More and more divisions of academic specialization: Liberal Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Visual & Performing Arts, Business, Education, Languages, Religious Studies, Ethnic Studies, etc.
Often "Theology" (faith-based, confessional) is distinguished from "Religious Studies" (neutral, objective, comparative); a graduate-level "School of Theology" or a professional "Divinity School" might even co-exist in the same university as a "Department of Religious Studies."
Return to more and more "interdisciplinary studies": Science and Religion, Sociology of Religion, Religion & Politics, etc.
Types of Belief in God/gods – lots of “-isms”
Theism = Belief in the existence of a God or any gods
The generic term, of which other –isms are subcategories
Atheism = Belief that God and/or gods do “not exist”
Agnosticism = “Not knowing” whether God exists; overall non-belief
Gnosticism = A religious system that believes salvation comes through “knowledge” (Gk. gnosis) of one’s divine origin and destiny
Polytheism = Belief in the existence of “many” (Gk. poly) gods
Egyptian: many gods, mostly in animal form
Greek & Roman: a large family of gods, on Mount Olympus
Pantheism = Belief that divinity resides “everywhere” (Gk. pan)
The whole universe is divine; divinity is within everything that exists
But there is no “God” separate from or external to the world
Deism = Belief that God created the world, but then abandoned it
God exists, created us, but exerts no further influence on the world
Based on 18th-century rationalism (e.g. Thomas Jefferson)
Henotheism = Allegiance to “one” god over the others
All nations have their own “gods”; “Our god is better than your gods”
Monotheism = Belief in the existence of “only” one God
What others call “gods” are at most spirits, but not divine
Christians believe in one God, but Jesus & Spirit also divine (Trinitarian Monotheism)
“Trinity” = one divine “nature,” three divine “persons” (not 3 diff. gods)
Paganism = Religions of “others” who don’t believe in “our” God/gods
Popular connotations negative: pagans, heathens, unbelievers
Academic meaning neutral: all non-Jewish, non-Christian religions
Identifying God (using Titles & Names):
God / god, Deity, Divine Power, El, Elohim, Allah, etc.
Father, Mother, Creator, Lord, King, etc.
Jewish: YHWH (Yahweh? Jehovah?); Ya/Ja
Mesopotamian: Asherah, Baal; Ishtar, Marduk, Tiamat, etc.
Egyptian: Aten, Horus, Isis, Osiris, Ra, Seth, Thoth, etc.
Greco-Roman or Olympian: Zeus=Jupiter; Athena=Diana; Apollo=Mercury; etc.