With the support of the John Templeton Foundation, we intend to develop a free-to-access, online Encyclopaedia of Theology. We envision a resource of the utmost academic rigour, whose style and clarity of organization will ensure its usefulness to all levels of education in the discipline, and whose free status will be of particular relevance in the developing world. In countries and contexts where rich libraries and teaching collections are not available, the Encyclopaedia will be an invaluable, free introduction and reference. Each article will be historically informed, engaging the best of recent scholarship, and composed from a point of view internal to its theological tradition. All authors will be leading scholars in their fields, and we hope the Encyclopaedia of Theology will attain authority and ubiquity akin to that of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which will serve us as a model of excellence.
In a time when academic study of religion is turning away from reflection on the Divine, and towards social-scientific and anthropological description of religious practice, the John Templeton Foundation has been a bulwark of support for a genuinely theological science that pursues big questions about divine reality and the truth value of religious claims. The Encyclopaedia will encourage the continued pursuit of these big questions by engaging and disseminating the best research in theology, and so truly represent a resource for the future of the discipline.
The Encyclopaedia will be firmly grounded in the Divinity School of the University of St Andrews, and operate in synergy with other Templeton-supported endeavours such as the Logos Institute. The present application is for a grant to lay the groundwork for the Encyclopaedia, including writing a full, detailed application for a Large Grant from the Templeton Foundation.