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Some New Intellectual Disciplines

The plasticity of the English language, particularly its academic jargon never ceases to make for some good entertainment. Recently, a friend and I had occasion to speculate about possible ways of expressing different intellectual pursuits through the standard ways of nominating fields of study. So, here are some of the things we came up with:

  • Theography: the study of where God is
  • Theophotography: taking pictures of God (i.e. Mega-Iconography)
  • Theocartography: the art of making maps that lead to God
  • Philography: the love of words
  • Ecclesiography: the search for where the church is
My personal favorite is theography. I think if I worked hard enough I could actually make that into an actual term in theological discourse regarding the location of Christ’s body or something. Anyways, perhaps this is all just further proof that theology is, in fact, nothing more than a role-playing game. But hell, at least its fun.


  1. Nathan Smith wrote:

    Logology – Another term for Christology, of course.

    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 12:17 pm | Permalink
  2. Derrick wrote:

    Just a random thought but isnt the “love of words,” taken by “philology” already? I suppose we could just be giving David Hart more synonyms to combine into a long sentence

    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 12:36 pm | Permalink
  3. Derrick wrote:

    ps I love theography too, coincidentally I just started reading Jungel’s God as the Mystery of the World and am on the long section of the book entitled “Where is God,” so perfect timing

    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 12:38 pm | Permalink
  4. Halden wrote:

    I supposed philography would be more the love of writing rather than the love of words, wouldn’t it.

    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 12:38 pm | Permalink
  5. Mike Higton wrote:

    My PhD thesis contained the word ‘ecclesiography’ – until the final revision, when my supervisor finally convinced me that making words up was something I should save until I had a permanent academic job. It does, however, turn up as a book title in 1852: Rev. John G. Manley (1814-1908), Ecclesiography, or the Biblical Church Analytically Delineated (London: Partridge and Oakey)

    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 1:34 pm | Permalink
  6. Chris wrote:

    I am currently working on a video I am calling:


    The study of winemaking as it relates to God.

    Monday, July 28, 2008 at 1:59 pm | Permalink
  7. Terry wrote:

    Theoentemolontology: the view that the reality of God is composed of insects.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 1:47 am | Permalink
  8. mike d wrote:

    Theography: the study of where God is

    Hate to criticize your favorite but as a geographer I have to. The spatial component of the word geography is “geo” and as you know I’m sure the “graphy” is just “the study of of” or something close to that.

    So Theography doesn’t really have any spatial component to it at all – there is no “where”. Its just analogous to theology in the way geography is analogous to geology. It would just mean the field of study concerned with God but it has no spatial component.

    To get to what you want I would use something like “spatial theology”.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 5:20 am | Permalink
  9. Halden wrote:

    Yeah, with that one it was more like drawing connection through association rather than through technical definitions.

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 8:03 am | Permalink
  10. mike d wrote:

    The same would of course hold true for ‘ecclesiography’ but, again, as a geographer I applaud all this proposed spatial emphasis within theology :)

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 9:09 am | Permalink
  11. michael wrote:


    Tuesday, July 29, 2008 at 7:06 pm | Permalink
  12. Gerard wrote:

    Two expressions that cropped up in my dissertation which drove my supervisor up the wall (until I provided sound reasons for their inclusion) were “onto-constituting relations” (which hails from Trinitarian debates) and “divine constituting property” which I created (to the best of my knowledge) before I landed a tenure track position at a university.

    Thursday, July 31, 2008 at 9:56 am | Permalink

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