Skip to main content

Unit information: The Philosophy of Religion in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name The Philosophy of Religion
Unit code THRS10034
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. David Leech
Open unit status Open




School/department Department of Religion and Theology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The philosophy of religion is a wide and varied philosophical discipline that cuts across ethics, metaphysics, epistemology and aesthetics. The unit introduces students to central debates concerning the central issues in recent philosophy of religion. We will ask whether the usual descriptions of the Judeo-Christian God are coherent, and the possibility of morality without the existence of a god, but we will also look at Buddhist and Islamic contributions to the field. Questions covered will include issues connected with the coherence of the concept of God, the justification of religious belief; religious experience; and the apparent tension between contemporary science and religion.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have

(1) developed a general knowledge of the philosophy of religion;

(2) acquired a basic understanding of current debates in the discipline, with respect both to theistic and non-theistic traditions;

(3) gained some familiarity with some central arguments in contemporary philosophy of religion and an ability to engage critically with them;

(4) developed skills in the researching, reading and presentation of complex material.

Teaching Information

1 lecture + 1 seminar per week

Assessment Information

One summative coursework essay of 1500 words and one unseen examination of two hours comprising 2 questions out of 6 (50%), both test ILOs 1-4

Reading and References

A Companion to Philosophy of Religion. Edited by Charles Taliaferro, Paul Draper and Philip L. Quinn. Oxford: Blackwell, 2010. BL51 COM. The Routledge companion to philosophy of religion. Edited by Chad Meister and Paul Copan. London: Routledge, 2013. BL51 ROU. Stenmark, Mikael. How to relate science and religion :a multidimensional model. Grand Rapids, Mich.; Cambridge: W.B. Eerdmans, 2004. BL240.3 STE. Taliaferro, Charles. Philosophy of religion: a beginner's guide. Oxford: Oneworld, 2009. BL51 TAL.