PHIL2003 Philosophy of Religion

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the Philosophy major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit assesses the coherence/incoherence of theism through a critical examination of concepts and problems associated with theistic faith in Western religious thought. It examines the adequacy of proposed solutions to some of the perennial and most troublesome problems that theists (and atheists) who reflect on their beliefs from a philosophical perspective have had to face. Alternative concepts of deity (pantheism, deism and panentheism) are also examined. Readings are drawn from classical and contemporary sources in philosophy and philosophical theology. Areas of enquiry include arguments for and against the existence of God, the divine attributes, the problem of evil, miracles, mystical experience, the nature of religious faith, religious language, and immortality and the nature of the soul.
Students are able to (1) have a critical understanding of some of the fundamental problems of philosophy of religion; (2) have an awareness of the philosophical aspect of issues relating to faith and rationality, concepts of deity, evil, mystical experience, miracles, immortality, natural theology, 'proofs' for/against god's existence; (3) assess philosophical theories regarding the nature of these issues; (4) have a critical appreciation of the representation of philosophical ideas about religion; (5) understand ways in which issues in philosophy of religion are related to other philosophical problems in ethics, metaphysics and social and political philosophy; (6) independently interpret philosophical texts; (7) locate philosophical ideas in their historical context; (8) evaluate philosophical positions, including identifying counter-examples and identifying and questioning their basic assumptions; (9) compare and contrast philosophical positions; (10) construct persuasive arguments; and (11) demonstrate strong written communication and research skills.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) one to two research essays; (2) an end-of-semester examination; and (3) class participation and presentation. Further information is available in the unit outline.

To pass this unit, a student must: (a) achieve an overall mark of 50 per cent or higher for the unit; and (b) achieve the requisite requirements(s) or a mark of 50 per cent or greater, whichever is higher and specified in the unit outline, for the class participation and presentation component.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Karen Bland
Unit rules
any Level 1 Philosophy unit
PHIL2211 Philosophy of Religion
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials: 1 hour per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.