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PH30R — Philosophy of Religion – God, Man, Reason and Religion

Course Description

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Philosophy of religion is one of the infrastructural disciplines in Philosophy. The infrastructural disciplines are courses which attempt to examine particular academic disciplines with the aim at examining their basic assumptions and evaluating them against the standards of consistency, coherence and explanatory adequacy. Thus, philosophy of religion is the application of the methods of philosophy to the understanding of religion as a human and social phenomenon.

The rationale for a course in the philosophy of religion is borne out of the fact that despite the influence of science and technology on human lives, religion is still a pervasive phenomenon. This is because moral, social, economic, technological decisions are made against the background of one religious belief or another. It then behooves on philosophy and indeed non–philosophy students, to reflect on the phenomenon of religion in all its ramifications.

In this course, attention shall be focused on the critical examination of the phenomenon of religion and the various elements which characterize religion as a “form of life”. At the end of the course, students are expected to:

  1. Analyze the various conceptions of religion and philosophy of religion.
  2. Examine the notion of Supreme Being in Western and non- Western religions.
  3. Examine grounds for theism, atheism and agnosticism.
  4. Analyze the relationship between religion and morality.
  5. Explore religious discourse as a genre of thinking.
  6. Analyze different arguments in relation to the origin and end of the universe.

Course Outline

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  1. What is religion and what is philosophy of religion?
  2. The notion of Supreme Being in Western and non- Western religions.
  3. Arguments for the existence of God.
  4. The problem of evil.
  5. Religion and the social order:
    1. Religion and science
    2. Religion and morality
    3. Religion and politics.
  6. The language of religious discourse
    1. Religion and the problem of verification (The University Discussion).
    2. Logical positivism and the critique of religion.
  7. The origin and end of the universe
    1. The notion of creation
    2. Immortality and Resurrection.

Delivery

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3 Hours weekly. That is 2 Hours of Lecture and 1 Hour of Seminar/Tutorial weekly. The Seminars/Tutorials are compulsory.

Evaluation

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  • Tutorial Participation and Presentation … … 10%
  • One research essay (2500 words) … … 30%
  • Final two-hour Examination … … 60%
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