Loyola University Chicago

Department of Philosophy

PHIL 454: Philosophy of Religion

PHIL 454: Philosophy of Religion

The Generic Catalog Description

This course investigates issues encountered in our attempt to understand God and the phenomenon of religion. Topics may include proofs of God's existence, God's attributes, our knowledge of and language about God, and the problem of reconciling evil with belief in God.

PHIL 454/380: Phil of Religion

Paul Moser

This course will examine whether, and if so how, human knowledge of God's reality is available. The topics of religious skepticism and religious authority will take center stage, and we will relate these topics to human suffering. We will use the term “God” as a preeminent title connoting a being worthy of worship, and we will focus on some writings of Kierkegaard and others as a source of discussion. In particular, we'll examine a distinction between spectator evidence and authoritative evidence regarding God's reality. This will lead us to examine the roles of reason, the human will, and love in available knowledge of God's reality. We'll consider whether our moral attitudes and our likes and dislikes are centrally important in our receiving available evidence of God's reality. The course will consider three main approaches to knowledge of divine reality: fideism (inspired by Kierkegaard and others), naturalism (represented by Dennett), and evidentialism (represented by Moser). The course will not presuppose any significant familiarity with the central problems of the theory of knowledge or the philosophy of religion.