Philosophy of Western Religion (PHIL 134)

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Instructor: Jason Rheins. This course meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 – 3:15 p.m. in Fred Brooks 009.

In this course we will consider five major philosophical questions raised by religion: 1. In what ways can traditional religious rituals and sacred texts be interpreted in the face of logical, moral, and scientific challenges. 2. Can the existence of God(s) be proven, and if so, how? 3. Can one have faith in a God who permits suffering in the world? 4. What is the relationship between faith, reason, and religious belief? 5. What is the relationship between religion and morality or having a meaningful life? We will begin the course by looking at the ancient Greeks’ philosophical debates about the gods before turning to texts from the traditions of the monotheistic, Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The principal work for the course will consist of two very short papers (2~3 pages), one longer term paper, and a final exam.

Cross-listed with RELI 126.

Jason Rheins’s webpage