An examination of religious experience from a philosophical perspective. Questions such as: What must a belief or experience be like to count as religious? Should we expect religious beliefs to be supported by evidence or reasons or does faith operate in a different way? Are there good arguments for (or against) the existence of God? Of miracles? Of the immortality of the soul? Do religious accounts of events (of the creation of the world, for example) compete with scientific explanations? Or do they have a different function and a different kind of grounding? What relationship does religion have to morality? To politics?
- Explore, through an investigation of writings in philosophy and other humanities, the central religious concepts.
- Develop an understanding of philosophical analysis at a level suitable for an upper division course, focusing especially on the issue of whether such analyses are appropriate for claims about God or religious belief.
- Become more reflective and articulate about one's own religious (or anti-religious) beliefs.
- Understand some of the variation in how religious concepts are understood in different religions and in different times and places.