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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2021 - 2022

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 15
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module has as its focus the study of the relationship between Philosophy and Religion, as it evolves through different historical periods and thematic approaches. Parts 1 and 2 of this module examine what philosophy can teach us about religious belief and unbelief, with an emphasis on the Early to Later Greek and Hellenistic context of thought. Students are encouraged to think about the nature of religion, and the claims made by different religious believers, from a philosophical perspective. Students will also study the relationship between truth and religion. Parts 3 and 4 of this module explore the tradition of metaphysics in Philosophy as it develops through the Medieval and early Modern period. Metaphysics is the attempt to study the ultimate nature of reality. Students will explore the question of the knowledge of God and the existence of God.The themes of personal identity and the metaphysical concept of personhood will be considered and linked to the concept of an afterlife. The nature and characteristics of religious experience and the central role it plays in religious belief will be explored. Parts 5 and 6 will develop these themes as they evolve into a later Modern and more contemporary period. Focus here will develop from late nineteenth century emphasis on existential individuality as it moves into the more complex phase of postmodern thought and its relation to questions of religion. Here, there will be a critical encounter between religion and theology on the one side and philosophy and ethics on the other.

Learning Outcomes

1. Consider and understand the historical relation between philosophy and religion
2. Evaluate several traditional arguments which claim to prove the existence of God
3. Consider the relationship between science, religion and truth
4. Explore the nature of religious experiences
5. Reflect on, and interpret, the attempt by metaphysics to study the ultimate nature of reality
6. Explain the concepts of personal identity and free will from a metaphysical perspective
7. Critically reflect on more contemporary understandings of the relation between philosophy and religion

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Tutorial15No Description
Online activity60No Description
Independent Study300No Description
Total Workload: 375

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

Part 1 - The origins of religion (pre-philosophical)

Part 2 - Religion and philosophy - the Greek period

Part 3 - Medieval philosophy

Part 4 - How does modernity deal with this - the rational paradigm (secular)

Part 5 - Later modern philosophy (post secular)

Part 6 - Postmodern

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
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
Indicative Reading List

  • Kierkegaard, S.: 0, Fear and Trembling, Any edition, For Part 5,
  • Barnes, J.: 1996, Early Greek Philosophy, Penguin,
  • 0: All other reading will be provided online,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes