May 25, 2024  
College Catalog 2022-2023 
College Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PHIL 212 - Philosophy of Religion

Cross-Listed as  
Philosophical analysis of problems in religion and theology such as arguments for the existence of God and the nature of religious knowledge. The Philosophy of Religion seeks an understanding of religion by raising philosophical questions about its underlying assumptions and implications. When we believe something it is because we think it is true and because we think we have good evidence to support our belief. In the case of religious beliefs, however, we are immediately faced with questions concerning the nature of such beliefs. What claims do they make? What would count as good evidence for a religious belief? What is the nature of religious truth? In this course we will examine the nature of religious beliefs and the ways in which philosophers in different traditions have justified or argued against such beliefs. Perhaps in response to the increasing challenge to religion from the natural sciences, twentieth century philosophers have questioned the traditional philosophical approach to religion. Some philosophers, Wittgenstein for example, question traditional interpretations of religious language and re-examine the relationship between faith and reason. Can religious life be practiced without a theology or with skepticism or agnosticism regarding theological questions? Other topics covered in the course include the attempt to introduce intelligent design into public schools as part of the science curriculum; religious pluralism; the belief in life after death; and feminist critiques of religious language. Alternate years. (4 Credits)