PHIL2321: Philosophy of Religion

Matthew Daude Laurents, Ph.D.

Synonym: 18873
MW 12:00-1:15 PM
RGC 334

Fall, 2005

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

Students will be introduced to the philosophical analysis of the nature of religion and religious experience with an emphasis on such themes as rationality and religious belief, the existence and attributes of God, and the problem of evil.

There are no course prerequisites for Philosophy of Religion, but Introduction to Philosophy or World Religions is highly recommended. A passing score or the equivalent on the reading and writing portions of the TASP is required.

Required Texts/Materials

Robinson, Timothy. God. Second Edition, Hackett Publishing (ISBN 0-87220-641-6)

The text is available in the ACC bookstore. Handouts and additional readings will be posted to the instructional web.

Instructional Methodology

The class will consist predominantly of discussion of the readings, led by me and by class members, both in class and online. 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, which will be posted online.

The major forms of individual assessment will be quizzes and writing assignments (essays, etc.). The quizzes will be online. I may also use online forms to gather information about your progress in the coursework. Course assignments must be submitted by email or via the Blackboard classroom.

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

Coursework and Grading Policy

Your grade for this course will be based on quizzes, 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 components of the course grade are as follows:

Component Weight
Argument Summaries 25%
Exams 30%
Analytical Essays 30%
Course Participation 15%

Please review the Grading and Evaluation System for a detailed exposition of my approach to evaluation.

Due dates for written work 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 submitted by email. Please see the orientation for further instructions.

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, and people sometimes find the topics covered offensive. Consequently, the conventions of respect and responsibility discussed in my Course Policies are of particular importance in this course.


Review the Course Policies online. There are links to the Course Policies on the main page of my instructional web and on the main page for this course. The Course Policies page is part of this syllabus.

Course Outline

This is a very brief overview of the course content:

  1. Why study the philosophy of religion?
  2. Concepts of God
  3. Arguments for the existence of God
  4. Criticisms of arguments for the existence of God
  5. Arguments against the existence of God
  6. The Nature of Religion
  7. Alternative Strategies
  8. Conclusions

You will find a complete course calendar in the online classroom.


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This page was last updated 08/23/2009 08:16:55 PM by mdaude.