Recently I asked if theology were a branch of philosophy, and was encouraged by Dr. Stairs to ask my question.
If we are told in Christian (Catholic at least) faith that God is the only One True God and we should not pray to any other God except Her/Him/It, then how come (in some branches) we can pray to saints or to Mary, and not be committing idolatry?
One answer I've heard is that we do not "pray" to them so much as we ask them to intercede for us on our behalf....I don't know though, that sounds forced.
Great response. I would add that since the 17th century, theology as a discipline has largely been seen as distinct from philosophy. Theology, though, historically and today, has drawn from philosophy and philosophers (throughout its history) have addressed religiously significant themes. Philosophy of religion is a respected sub-field of philosophy (see the entry Philosophy of Religion in the free online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) just like philosophy of science, philosophy of art, and so on. There is also the practice of what is called philosophical theology --this is usually a matter of practicing philosophy within a tradition. In this sense a Christian philosopher might offer a philosophical analysis of the Trinity or Incarnation or Prayer.