I guess expansion on certain points could be called for.
1. What's the difference between an academic and a theologian as I've meant the terms in the last two posts? I've only meant it to be a distinction in degrees. I don't buy the difference between religious studies and theology as it pertains to the True Faith. You cannot study the Faith through dim glasses (without Faith), really. So I object to referring to such a thing as an integrated science. Academic theologian is just a more educated version. Quite attainable to the layman, but difficult, since a great deal of progress in any science lies in collegial exchange and in the teaching process.
2. What's the difference between theology and history? Nothing other than that the former incorporates the study of the Living (i.e. continuing) Magisterium and avails itself of supernatural means (faith, divine illumination).
3. My 'recommendation' of Gaillardetz's book in the previous post (which I admitted I had not really read) should definitely be taken with a grain of salt since he seems to be quite out-to-lunch. Of course, that doesn't mean that he has nothing to teach in the concrete matter of degrees of Magisterial teaching - just that his orthodoxy can't be assumed, nor, therefore, the veracity of his presentation. So, thanks for that note, dear reader! Especially useful is the link that was sent to me: http://www.socon.ca/or_bust/?p=3070.
4. Why am I so heavy on the non-confessional literature? I'm not. I'm heavy on good scholarship, from wherever it comes. The best scholars are Catholic - but so too are the worst.
5. The most important element in becoming a good thinker is to move beyond the simplistic. A single thing must be looked at from a variety of angles, a million angles, and only then does it become suitably known. Moving beyond the simplistic should be the single greatest concern in becoming educated in the Faith. It is not okay not to have a philosophic spirit.