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Journal subject areas

The journal subject areas are defined by the following index terms below. Submitted manuscripts are assigned to the individual editors on the basis of these keywords.



Apologetics – the study of Christian theology as it compares to non-Christian worldviews in order to defend the faith and challenge beliefs that differ from Christianity.

Biblical hermeneutics – interpretation of the Bible, often with particular emphasis on the nature and constraints of contemporary interpretation.

Biblical studies – interpretation of the Bible, often with particular emphasis on historical-critical investigation.

Biblical theology – interpretation of the Bible, often with particular emphasis on links between biblical texts and the topics of systematic or dogmatic theology.

Comparative theology – comparing the doctrines of the diverse churches (e.g., Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, the various Protestant denominations).

Constructive theology – generally another name for systematic theology; also specifically a postmodernist approach to systematic theology, applying (among other things) deconstructionism, and hermeneutics to theological topics.

Dogmatic theology – studying theology (or dogma) as it developed in different church denominations.

Historical theology – studying Christian theology via the thoughts of other Christians throughout the centuries.

Homiletics – the application of general principles of rhetoric to public preaching.

Moral theology / Christian ethics – the exploration of the moral and ethical dimensions of religious life.

Natural theology – the discussion of those aspects of theology that can be investigated without the help of revealed scriptures or tradition (sometimes contrasted with "positive theology").

Patristics / Patrology — the study of the teaching of Church Fathers or the development of Christian ideas and practice in the period of the Church Fathers.

Philosophical theology – the use of philosophical methods in developing or analyzing theological concepts.

Pragmatic or practical theology – the study of theology as it relates to everyday live and service to God, including serving as a religious minister.

Spiritual theology — the study of theology as a means to orthopraxy; scripture and tradition are both used as guides for spiritual growth and discipline.

Systematic theology (doctrinal theology, dogmatic theology or philosophical theology) — the focus on the attempt to arrange and interpret the ideas current in the religion. This is also associated with constructive theology.

Theological aesthetics – an interdisciplinary study of theology and aesthetics/the arts.

Theological hermeneutics – the study of the manner of construction of theological formulations.



Aesthetics – the study of the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and the creation of personal kinds of truth. Applied aesthetics is the application of the philosophy of aesthetics to art and culture.

Christian culture studies – the study of the cultural practices common to Christianity.

Christian philosophy – the study of developments in philosophy that are characterized by an origin in a Christian tradition.

Descriptive ethics – the study of people's beliefs about morality.

Epistemology – the study of knowledge.

Ethics – the study of the right, the good, and the valuable. Applied ethics is the philosophical examination, from a moral standpoint, of particular issues in private and public life that are matters of moral judgment. It thus attempts to use philosophical methods to identify the morally correct course of action in various fields of human life.

History of philosophy – the study of philosophical ideas and concepts through time.

Logic – the study of good reasoning, by examining the validity of arguments and documenting their fallacies.

Metaethics – a branch of ethics that seeks to understand the nature of ethical properties, statements, attitudes, and judgments.

Metaphysics – the study of the state of being and the nature of reality.

Normative ethics – the study of ethical theories that prescribe how people ought to act.

Ontology – the philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations.

Philosophy of mind – the study of the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, consciousness, and their relationship to the physical body, particularly the brain.

Philosophy of religion – the philosophical examination of the central themes and concepts involved in religious traditions.

Philosophy of space and time – the branch of philosophy concerned with the issues surrounding the ontology, epistemology, and character of space and time.



Archaeology – the study of past human cultures through the recovery, documentation and analysis of material remains and environmental data.

Archontology – the study of historical offices and important positions in state, international, political, religious and other organizations and societies.

Art history – the study of changes in and social context of art.

Chronology – the study of the sequence of past events

Cultural history – the study of culture in the past.

Epigraphy – the study of ancient inscriptions.

Historiography – both the study of the methodology of historians and the development of history as a discipline and also the body of historical work on a particular subject.

History of Christianity – the study of the historical development of Christian religion, Christendom, and the Church with its various denominations, from the first century to the present.

History of science – the study of the emergence and development of scientific inquiry.

Military history – the study of warfare and wars in history.

Palaeography – the study of ancient texts.

Political history – the study of past political events, ideas, movements, and leaders.

Prosopography – the investigation of a historical group of individuals through a collective study of their lives.

Social history – the study of societies and social trends in the past.

Urban history – the study of the historical nature of cities and towns, and the process of urbanization.

World history – the study of global or transnational historical patterns.