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PHIL329 Philosophy of Religion

Theism and atheism, the existence of God, religious language, faith and reason, evil, miracles, life after death, the meaning of life, etc.

What is religion? Are religions making factual claims, like those of the sciences? What are the aims of religion? What relation does it have to morality? Are there distinctively religious sources of knowledge? Are religious claims justified? These are some of the questions discussed in this paper.

Paper title Philosophy of Religion
Paper code PHIL329
Subject Philosophy
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $851.85
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,585.00

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One 200-level PHIL paper
PHIL 229, PHIL 210
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Suitable for all students who have an interest in philosophical questions. No previous philosophical knowledge is required, but students will be expected to read widely and write clearly.
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Associate Professor Greg Dawes
Paper Structure
The paper has four parts:
  • Part One: Religious Language and Thought
  • Part Two: The Aims of Religion
  • Part Three: Modes of Knowing
  • Part Four: Assessing Religious Beliefs
Teaching Arrangements
There will be three 50-minute classes each week, with time for tutorial-style discussion.

  • Weekly exercises in class: 10%
  • An essay of no more than 3,000 words: 25%
  • Final examination: 65%
As well as the course outline distributed in class, a course book will be made available. Other recommended works will be accessible on Blackboard or in the Library, on Close Reserve.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to
  1. Outline what is distinctive about religious language and thought
  2. Describe the various aims of religion
  3. Describe and evaluate the sources from which believers draw their claims to knowledge

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 12:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41
Friday 11:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41