PHIL/RELI 134/126.001 – Philosophy of Western Religion

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Instructor: Lindsay Brainard. This course meets MTWRF 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in CW 103.

The aim of this course is to introduce students to contemporary philosophy of religion in a way that is philosophically rigorous, historically informed, and sensitive to the nature of the religious life. Problems and phenomena addressed in the course include: Can we know whether any gods exist and, if so, how? Is the existence of suffering compatible with theism? What is the nature of faith, and how does it relate to reason? What is the nature of mystical experience? What bearing, if any, do religious systems have on the meaning of life? What are the philosophical implications of religious diversity?

Classes will proceed primarily by lecture, though there will be a significant discussion component for this course. This course will serve as a good introduction to philosophical thought for students who have not yet taken any other philosophy courses, and it will also be appropriate for students who have already studied some philosophy and are interested in learning more about philosophy of religion.