Summer Semester 2022/2023

Master's Programme Philosophy of Religion at the Faculty of Catholic Theology

Compulsory Module 1: Foundations of Philosophy of Religion

202.551 SE Classical texts in the philosophy of religion. Josef QUITTERER

Start:     Monday 06.03.2023, in class

Learning Outcome: Knowledge in „the big questions“ of philosophy of religion, e.g. the epistemic status of religious beliefs, the rationality of statements about God’s existence and attributes, the structure of arguments critical of religion, and the ability to study independently classical texts concerning these questions, including metaphysical, anthropological and scientific contexts.

Contents: Analysis and discussion of classical texts concerning „the big questions“, e.g. the epistemic status of religious beliefs, the rationality of statements about God’s existence and attributes, the structure of arguments critical of religion, including their metaphysical, anthropological and scientific contexts.

Methods: Reading of texts, analysis and discussion.

Assessment: Essays.  

Literature: To be announced in the seminar.

Compulsory Module 3: Critical Analysis of Worldviews

202.504 VO Metaphysics, philosophy of language, and religion. Christian KANZIAN

Start:     Thursday 09.03.2023, online

Learning Outcome:  Knowledge of systematic connections between core topics of philosophy of language, metaphysics and philosophy of religion.

Contents: In the course we start from central topics of the philosophy of language, examine their relevance for metaphysics/ontology, with regard to selected topics of the philosophy of religion, such as religious speech, existence/existence of God, theodicy. 

Methods: Lectures with discussions.

Assessment: Oral exam.

Literature: Will be presented in the course of the lecture.

202.505 SE Classical and contemporary criticism of religion. Federica MALFATTI

Start:     Thursday 09.03.2023, online

Learning Outcome: Understanding of the concept of worldview; ability to distinguish between religious and non-religious worldview; acquaintance with the traditional arguments adduced to criticize religious worldviews. 

Contents: In this seminar we will tackle and discuss the following issues: what is a worldview? What is the difference between a religious and a non-religious worldview? What is the (epistemological) status of religious beliefs? How do we evaluate a worldview? What counts as evidence for existence predicaments and for metaphysical assumptions? Which are the strengths and weaknesses of a (non-)religious worldview? Which criticisms can be formulated against religious worldviews?

Methods: Student presentation and discussion.

Assessment: Student presentation (40%); Essay (60%).

Literature:  Will be discussed in the first session.

Compulsory Module 4: Contemporary Philosophy of Religion

202.506 VO Advanced issues in contemporary philosophy of religion: Pascal's Wager argument; alternatives to classical theism. Winfried LÖFFLER

Start:     Wednesday 08.03.2023, online

Learning Outcome: Students have advanced knowledge of selected subtopics in contemporary philosophy of religion and are able to relate it to relevant other philosophical fields (such as logic, ontology, philosophy of mind).

Contents: Presentation and critical analysis of modern approaches to Blaise Pascal’s “Wager argument” and of alternatives to classical theism. 

Methods: Live-stream lecture with the possibility of discussion. The lecture will also be recorded. 

Assessment: Oral examination.

Literature: W.J. Wainwright (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Religion (2005); T. Schärtl et al. (Hg.), Rethinking the Concept of a personal God: Classical Theism, Personal Theism, and Alternative Concepts of God (2016).

202.507 SE Contemporary texts in the philosophy of religion: God and abstract objects. Bruno NIEDERBACHER

Start:     Wednesday 08.03.2023, online

Learning Outcome: Get acquainted with the issues concerning the relation between God and abstract objects.

Contents: We assess and discuss how abstract objects (like properties, relations, propositions, numbers, possible worlds etc.) could be related to God.

Methods: Reading, presentations, papers, discussions.

Assessment: Final paper.

Literature: Paul M. Gould (ed.), Beyond the Control of God? Six Views on the Problem of God and Abstract Objects. New York 2014.

202.560 VO Religion, Culture and Society. Daniel WEHINGER

Start:     Monday 06.03.2023, in class, next time online in Summer Semester 2024

Learning Outcome: We will examine central theories of the social dimension of human life.

Contents: Being with others appears to be an essential aspect of being human. But how can the role that others play in our life be grasped theoretically? What is the relation between self and other? We will discuss some of the most influential answers to this question. This will provide us with a deeper understanding of the social dimension of our existence.

In particular, we will ask:

  • Why does Sartre claim that “hell is other people”? And how is this claim related to his theory of consciousness?
  • What does Merleau-Ponty mean when he describes our encounters with others as a kind of “intercorporality”?
  • How is Gallagher’s interaction model of social cognition related to contemporary recognition theories of social life?

Methods: Lecture inputs and discussion.

Assessment: Oral exam.

Literature: Will be announced during the lecture.

202.561 SE Philosophical approaches to inclusion and diversity: What is racism today? Katherine DORMANDY

Start:     Tuesday 07.03.2023, in class, next time online in Summer Semester 2024

Learning Outcome: The ability to think critically about racism and other forms of unjust social exclusion, and the ability to clearly present and justify our own views.

Contents: Racisim is as old as humanity, but takes on different forms in different contexts. What does racisim look like in our society today? And what is racism to begin with? Is race itself a legitimate category? Is racisim something that we can as individuals choose to reject, or does addressing it require wholescale social change? We will read a variety of classic and contemporary texts on racism, with the aim of thinking openly and critically about an issue that is relevant to all of us.

Methods: Discussion of important texts on the topic.

Assessment: Short essays.

Literature: Will be announced; many of the texts are in English. 

 

  General information on exams, dates and sign-on at the department (in German).

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