Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Philosophy Of Religion PHIL5079

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course examines key topics in the philosophy of religion. It concerns the philosophical arguments underlying some of the world's most ancient systems of religious belief and practice, both Western and Eastern.


2 lectures per week for 9 weeks, plus 4 seminars. The course may not run every year. Options running this year are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Standard entry to Masters at College level

Excluded Courses





Two essays, equally weighted, each with a word limit of 2500 words.

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ provide students with the opportunity to explore some of the core topics in contemporary philosophy of religion.

■ encourage them to recognise the philosophical issues arising from religious ideas.

■ enable them to use analytical arguments to evaluate the beliefs of a range of religious traditions, both monotheistic and non-monotheistic.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Analyse religious beliefs and the arguments adduced for and against those beliefs, and argue coherently about religious ideas.

■ Expound and critically discuss at least one form of religious pluralism.

■ Discuss critically the main philosophical issues involved in at least two of the traditional arguments for the existence of God.

■ Explain the contrast between logical and evidential problems of evil.

■ Critically discuss how arguments based on experience can be adduced to support very different religious views, and explain some of the ways in which philosophical theories about the self shape religious beliefs.

■ Discuss critically the relation between faith and reason.


Assessment for this course is at Masters Level.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.