill our purpose in being within this culture? This is merely a rephrasing of the first question, and yet shows that this has as much to do with personal ethics as it does with the nature of the Church. It is balancing holiness with mission, placing evangelism itself firmly within ecotheology's purview. However, it is also concerned with how to interact with educational institutions, mass media, and political structures.
However, it is not limited to ethics, for there is the ultimate question of how the church as a whole interacts with the world as a whole. How are we portrayed? How much of that portrayal is our fault? What can we do to improve that image? Should we do something to improve it? How well do we understand the needs of our culture? Are we reaching out to it the right way? These are major questions, and are worthy of direct and systematic study.
Anyway, what do you guys think?