Systematic Theology is understood as a systematic, methodical, and hermeneutical discourse on the Christian faith as lived according to the praxis in the Catholic Church. Despite the confessional nature of this theology, it does not oppose an ecumenical understanding and attitude that inhabit the core of its own discourse.

Systematic Theology is nourished by the conviction that the praxis lived by the community of faith in Jesus Christ is the access to the singular manifestation of God that constitutes the object of Christian theological reflection. Theology would not be possible outside the Word of God or the Revelation of God, which is why it is more a hermeneutics than a dogmatics. The foundation of Systematic Theology is rooted in Tradition and, therefore, has a biblical character.

Although the old rejection of the concept of “Dogmatic Theology” has today practically disappeared from theological circles, both Protestant and Catholic, in this encyclopedia we opted for the use of the expression “Systematic Theology.” However, this does not mean that we neglect to present the affirmations of the Church’s faith as a language about God, conceptually organizing and developing the content of this faith, lived in the Christian community. This task is understood as hermeneutical, historical, and reflective, seeking to be intelligible to our contemporaries, especially Latin Americans.

In this Encyclopedia, Theology is differentiated from the Sciences of Religion, which do not specifically address the Christian faith. However, this Theology engages in dialogue with the sciences, especially with the Sciences of Religion.

Specific entries are dedicated to the major themes of theology. These themes revolve around Jesus Christ (Christology), the God of Revelation: mystery of communion (Trinity), Creation and Human Being (Theology of Creation and Theological Anthropology), the Christian Community (Ecclesiology), Christian Hope (Eschatology), and Mary, mother of Jesus (Mariology). Various emerging issues in Systematic Theology are also addressed.

Manuel Hurtado, SJ. FAJE, Brazil.