About the project
The St Andrews Encyclopaedia of Theology is a nascent online, free-to-access encyclopaedia of the highest academic standards, treating the full discipline of Theology with rigour and clarity.
Supported by St Mary’s College of the University of St Andrews and generously funded by the John Templeton Foundation, it will be comparable to, and to some extent modelled on, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, internationally recognized as a highly successful, authoritative resource and a driver of its discipline.
Theology, as we understand it, is inquiry into the nature of divine or ultimate things, grounded in the metaphysical, epistemological, and normative commitments of particular religious traditions or practices. In an age where the study of theology is often displaced in academia by social-scientific approaches to religious practice, the Encyclopaedia offers a different approach: scholarship in the emic rather than etic mode, focusing on theological concepts, structures, and systems.
The St Andrews Encyclopaedia of Theology will ultimately incorporate intellectual content from all major religious traditions, with an emphasis on material being written by scholars for whom these traditions are alive. Engagement will proceed in distinct stages: an initial phase, assembling a network of Senior Editors and advisors, and a main phase, in which articles are commissioned and authored.
At present, the Encyclopaedia is engaging with the following traditions:
- Christianity (main phase)
- Judaism (entering main phase)
- Islam (entering main phase)
- Hinduism (initial phase)
- Buddhism (initial phase)
Principles and organization
In its full form, the Encyclopaedia will stand as a standard daily reference tool of scholars of theology and religion everywhere:
- It will exhibit key encyclopaedic virtues of clarity, academic rigour, and compendiousness.
- Articles will be historically informed, but conceptually focused.
- They will engage the best of recent scholarship, and be kept up to date by their authors after publication.
- They will be fully peer-reviewed and expertly edited.
The Encyclopaedia will be organized to encourage organic growth, leading to intellectually creative juxtapositions of scholarship and the establishment of mutually informing relationships between articles.
Each tradition will present its content using distinct structures which reflect the tradition’s modes of theology and the Encyclopaedia’s commitment to emic perspectives.
The editors are currently approaching select leading and emerging scholars in their fields to serve as authors and advisors. Additionally, inquiries are welcome from established researchers in any field of Christian theology to discuss in what area they might contribute.