This module uses the concepts, views, and arguments in analytic philosophy to clarify philosophical problems raised by Christian and Islamic theology, to offer solutions to those problems, and to evaluate those solutions.
|A||Semester 1 2023-24|
to apply contemporary, analytic philosophy to Christian and Islamic theology in order (i) to explicate theological doctrines, (ii) to identify the philosophical problems those doctrines give rise to, (iii) to identify solutions to those problems, and (iv) to evaluate those solutions; in so doing, students will open up new lines of enquiry in systematic analytic theology.
to compare and contrast the results of these evaluations in Christian and Islamic theology; in so doing, students will open up new lines of enquiry in comparative analytic theology.
Academic and graduate skills
to develop students' abilities to apply philosophical tools and techniques in order to advance understanding of intellectual problems;
to provide a grounding for independent research in the philosophy of Christianity and Islam, individually and collectively.
By the end of the module: students should be able to:
Students should show the ability to work autonomously and self critically on an extended essay that goes beyond the core framework that is provided in lectures and seminars.
This module will examine key claims in Christian and Islamic theology that raise philosophical problems, such as the truth and authority of Scripture, the nature of God, creation, providence, sin, redemption, and the afterlife. Students will use the concepts, views, and arguments of analytic philosophy to clarify these theological claims and the philosophical problems they raise, to give solutions to these problems, to evaluate these solutions, and to argue for their preferred solution, or that there is no satisfactory solution. In addition to this, students will identify conceptual similarities and dissimilarities between particular philosophical problems facing each of these Abrahamic faiths, and will evaluate scope for sharing specific solutions between traditions.
In addition to contemporary work in analytic theology, students will engage with Ibn Rushd’s Exposition of Religious Arguments, Al-Ghazali’s Moderation in Belief, and Aquinas’ Summa Theologica.
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All feedback will be returned in line with University and Departmental guidelines.
Jewish Analytic Theology:
Shalom Carmy and David Shatz, ‘The Bible as a Source for Philosophical Reflection’, in Daniel H. Frank and Oliver Leaman, eds., History of Jewish Philosophy (Routledge, 1997), pp. 13-37.
Yoram Hazony, The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture (Cambridge, 2012).
Sam Lebens, The Principals of Judaism (Oxford, 2020)
Christian Analytic Theology:
Oliver Crisp (ed), A Reader in Contemporary Philosophical Theology (Continuum, 2009).
Michael Rea (ed), Oxford Readings in Philosophical Theology, Volume I: Trinity, Incarnation, Atonement (Oxford University Press, 2009).
Michael Rea (ed), Oxford Readings in Philosophical Theology, Volume II: Providence, Scripture, and Resurrection (Oxford University Press, 2009).
Islamic Analytic Theology:
Oliver Leaman, Controversies in Contemporary Islam (Routledge, 2013).
Oliver Leaman, Islamic Philosophy: An Introduction (Polity, 2009).
Anthony Robert Booth, Analytic Islamic Philosophy (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017).