PHIL 3032 - God, Faith and Infinity: Philosophy of Religion
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020
General Course Information
Course Code PHIL 3032 Course God, Faith and Infinity: Philosophy of Religion Coordinating Unit Philosophy Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Units 3 Contact Up to 3 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y Prerequisites At least 6 units of Level II undergraduate study Incompatible PHIL 2044 Course Description Most people, historically and today, have religious beliefs of one kind or another. Those beliefs are often deeply important to their holders, providing the framework for their entire worldview. In this course, we will investigate a number of issues about religious worldviews ? about their content (Is religious language to be taken literally or metaphorically? What is the nature of God and its attributes?), as well as about their reasonableness (Are there good arguments for or against the existence of God? Do we have good evidence for belief in God ? and what is good evidence anyway?). The focus of the course will be on the Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism), which share similar conceptions of the role of God and its nature. The course welcomes students both with and without religious commitments, and is run in a spirit of respectful yet rigorous inquiry.
Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Antony Eagle
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
- Demonstrate understanding of some central philosophical debates in contemporary philosophy of religion.
- Analyse contemporary and historical argumentative texts and extract the relevant views and arguments from them.
- Accurately present philosophical arguments in written form and oral contexts (individual and/or group).
- Evaluate philosophical arguments about religion, providing appropriate grounds.
- Identify and use relevant evidence to support hypotheses in philosophy of religion.
- Present a sustained argumentative case in written form, addressing potential counterarguments and objections.
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Deep discipline knowledge
- informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
- acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
- accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
1,2 Critical thinking and problem solving
- steeped in research methods and rigor
- based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
- demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
2,3,4,5 Teamwork and communication skills
- developed from, with, and via the SGDE
- honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
- encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
3,6 Career and leadership readiness
- technology savvy
- professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
- forward thinking and well informed
- tested and validated by work based experiences
2,3,4,5,6 Intercultural and ethical competency
- adept at operating in other cultures
- comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
- able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
- demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
1,2,3 Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
- a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
- open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
- able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
Set readings are provided online through an electronic reading list distributed through MyUni.
There is a textbook containing almost all of the course readings, plus useful supplementary material, which may be a useful adjunct for some students:
Graham Oppy and Michael Scott (eds.), Reading Philosophy of Religion, Wiley-Blackwell 2010, 978-1-4051-7081-9.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThis course is taught by a mixture of lecture and whole-class workshops (separately timetabled for flexibility). The lecture component may include informal class discussion and active learning elements, though since these lectures are also recorded for the online lecture and the online version of the course, extended discussions should be reserved for the workshops.
The workshop is devoted to discussion of weekly lecture material. Students will be invited to sugest key questions for discussion, and decide collectively on which questions to focus on, through an online discussion forum prior to the on campus workshop. Discussion forums include students from both the online and on campus versions of the course.
The workshop component may take the form of a ‘jigsaw’ classroom, where the class is divided into three large groups who discuss questions set in advance (different questions for each group) for 20 minutes, then divide into groups of three, each containing one representative from each of the initial groups, to share the results of those group discussions. This is dependent on student engagement.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
Workload Total Hours per semester Structured Learning 1 x 2 hour lecture per week 24 1 x 1 hour workshop, 10 per semester 10 Self-directed Learning Required reading (6 hours per week) 72 Discussion forum preparation, 1 hour per week 12 Assignment preparation (3 hours per week) 38 TOTAL 156
Learning Activities Summary
WEEK LECTURE TOPIC 1 Introduction; the concept of God Part I: Does God Exist? 2 Ontological arguments 3 Cosmological arguments 4 Argument(s) from Evil 5 God and morality Part II: The Divine Attributes 6 Omnipotence 7 Omniscience Part III: Belief in God 8 Pascal’s wager 9 The Ethics of Belief 10 The rationality of faith 11 The significance of religious disagreement Conclusion 12 The interpretation of religious language
Small Group Discovery Experience
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
ASSESSMENT TASK TASK TYPE WEIGHTING COURSE LEARNING OUTCOME(S) Research Essay Summative/Formative 50% 1,2,3,4,5,6 Short Essay Summative/Formative 35% 1,2,3,4 Discussion tasks Formative/Summative 15% 1,2,3,4,5
Assessment Description Weighting Research Essay Essay of ~2500 words covering a topic from the first two-thirds of the course. Essays will be expected to go beyond prescribed course material and will require further research. 50% Short Essay Essay of ~1500 words covering a topic from the latter part of the course. Essays will likely focus on prescribed course material. 35% Discussion tasks Students providing a short answer (~150 words) to a prior suggested question through an online discussion board, as the basis for in-class discussion. Evaluated over the course of the semester. Evaluation focussed primarily on participation and development rather than summative achievement. 15%
No information currently available.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme) Grade Mark Description FNS Fail No Submission F 1-49 Fail P 50-64 Pass C 65-74 Credit D 75-84 Distinction HD 85-100 High Distinction CN Continuing NFE No Formal Examination RP Result Pending
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.
SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.
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