The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

Course handbook


As philosophers such as Charles Taylor have observed, in the contemporary world it is no longer the case that belief in 'God' is the default setting, and no longer do the majority opt to embrace one of the more 'traditional' religious forms of life. In fact, the present climate is characterised by the availability of a variety of religious options, movements, or ways of life. In this context, what does it mean to speak of 'God' when 'god' is a word that is used to describe all manner of things? This course will examine the development of the understandings of 'God", the gods, and transcendence in the modern period. Students will gain a clear understanding of the key writers on the subject, and will be expected to identify the evolution of philosophical factors which have contributed to major changes in religious thought today.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2019


  • Semester 2 - 2019

Replacing course(s)

This course replaces the following course(s): RELT3010. Students who have successfully completed RELT3010 are not eligible to enrol in PHIL3040.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Understand the main developments that have occurred in the modern understanding of 'God', the gods and transcendence

2. Critically analyse key movements in modern religious thought today

3. Reflect upon and synthesise the philosophical implications of modern religious claims

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


This course will examine the understanding of 'God', the gods, and transcendence developed by a variety of philsophers and religious thinkers. 

Assessment items

Essay: Essay - 30%

Essay: Essay - 50%

Online Learning Activity: Online Learning Task - 20%

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks



Online 2 hour(s) per Week for 12 Weeks