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Unit information: Philosophy of Religion in 2015/16

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Unit name Philosophy of Religion
Unit code PHIL20052
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. David Leech
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department Department of Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

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.

Unit Aims:

(1) To enable students to develop a detailed knowledge of the history of philosophy of religion;

(2) To enable students to acquire an in-depth understanding of current debates in the discipline, with respect both to theistic and non-theistic traditions;

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

(4) To enable students to develop skills in the researching, reading and presentation of complex material.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have:

(1) developed a detailed knowledge of the history of philosophy of religion;

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

(3) gained 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, as appropriate to Level-I.

Teaching details

Weekly one-hour lectures, plus weekly one-hour seminars.

Assessment Details

2 x formative essay (2250 words)

Three-hour unseen examination (100%), assessing ILOs 1-4.

Reading and References

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

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