Philosophy of Religion
COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this class, we will learn how philosophical problems with religious belief arise, and what various philosophers have had to say about these problems. Some of these problems are not difficult to discover. Many people, for instance, have wondered why evil must exist in a divinely created world. On the other hand, some problems only arise through some relatively deep and sustained reflections on the origins and nature of religious belief. These, too, we will explore; in a way which, hopefully will enable each student to appreciate some of the more subtle concerns of philosophers of religion.
COURSE GOALS: Generally,
this course is designed to familiarize students with the issues and themes
that dominate in the philosophy of religion and to develop the student's
ability to think critically about philosophical problems related to religious
belief. Students will learn to:
TWO WORDS OF WARNING:
1. Bear in mind that critical
thinking is not always easy to do. While some philosophers are entirely
supportive of religious institutions and/or beliefs, other are highly
critical of the same. Thus, the success of this course for all of us will
depend on our abilities to listen and talk freely, openly and rationally
with one another.
Gary E. Kessler, Philosophy
of Religion: Toward a Global Perspective (Thompson/Wadsworth, 1999)
1. One orientation quiz, worth 10 points
2. Three exams, each non-cumulative.
The first will be worth 50 points; the two following exams will be worth
70 points each. 190 points total.
5.Three brief reflection papers submitted as 1 - 1 1/2 page typed, double-spaced essays. 10 points each; 30 points total.