Modules for course VV56 | BA/PHRE
BA Philosophy and Religion

This is a provisional list of modules to be offered on this course in the 2019–20 academic year.

The list may not be complete, and the final course content may be different.

You can also view the modules offered in the years: 2017–18; 2018–19.

Find out more about studying and applying for this degree.

Use the buttons after the module titles (where available) to see a brief description of the content, or:
Show all descriptions
Hide all descriptions

Year 1 Modules

Optional Modules

120 credits from:

  • HPS-1004: Death of God (20) (Semester 2)
  • HPS-1005: Existentialism (20) (Semester 1)
  • HPS-1006: Ess. Skills for Ac. Success (20) (Semester 1) or
    HAC-1006: Ess. Skills for Ac. Success (20) (Semester 1)
  • HPS-1007: Islam:Hist, Soc and Beliefs (20) (Semester 1)
  • VPR-1105: Ethics: Religious Perspectives (20) (Semester 2)
    The module will begin with a discussion of the origin of ethics and will examine some of the relevant survivng materials relevant to the subject from the great civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt (including the stories about heroes who exemplified the kind of virtues most admired, and the legal codes which defined acceptable and unacceptable conduct). The module will then examine the ethical values of the Jewish religion, as reflected in the Old Testament, and the ethical values of the Christian tradition as reflected in the New Testament. This will be followed by an overview of ethical concerns in the Buddhist tradition. The module will conclude with an examination of the ‘divine command’ theory of ethics and will consider to what extent the moral good should be identified with God’s will or God’s command.
    or
    VPC-1105: Moeseg: Agweddau Crefyddol (20) (Semester 2)
    Bydd y modiwl yn dechrau gyda thrafodaeth ar darddiad moeseg a bydd yn edrych ar beth o'r deunyddiau perthnasol i'r pwnc sydd wedi goroesi o ddiwylliannau mawr Mesopotamia a'r Aifft (yn cynnwys storïau am arwyr a ymgorfforai'r rhinweddau a edmygid fwyaf, a'r codau cyfreithiol a ddiffiniai ymddygiad derbyniol ac annerbyniol). Bydd y modiwl wedyn yn archwilio gwerthoedd moesegol y grefydd Iddewig, fel yr adlewyrchir hwynt yn yr Hen Destament, a gwerthoedd moesegol y traddodiad Cristnogol, fel yr adlewyrchir hwynt yn y Testament Newydd. Yn dilyn hynny ceir golwg gyffredinol ar faterion moesegol sy'n gysylltiedig â'r traddodiad Bwdistaidd. Daw'r modiwl i'w derfyn drwy edrych ar ddamcaniaeth foesegol 'gorchymyn dwyfol', a bydd yn ystyried i ba raddau y dylid uniaethu daioni moesol ag ewyllys Duw neu orchymyn Duw.
  • VPR-1106: Intro: Judaism & Christianity (20) (Semester 1)
    The module outlines of some of the basic tenets of the Jewish faith as reflected in the Old Testament and the Christian faith as reflected in the New Testament. Among issues considered will be the contribution to the Jewish faith by the rabbis and the controversies faced by Judaism over the centuries, culminating in a discussion of issues relating to the holocaust. Among Jewish philosophers discussed will be Maimonides and Martin Buber. The modules will then turn to the Christian faith and will examine some of the theological issues arising from the New Testament, with a particular focus on Paul’s theology and the Early Church Fathers, such as Origen and Eusebius. There will also be a discussion of a representative sample of major Christian thinkers over the centuries.
  • VPR-1110: Themes - Eastern Religion/Phil (20) (Semester 2)
    This module offers an introduction to the philosophical and religious development of key eastern religious traditions - Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Shinto – and provides a detailed overview of their origins, histories, doctrines and scriptures. In order to explore a wide spectrum of religious and philosophical beliefs, the following will be considered teaching priorities: (1) Survey of the beliefs and practices of six Eastern religions and philosophies; (2) understand the multifaceted religious heritage of the six Eastern religions – from the pre-modern era to contemporary religious practice; (3) Examination of the mutual influences and intersections of the Eastern religions and philosophies and how they interact with other elements of Eastern culture and society; (4) Deconstruct the East and West meeting points, focusing on the spread and influence of Eastern religion and philosophy in the West.
  • VPR-1300: Intro to Philosophy of Religio (20) (Semester 1)
    The module begins by clarifying the state of the analytic philosophy of religion at the turn of the 20th century, reflecting upon its inheritance of 19th century ‘modernity’. This is contrasted with some concurrent developments in the continental tradition (German Romanticism, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche). This is the context from which, and into which, Wittgenstein speaks. We will cover the early, middle, and late eras of Wittgenstein’s thought, and show the revolutionary impact that his thought had for the philosophy of religion. We track the various directions in which Wittgenstein’s influence was felt; for example, in A. J. Ayer’s verificationism, or those overtly ‘Wittgensteinian’ philosophers of religion such as D. Z. Phillips. The ‘meta-philosophy of religion’ is introduced throughout, as we tackle the question of how best to philosophise about religion.
  • VPR-1301: Introduction to Logic (20) (Semester 2)
  • VPC-1303: Cyflwyniad i Gristnogaeth (20) (Semester 1)
  • 20 credits may been taken in another School. For modules within College of Arts & Humanities, please attend module fair on Tuesday of Welcome Week. For other Schools see the On-line gazette for details.

Year 2 Modules

Optional Modules

120 credits from:

  • HAC-2002: Addysg yn y Gymru Gyfoes (20) (Semester 1)
  • SXU-2002: Contemporary Social Debates (20) (Semester 1)
    There will be no set curriculum - rather this will emerge each time the module is taught depending on staff and student interests. The approach adopted will be to devote the first workshop to identifying themes and issues to be addressed, and to draw up the curriculum for that academic session in collaboration between staff and students. The workshop style of teaching and learning will allow emerging issues and contemporary debates to be addressed. Possible topics to be covered: Should drugs be legalised? Social control and the media Thinking critically about criminology Should there be a sociology of the environment? Exploring disaster capitalism Girls will be girls and boys will be boys – debunking the myth of gender. Exploring the relationship between inequality and capitalism Radicalisation, immigration, identity and racism. The Arab Spring Riots and civil liberties Thinking beyond the norm – the rationalization of ‘them’ and ‘us’
  • HPS-2008: Sociology of Religion (20) (Semester 2)
  • HAC-2009: Cymdeithas, Iaith a Phrotest (20) (Semester 2)
  • HPS-2011: Paradoxes of Self: Nietz./Jung (20) (Semester 1)
  • SXS-2035: Classical Social Theory (20) (Semester 1)
    The module introduces the classic contributions of Marx, Tocqueville, Tonnies, Weber, Durkheim and Simmel and the development of their thinking concerning modernity, capitalism, rationalisation and bureaucracy, and the question of moral and social order. The module then considers how the classic tradition has been transformed and new paths have been pursued in the contexts of Parsons' 'system theory', symbolic interactionism, critical theory and feminist social theory.
  • HTH-2163: Nazi Germany 1933-1945 (20) (Semester 1)
  • VPR-2202: Applied Ethics (20) (Semester 1)
    The module will begin with a brief outline of the various ethical challenges which face contemporary society. It will then consider the following issues: (a) world poverty (is it the responsibility of individuals or governments or both to alleviate world poverty?); (b) the arguments justifying an environmental ethic; ethical considerations to be considered in the case of voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia; the issue of abortion and the notion of reverence for human life; war and peace (the just war theory; ethics and nuclear weapons etc).
  • VPR-2219: Comp. Philosophy: East/West (20) (Semester 2)
    This module seeks to explore two distinct philosophical traditions: Eastern and Western. Framing the module in a comparative way enables students to identify key relationships and differences that relate to major philosophical themes. In particular, the module begins by defining the comparative philosophical approach, which will be used throughout the course as the means to study the East and the West. The vast majority of the module will be dedicated to examining different metaphysical and ethical concerns. The module will explore several key thematic notions: (1) Reason and Faith (ignorance, knowledge, causation, scepticism, revelation and divinity); (2) Reality (origins, existence, monism, dualism, pluralism and naturalism); (3) Virtue (tradition, divinity, rites, human nature and altruism); (4) Mind (enlightenment, emptiness, transcendence, introspection and immanence).
  • VPR-2300: Ancient Philosophy (20) (Semester 1)
    This module provides a broad overview of, and introduction to, ancient philosophy in the Western tradition. It will cover, mainly in chronological order, the entirety of the ‘ancient’ philosophical era, beginning with the pre-Socratics, moving through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and onwards to Stoicism, some key Roman philosophers, and Neo-Platonism. Emphasis will be put on the connections between ancient philosophy and later philosophical or religious developments, and on the influence that ancient philosophy has had on human thought generally. Historical narrative detail will be included where relevant (e.g., Socrates’ death, the Peloponnesian War, Aristotle and Alexander the Great, etc.) to provide context. Significant emphasis will be placed on the continued relevance that ancient philosophical schools can have for our modern lives, enabling us to overcome adversity and ‘live well’.
  • VPR-2301: 20th Century Phil of Religion (20) (Semester 2)
    The module begins by clarifying the state of the analytic philosophy of religion at the turn of the 20th century, reflecting upon its inheritance of 19th century ‘modernity’. This is contrasted with some concurrent developments in the continental tradition (German Romanticism, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche). This is the context from which, and into which, Wittgenstein speaks. We will cover the early, middle, and late eras of Wittgenstein’s thought, and show the revolutionary impact that his thought had for the philosophy of religion. We track the various directions in which Wittgenstein’s influence was felt; for example, in A. J. Ayer’s verificationism, or those overtly ‘Wittgensteinian’ philosophers of religion such as D. Z. Phillips. The ‘meta-philosophy of religion’ is introduced throughout, as we tackle the question of how best to philosophise about religion.
  • VPR-2302: Faith and Reason (20) (Semester 2)
    The module is composed of two parts, each looking at the interaction of ‘faith’ and ‘reason’. In the first part, I construct a narrative regarding the origins of our modern conception of ‘reason’, contrasting this with our conception of what it is to have ‘faith’. This narrative begins with Francis Bacon and (which is the more usual philosophical starting point) Descartes. I develop this through certain key thinkers of the modern period (Spinoza, Locke, Hume), concluding with the 19th century’s conception of ‘natural theology’. I press the case that a certain conception of ‘reason’ squeezed ‘faith’ out of the picture (along with a great deal of other meaningful dimensions of human life), prompting us to ask whether we must hold to the traditional conception of ‘reason’ at any cost. The second part of the module looks at contemporary examples of the interaction of ‘reason’ and ‘faith’, in the form of the interaction of science and religion. We consider examples of science being used to support religion (‘Intelligent Design’, the ‘Fine Tuning’ argument), and to debunk religion (evolution, the cognitive science of religion), and ask whether science and religion must necessarily be in conflict with each other. No prior philosophical or scientific knowledge is presumed. A brief introduction to quantum theory will be included.
  • VPR-2303: Immanuel Kant (20) (Semester 1)
    This module provides an introduction to the thought of Immanuel Kant. It covers his contributions to metaphysics and epistemology, by discussing his ‘transcendental idealism’. It covers Kant’s significant contributions to ethics, introducing the various formulations of his ‘categorical imperative’. It covers his contributions to the philosophy of religion, in particular his moral argument for belief in God. Throughout the module, I place Kant in the context of the history of philosophy, identifying those key aspects of philosophy to which Kant was responding (i.e., rationalism and empiricism), and those philosophers whose work was shaped by Kant’s legacy. Finally, we reflect on the place Kant’s thought holds in contemporary philosophy, particularly moral philosophy.
  • VPR-2305: Hinduism in the Modern World (20) (Semester 1)
  • VPC-2406: Crefydd yng Nghymru (20) (Semester 1)
  • VPC-2407: Yr Eglwys a'r Iddewon (20) (Semester 1)
  • VPR-2408: Religious Education (20) (Semester 2) or
    VPC-2408: Addysg Grefyddol (20) (Semester 2)

Year 3 Modules

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

Semester 2

Optional Modules

80 credits from:

  • HPS-3001: Work Placement - Semester 1 (20) (Semester 1) or
    HAC-3001: Lleoliad Gwaith - Semester 1 (20) (Semester 1)
  • HAC-3002: Addysg yn y Gymru Gyfoes (20) (Semester 1)
  • SXS-3003: Theorizing Society & Politics (20) (Semester 1)
    This module explores the origins, nature and significance of sociological theories and concepts developed in the 20th and 21st century. It examines the strengths and weaknesses of such approaches as critical theory (Adorno, Horkheimer, Marcuse et al) structuralism and neo-structuralism (Levi-Strauss, Foucault, Bourdieu), and feminist standpoint theory. It considers a range of theories which seek to address knowledge, power and subordination in terms of gender divisions and differences of class, race or sexuality. The module seeks to ask questions about the relationship between social theory, social action, sociological research and everyday life. This in turn encourages students to reflect on their own position as participants in social interaction.
  • HPS-3008: Sociology of Religion (20) (Semester 2)
  • HPS-3011: Paradoxes of Self: Nietz..Jung (20) (Semester 1)
  • HTH-3163: Nazi Germany 1933-1945 (20) (Semester 1)
  • VPR-3205: Hinduism in the Modern World (20) (Semester 1)
  • VPR-3302: Applied Ethics (20) (Semester 1)
    The module will begin with a brief outline of the various ethical challenges which face contemporary society. It will then consider the following issues: (a) world poverty (is it the responsibility of individuals or governments or both to alleviate world poverty?); (b) the arguments justifying an environmental ethic; ethical considerations to be considered in the case of voluntary and non-voluntary euthanasia; the issue of abortion the notion of reverence for human life; war and peace (the just war theory; ethics and nuclear weapons etc.)
  • VPR-3319: Comp. Philosophy: East/West (20) (Semester 2)
    This module seeks to explore two distinct philosophical traditions: Eastern and Western. Framing the module in a comparative way enables students to identify key relationships and differences that relate to major philosophical themes. In particular, the module begins by defining the comparative philosophical approach, which will be used throughout the course as the means to study the East and the West. The vast majority of the module will be dedicated to examining different metaphysical and ethical concerns. The module will explore several key thematic notions: (1) Reason and Faith (ignorance, knowledge, causation, scepticism, revelation and divinity); (2) Reality (origins, existence, monism, dualism, pluralism and naturalism); (3) Virtue (tradition, divinity, rites, human nature and altruism); (4) Mind (enlightenment, emptiness, transcendence, introspection and immanence).
  • VPR-3330: Ancient Philosophy (20) (Semester 1)
    This module provides a broad overview of, and introduction to, ancient philosophy in the Western tradition. It will cover, mainly in chronological order, the entirety of the ‘ancient’ philosophical era, beginning with the pre-Socratics, moving through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and onwards to Stoicism, some key Roman philosophers, and Neo-Platonism. Emphasis will be put on the connections between ancient philosophy and later philosophical or religious developments, and on the influence that ancient philosophy has had on human thought generally. Historical narrative detail will be included where relevant (e.g., Socrates’ death, the Peloponnesian War, Aristotle and Alexander the Great, etc.) to provide context. Significant emphasis will be placed on the continued relevance that ancient philosophical schools can have for our modern lives, enabling us to overcome adversity and ‘live well’.
  • VPR-3331: 20th Century Phil of Religion (20) (Semester 2)
    The module begins by clarifying the state of the analytic philosophy of religion at the turn of the 20th century, reflecting upon its inheritance of 19th century ‘modernity’. This is contrasted with some concurrent developments in the continental tradition (German Romanticism, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche). This is the context from which, and into which, Wittgenstein speaks. We will cover the early, middle, and late eras of Wittgenstein’s thought, and show the revolutionary impact that his thought had for the philosophy of religion. We track the various directions in which Wittgenstein’s influence was felt; for example, in A. J. Ayer’s verificationism, or those overtly ‘Wittgensteinian’ philosophers of religion such as D. Z. Phillips. The ‘meta-philosophy of religion’ is introduced throughout, as we tackle the question of how best to philosophise about religion.
  • VPR-3332: Faith and Reason (20) (Semester 2)
    The module is composed of two parts, each looking at the interaction of ‘faith’ and ‘reason’. In the first part, I construct a narrative regarding the origins of our modern conception of ‘reason’, contrasting this with our conception of what it is to have ‘faith’. This narrative begins with Francis Bacon and (which is the more usual philosophical starting point) Descartes. I develop this through certain key thinkers of the modern period (Spinoza, Locke, Hume), concluding with the 19th century’s conception of ‘natural theology’. I press the case that a certain conception of ‘reason’ squeezed ‘faith’ out of the picture (along with a great deal of other meaningful dimensions of human life), prompting us to ask whether we must hold to the traditional conception of ‘reason’ at any cost. The second part of the module looks at contemporary examples of the interaction of ‘reason’ and ‘faith’, in the form of the interaction of science and religion. We consider examples of science being used to support religion (‘Intelligent Design’, the ‘Fine Tuning’ argument), and to debunk religion (evolution, the cognitive science of religion), and ask whether science and religion must necessarily be in conflict with each other. No prior philosophical or scientific knowledge is presumed. A brief introduction to quantum theory will be included.
  • VPR-3333: Immanuel Kant (20) (Semester 1)
    This module provides an introduction to the thought of Immanuel Kant. It covers his contributions to metaphysics and epistemology, by discussing his ‘transcendental idealism’. It covers Kant’s significant contributions to ethics, introducing the various formulations of his ‘categorical imperative’. It covers his contributions to the philosophy of religion, in particular his moral argument for belief in God. Throughout the module, I place Kant in the context of the history of philosophy, identifying those key aspects of philosophy to which Kant was responding (i.e., rationalism and empiricism), and those philosophers whose work was shaped by Kant’s legacy. Finally, we reflect on the place Kant’s thought holds in contemporary philosophy, particularly moral philosophy.