Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

PHIL 312: Problems in Philosophy of God

PHIL 312: Problems in the Philosophy of God

The Generic Catalog Description

Classical and contemporary approaches to knowledge of the existence of God, such as: divine names, attributes, providence and evil, providence and human freedom.

PHIL 312: Problems in the Philosophy of God

This is a course whose specific content varies from term to term: the following description pertains to the course as it will be instructed in the Spring semester of 2009.

One of the basic themes in the history of philosophy is the conflict, or, at best, uneasy truce between natural, unaided reason—Kant's “reason alone”—and those of religion in their respective claims to be able to get at the truth about nature, human beings, and God. This has been especially true within the traditions of the Western revealed religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Only in relatively recent times has there emerged such a discipline as the philosophy of religion, which seeks to examine religious concepts about the natural world, human nature, and the divine being, and evaluate them in a non-polemical and non-apologetic way.

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, however, even the possibility of a philosophy of religion was questioned by certain thinkers. Nietzsche, Feuerbach, and Heidegger each mounted substantial critiques of rational theology and metaphysics. But, especially out of the phenomenological movement, there emerged a counter-tendency, which views the prospects for theology and philosophy of religion in less pessimistic terms than did their predecessors. Besides works by the thinkers named above, we will examine works by Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Marion, and Gianni Vattimo, in order to gauge the possibilities opened up for “God-thought” by these recent lines of inquiry.