Jeramy S. Gee
Consideration of the sources of religious ideas and practices, the main kinds of religious views and the problems they raise, and the different forms that spirituality can take. Issues concerning the relations of religion to science and morality also treated.
This is a course about the Philosophy of Religion. Though one might think this will just be another course comparing and contrasting religious doctrine and practice across a number of religions, or about how religious practices and doctrines have developed over the centuries in one or two specific religious traditions, neither of these will be the focus of the class. “So,” you might be wondering, “what on earth will we talk about?” Mostly, we will concern ourselves with evaluating the truth of the kinds of claims one finds in the major theistic religions. This will involve thinking hard about the concept of God, whether belief in God is justified, religious experience, the intersection of science and religion, and whether the doctrines of any one religion could be right to the exclusion of others. It is my hope that by the end of this course, all students will be conversant with the accounts of, and problems raised by, philosophers and theologians regarding the issues above, that students be able to mull over these issues themselves, and that students will have generally honed their critical thinking skills by pondering these deep and fundamental issues. TEXTS: Philosophy of Religion: An Anthology, Louis P. Pojman and Michael Rea; Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, David Hume and Richard H. Popkin.
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Class assignments and grading