Faith and Reason

Oriel College

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Faith and Reason

    Course Closed
  • Host University

    Oriel College

  • Location

    Oxford, England

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Can we prove God’s existence? If not, is it still rational to believe in God? If God does exist, does he (or she) look anything like the God of Christianity? And could God become incarnate? This course explores questions such as these in conversation with a range of historical and contemporary philosophical and theological literature. The rationality of belief in God – and specifically of Christianity – is often debated in public forums, but these public debates often only scratch the surface of the rich, varied, and highly sophisticated scholarly literature on this topic. This course, then, will prepare you to engage with questions and debates regarding the rationality of belief in God from a Christian perspective at a higher, more nuanced level, by introducing you to major debates, arguments, and concepts in contemporary philosophy of religion and philosophical theology.

    The course will proceed in two parts. Week 1 will concern the question of God’s existence, and will look at arguments for the existence of God (cosmological and ontological arguments), the rationality of religious belief, and the problem of evil. In week 2 we will turn to consider specific claims made by the Christian faith. Is God a Trinity? Who was Christ? What is sin? Does God really send people to hell? The course will offer introduce you to historical Christian teachings on these issues and will subject them to rigorous philosophical analysis. Upon successful completion of this model you will have acquired familiarity with a range of debates and ideas concerning belief in God and the Christian faith; gained the tools to understand, analyse, and assess philosophical arguments pertaining to religious belief; and be able to develop and articulate your own views and arguments concerning the content and rationality of religious belief.


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