PHIL2321: Philosophy of Religion

Matthew M. Daude, Ph.D.

Synonym: 40855
Fall, 2002

12:00-1:15 PM
RGC 019

Contact Information

Office Rio Grande Campus
Peach Street Office Building, Room 2-I
ACC email
Instructional email
Instructional Web

Instructional Office Hours

Monday 9:00 to 10:30 AM RGC, Peach Street, 2-I
Tuesday 9:00 to 11:00 AM online (Windows Messenger or Blackboard)
Wednesday 9:00 to 10:30 AM RGC, Peach Street, 2-I

Other times by appointment

Course Description

The ACC catalogue describes this course as "An analysis of the concept of God, the nature of religion and religious experience with 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 and writing portions of the TASP is required.

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.

PHIL2321 Objectives

Departmental Course Objectives

  1. Students will become acquainted with basic concepts and central problems of the philosophy of religion.
  2. Students will become acquainted with the views of various philosophers with respect to these problems.
  3. Students will (further) develop the fundamental philosophical skills of critical reading, thinking, and writing, and to learn how to apply these skills within the field of Philosophy of Religion

Instructional Methodology

The class will consist predominantly of discussion of the readings, led both by me and by class members. I will use a variety of media in my presentations, including web material, etc. There may 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. See my instructional web for details.

Required Texts/Materials

Rowe and Wainwright. Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings (third edition)

The text is available in the ACC bookstore. Handouts and additional readings will be posted to my instructional web. The main page for this course is

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 strongly encourage you to 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. 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

Course Outline

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

  1. Introduction to the philosophy of religion
  2. Concepts of God
  3. The Nature and Attributes of God
  4. Arguments for the Existence of God
  5. The Problem of Evil
  6. Objections to Traditional Theism
  7. Mysticism and Religious Experience
  8. Faith and Miracles
  9. Death and Immortality
  10. Conclusions

First Assignment

Your first assignment is to complete a web-based form. Have the following information information ready:

  • the course in which you are registered
  • your full name as reflected in ACC records
  • a telephone number at which you can be reached
  • your primary email address

This information is required, but there is also a voluntary (fairly brief) survey in the First Assignment form. I encourage you to complete the survey, as it provides information that may help me support your work in this course.

When I receive your First Assignment, I will verify your enrollment. If you are officially enrolled in the course, I will send you a password to the online "classroom." If there is a problem with your enrollment, I will notify you. If you do not hear from me within 48 hours (not including Saturdays!) of submitting your First Assignment, contact me.

Please note! Submitting a First Assignment is your certification that you accept the policies and procedures set forth in the Syllabus and the Orientation. Read this information carefully, and if you have questions or concerns about the policies and procedures for this class, please let me know before you complete this First Assignment.

To complete your First Assignment, visit the main page for the course on my instructional web. The First Assignment is due in the first week of class.

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This page was last updated 08/23/2009 08:16:53 PM by mdaude.