PHIL318-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023

Philosophy of Religion: Rationality, Science, and the God Hypothesis

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 20 February 2023
End Date: Sunday, 25 June 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 5 March 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 14 May 2023


Why does the universe exist, rather than nothing at all? Does life imply a designer? Can we show by pure logic that a supreme being exists? Is a person a non-physical soul or only a neural net encased in a skull? Can I survive my death or is belief in an afterlife a trick of evolution? Isn't all the suffering in the world evidence against the hypothesis of a benevolent God? Can human beings tell what is morally right and wrong, or do we need a 'God's-eye'view'? Is science compatible with religion? Is there one and only one true religion? What is 'faith' and what is 'reason' - and who decides?


Any 30 points at 200 level from PHIL, or
any 60 points at 200 level from the Schedule V of the BA or the BSc.


RELS210 and PHIL229

Timetable 2023

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Tuesday 14:00 - 16:00 Jack Erskine 031 Lecture Theatre
20 Feb - 2 Apr
24 Apr - 4 Jun
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 10:00 - 11:00 Karl Popper 612
20 Feb - 2 Apr
24 Apr - 4 Jun

Course Coordinator

Diane Proudfoot

Contact Diane for further information.

Textbooks / Resources

The text is Peterson, Hasker, Reichenbach, and Basinger, Reason and Religious Belief: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion, 5th edition (Oxford Univ. Press, 2012). This book is a very helpful guide to the subject.

Almost everything you need to know about the course is in the Learn PHIL229/318 website. The site guides you through the topics, in each case starting with user-friendly resources and tasks and moving to more challenging reading. Upload your essays in Learn and receive feedback electronically in Learn too—there is very little paper in this course.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,641.00

International fee $7,500.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts .

All PHIL318 Occurrences

  • PHIL318-23S1 (C) Semester One 2023
  • PHIL318-23S1 (D) Semester One 2023 (Distance)