This is the full set of lectures from Matt McCormick’s Philosophy of Religion course (Phil 131) at California State University, Sacramento, the syllabus for which you can find here. Here’s the ground it covers:
Religion is perhaps one of the most widespread and familiar of human behaviors. For as long as humans have been recognizably human, they have been religious. Religious claims are of particular interest to philosophers because they raise so many important metaphysical issues. That is, religious claims often make assertions about the ultimate nature of reality, the existence of souls, an afterlife, and most importantly, the existence of a God or gods. Part of the reason people have such a strong interest in religion is because of the implications religious claims would have on our lives if they are true.
We will discuss the philosophical, metaphysical, and epistemological foundations of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. There will be some discussion of Buddhism and Hinduism, as well. At the outset we will concern several issues surrounding the relationship of religion, science, and morality. Then we will consider some of the most influential and recent arguments that have been given for the existence of an all powerful, all knowing, all good, personal, and singular God. This notion is central to the predominant western and non-western monotheistic traditions. We will consider different epistemological approaches to religious belief, arguments for and against the existence of God, the problem of evil, faith, revelation, mysticism, the creation-evolution debate, the attributes of God, miracles, religion and rationality, and so on. We will operate with some assumptions: 1) serious rational inquiry and respectful dialogue on religious issues can help us learn about God, religion, and ourselves, and 2) we can obtain better, more reasonable positions regarding these topics. The perspectives and contributions of various ethnic, socio-economic, and religious groups will be considered in the discussions and readings.