The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


Examines a number of issues in philosophy of religion which came to the fore in the ancient, medieval, early modern and enlightenment periods. Issues to be discussed may include proofs for the existence of God, the nature of religion, the relation of religion and scientific inquiry, and the sources of the concept of transcendence. Philosophers to be considered in the discussion of one or more of these issues may include Augustine, Avicenna, Maimonides, Anselm, Descartes, Locke, Kant, Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate familiarity with, and knowledge of, the main issues addressed and approaches taken by philosophers with respect to religion;

2. Demonstrate critical skills to interact with these issues in their historical forms and assess their relevance to contemporary philosophical discussion of these matters;

3. Demonstrate advanced writing, research and information technology skills appropriate to studies of philosophy and religion;

4. Develop an understanding and appreciation of the ways in which historical context can help generate but not exhaust the ways in which an issue can appear and reappear in the history of philosophy.


The content focuses on the presentation of particular issues in philosophy of religion as they developed within the ancient, early modern, enlightenment and later periods. The issues are those surrounding the existence, nature, and attributes of God, the source of the concept of transcendence, the nature of religion, as well as ways of understanding the relation between religion and a number of contemporary cultural concerns.

There will be some variation in emphases within this framework from year to year as appropriate to student needs.

The lectures and discussions in class will focus on:

          * interpreting the texts,

          * examining the philosophic issues,

          * discussing how the historical context helps shape the issues; and

          * indicating the contemporary relevance of the matters discussed.


This course replaces PHIL3030. If you have successfully completed PHIL3030 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assessment items

Essay: Essay One 35%

Essay: Essay Two 35%

Online Learning Activity: Online Learning Task 30%

Contact hours



Online 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks