Course Structure

This class is divided into three distinct parts.

I.                    History of Religions / Comparative Religion:

            This is a brief survey of some of the most significant or largest religions in the world.  This is needed in order that all who take this course and desire to gain a deeper understanding of the nature of the religious experience and religious traditions first have an understanding of the variety of religions that exist, their similarities and their differences.

  • Hinduism

  • Buddhism

  • Jainism

  • Confucianism

  • Taoism

  • Shintoism

  • Zoroastrianism

  • Judaism

  • Christianit

  • Islam

II.                 Science and Religion

           This brief survey is needed in order to provide some knowledge of how the sciences have examined religious phenomena, what conclusions have been drawn and what problems may exist in the scientific approach to understanding religious phenomena.

a.       History of Religion

b.      Psychology of Religion

c.       Sociology of Religion

d.      Anthropology and Religion

   III.                        Philosophy of Religion: This is the central focus of the course.  In this portion the student will be introduced to the traditional issues associated with the field of study known as "Philosophy of Religion" as well as to the more contemporary approaches taken by philosophers to the study of religion.

Included in this area there are questions having to do with:

        The existence of god

        The nature of god

        Arguments for the existence of god

        Arguments against the existence of god

        The problem of evil

        Atheism

        Religious experience as noumenal

        Mystical experience

        Miracles

        Religious language

        The value of religion

        Religion and morality and ethics

        Religion and reason

        Religion, Faith and Philosophy and Reason

        The meaning of religion

        The definition of religion

 

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