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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Philosophy and God: Selected Readings
Module Code TP524
School 59
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Ian Leask
Semester 2: Ian Leask
Autumn: Ian Leask
Module TeachersIan Leask
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module provides the opportunity for students to read and discuss in detail Spinoza’s 'Theological-Political Treatise' – a text now regarded as being formative for the emergence of modernity as a whole. The module situates the book in its historical context, and also in the context of Spinoza’s wider metaphysical and epistemological commitments, before exploring its different aspects in fine detail. Concentrated attention is given to the critique of revelation, the critical-historical method Spinoza employs, and to the directly political conclusions that the text draws. Students are expected to engage with the text and to contribute to lectures, and they will develop knowledge of key philosophical concepts and skills of deep critical engagement with a philosopher’s work.

Learning Outcomes

1. engage in close analysis and interpretation of an important philosophical text;
2. comprehend central issues and themes in the history of Western philosophy;
3. situate and assess these issues and themes in their wider historical and cultural context;
4. construct their own arguments in discussion, and present arguments and ideas in written form;
5. synthesize a relevant range of key philosophical concepts and interpretations to form a coherent overview.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22No Description
Independent Study228No Description
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Context: Descartes; Spinoza’s Jewish heritage; politics in 17th century Holland

Spinoza’s monism & his differentiation of reason and imagination

Desacralizing the Bible: Prophecy, Miracles, Ceremonies

Spinoza’s critical-historical method: Scripture as material artefact

Civil right and free thought

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Baruch Spinoza: 2007, Theological-Political Treatise (ed.J.Israel), Cambridge UP,
  • Etienne Balibar: 1997, Spinoza and Politics, Verso,
  • Moira Gatens & Genevieve Lloyd: 1999, Collective Imaginings. Spinoza, Pasts & Present, Routledge,
  • Stuart Hampshire: 1987, Spinoza, Penguin,
  • Jonathan Israel: 2001, Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy & the Making of Modernity, Oxford UP,
  • Susan James: 2012, Spinoza on Philosophy, Religion & Politics, Oxford UP,
  • Steven Nadler: 2012, A Book Forged in Hell: Spinoza’s Scandalous Treatise and the Birth of the Secular Age, Princeton UP,
  • Richard Popkin: 2004, Spinoza, Oneworld,
  • M. Rosenthal & Y. Melamed (eds.): 2013, Spinoza’s “Theological-Political Treatise”: A Critical Guide,, Cambridge UP,
  • Hasana Sharp: 2011, Spinoza and the Politics of Renaturalization, Chicago UP,
  • Leo Strauss: 1997, Spinoza’s Critique of Religion, Chicago UP,
Other Resources

38476, website, 0, Stanford Encylopaedia of Philosophy,
Programme or List of Programmes
AFUAge Friendly University Programme
MATHWRMA in Theology & World Religions
MPTPMPhil (Theology, Philosophy & Music)
TPPMMaster of Arts

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