Course # 01:090:294:H1
Index # 06609
Monday & Wednesday 02:00 PM - 03:20 PM
Campus: CAC
Location: HC - E128
Professor Brian Leftow (Philosophy)

Christianity makes these claims:

1. The evil that men do (women too) has a hidden source. It’s all due to something called “sin.”
2. Sin is a problem we’re born with. We have this problem because of something our remote ancestors did.
3. If sin isn’t cured, something very bad happens to us after we die.
4. It has a cure. What cures it happened 2,000 years ago.
5. A man back then was God. Something was, and is, both finite and infinite, creature and Creator, all-powerful and weak, eternal and born of a virgin.
6. God is a person. God is also three Persons.

Traditionally, only Christian theologians discussed these claims . Philosophers confined themselves to general, abstract claims common to many religions (“there is a God,” “God is all-knowing”). In the last 30 years, that has changed. Philosophers now explicate, attack, and defend (1)-(6), and much else besides. After some discussion of what distinguishes philosophy from theology on these subjects, this seminar will introduce students to philosophical debates about (1)-(6). Readings will include enough theology to set out the beliefs for discussion. On some topics, this will be simply a Creed, but on others, reading will include material from major philosophical theologians: Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas. The remainder of the reading- the bulk of the course- will consist of discussion of these doctrines by recent philosophers. The course combines a sympathetic presentation of historic Christian theology with a fair-minded presentation and discussion of philosophical debate about it. Students will come away with knowledge of the history of Christian theology and skill in applying philosophical concepts and reasoning in examining religious doctrines.

 

About Brian Leftow

 

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