PHIL 327

Philosophy of Religion


Under what conditions, if at all, is it justifiable to hold religious beliefs? Do religious beliefs have to be "reasonable"? Can it be justifiable to hold and act on beliefs "by faith", and, if so, under what conditions?

The course focuses on theist religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) and investigates the theist concept of God. The course considers arguments for God’s existence (the cosmological, teleological and ontological arguments) and the Argument from Evil as an argument against the existence of a personal God who is both omnipotent and perfectly good.

The course then proceeds to consider the thesis of the "evidential ambiguity" of God’s existence, and investigates attempts to respond to the ambiguity, for example: by emphasising subjectivity (Kierkegaard), by appeal to "properly basic" theist beliefs (Reformed Epistemology), and by considering William James’s "justification of faith" in his famous lecture, "The Will to Believe".


Coursework + exam

For full course information see the Digital Course Outline for PHIL 327.

Digital Course Outlines are refreshed in November for the following year. Digital Course Outlines for courses to be offered for the first time may be published slightly later.

Availability 2023

Not offered in 2023; planned for 2024



Recommended Reading

Brian Davies, An Introduction to The Philosophy of Religion (Oxford University Press, 2004)


Coursework + exam


PHIL 327: 15 points


30 points at Stage II in Philosophy


PHIL 207