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RELIGST 168: Philosophy of Religion: An Historical Introduction

Most views about and attitudes toward religion found on college campuses today trace their origins back to the European Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Calls for social justice, a political order free of ecclesiastical domination, and the recognition of legitimate religious pluralism; the rejection of the authoritarianism, obscurantism, and fanaticism associated with the monotheistic faiths; skepticism about the rationality of belief in God, miracles, and otherworldly salvation - these and other familiar themes were fiercely debated by philosophers in early modern Europe, often at great personal risk. What's more, central branches of philosophy such as epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics were transformed in the modern period amidst debates over the credibility of religious belief - primarily the Christian - in a world come of age. After a quick stop in the Middle Ages, we will read and discuss what Descartes and Pascal; Spinoza and Hume; Rousseau and Kant; and Schleiermacher, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche had to say about matters religious. The seminar will conclude with a brief examination of two recent movements in the philosophy of religion.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Sockness, B. (PI)
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