PHIL2321: Philosophy of Religion

Matthew M. Daude, Ph.D.

Synonym: 24244
Fall, 2001

12:00-1:15 PM
RGC 019

 Course Description

The ACC catalogue describes this course as "An analysis of the concept of God, the nature of religion and religious experienuinaith an emphasis on such themes as the problem of evil, rationality and religious belief, and arguments for and against the concept of a deity."

There are no prerequisites for Philosophy of Religion. A passing score or the equivalent on the reading portion of the TASP is required, and I highly recommend a passing score or the equivalent on the writing portion.

Our main purpose is to explore the central concepts of religion, and to that end we will be exploring various religious traditions of the world

Required Texts/Materials

Hick, J. Philosophy of Religion

The text is available in the ACC bookstore. As the course unfolds, I will also recommend a collection of readings, which I will post to my instructional website.

Instructional Methodology

I will use a variety of media in my presentations, including web material, etc. There will also be group work and group presentations to the class.

The major form of individual assessment will be exams and writing assignments (essays, etc.). I may also use online forms to gather information about your progress in the coursework. I would prefer that assignments be submitted by email wherever possible.

I have set up a listserv for this class for additional discussion of issues that we do not cover in class.

Course Rationale

Religion has been and continues to be one of the principal forces that have shaped human societies and history. For this reason, exploration of the central concepts of religion sheds light on the dynamics of religious tradition and faith. This exploration affords a deeper understanding of culture and history.

PHIL1304 Objectives

Departmental Course Goals

  1. To become acquainted with the basic concepts and problems of the philosophy of religion
  2. To become acquainted with several major philosophers and traditions and their views regarding these problems
  3. To learn and to practice philosophical reasoning


  1. Students will demonstrate understanding of the central philosophical concepts of religion
  2. Students will demonstrate familiarity with major thinkers and theories in the philosophy of religion
  3. Students will demonstrate improved critical thinking skills.

Coursework and Grading Policy

Your grade for this course will be based on exams, collaborative work, and written work demonstrating the pursuit of the objectives of the course. (See the Coursework Guide for a more detailed explanation of the written work.)  The three exams and two religious event essays form the basic component and are required of all students, . You may complete additional components for a higher grade, as indicated in the following table:

To earn a C
  1. Complete the three core exams
  2. Complete the in-class presentation
  3. The average of your grades must be at least a C
To earn a B
  1. Complete the three core exams
  2. Complete the in-class presentation
  3. Complete the Analytical Essay
  4. The average of your grades must be at least a B
To earn an A
  1. Complete the three core exams
  2. Complete the in-class presentation
  3. Complete the Analytical Essay
  4. Complete a Research Essay
  5. The average of your grades must be an A.

In any case, the average of your grades will determine the course grade. (For example, if you completed the exams, the Analytical Essay, and the Research Essay, but your average is a B, your course grade will still be a B. Quality should be of greater concern than quantity!)

The calculation of your grade depends on whether you pursue a C, B, or A. Each course component weighs the same. Here is the relative weight of each assignment for each plan: 

  C plan B plan A plan
Exams 75 60 50
In-Class Presentation 25 20 16.67
Analytical Essay   20 16.67
Research Essay     16.67

Due dates for written work and exam dates will be arranged in class and posted on the main page for your course. Please note that I will not accept work after the stated due date, except by prior agreement. All written work done outside of class must be typed (using a standard font—no italics!) and double-spaced, and I prefer that you submit all written work done outside of class by email. Please see my Course Policies for further information.

I expect everyone to participate in class discussion. Class participation should be informed. By this I mean that everyone should come to class having read and thought about the assignment. We only meet one evening a week—be prepared. Religion is often a difficult subject to discuss openly, so the conventions of respect and responsibility I discuss in my Course Policies are of particular importance in this course.


Review my Course Policies online at 

How to contact me

Office Rio Grande, Attaché 210
Voicemail 223-3012
ACC email
Instructional email
Instructional Web

Office Hours

Consult my instructional web page for office hours and contact information. I will also be available by appointment (online or in my office). I will conduct some of my office hours online using MSN Messenger Services and NetMeeting. For more information on Messenger and NetMeeting, see the resources page inside the online classroom. 

Course Outline

This is a very brief overview of the course content. See the main page for a more detailed outline.

  1. Introduction to the philosophy of religion
  2. Concepts of God
  3. The Existence and Nature of God
  4. The Problem of Evil
  5. Revelation and Belief
  6. Religious Language
  7. The Problem of Religious Diversity
  8. Human Identity and Destiny
  9. Conclusions

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This page was last updated 03/01/2009 07:09:05 PM by mdaude.