20th Century Phil of Religion
20th Century Phil of Religion 2023-24
School Of History, Law And Social Sciences
Module - Semester 2
Gareth Evans Jones
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.
-threshold -(D) Shows some knowledge of key areas of the module with acceptable presentation of arguments. -good -(B) Shows detailed knowledge of key areas covered in the module with the arguments presented in a logical and coherent way. -excellent -(A) Shows comprehensive and very detailed understanding of the material covered in the module, with considerable analytic ability or originality.
- Apply appropriate knowledge to critical analyses of key philosophical ideas of religion from the 20th century.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the nature and development of the philosophy of religion during the 20th century.
- Develop key skills needed to discuss the philosophy of religion effectively, such as analysis, independent research, critical thinking, and clear discursive writing and presentation.
- Exemplify an understanding of the fascinating concepts developed and approaches taken with regards to matters of the philosophy of religion by various thinkers.
Students will be given a choice of 5 questions and will be expected to write a 2,500 word essay on one.
Students will be given a choice of 5 questions and will choose one to prepare a 10-minute oral presentation.