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PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
FALL 2003

 

Location:                                                                                                                                    Office: FL 1244
Day/Time:                                                                                                                       Office hours: W, 2-4pm
Instructor: Paul Leclerc                                                                                                        Office Tel.: 333-7294
Assistant Professor of Philosophy                                                                              E-mail: logos53@juno.com
Tel.: (401) 886-4107

COURSE DESCRIPTION AND GOALS: This course is designed to introduce the student to the theoretical orientations, central concepts, basic problems, and classical arguments of Western philosophy of religion. We will systematically clarify and critically analyze a representative range of topical problems in the philosophy of religion. These include the concept of God, traditional arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil, mysticism, and philosophical atheism. Students will engage in theoretical discussions, develop critical reasoning skills, and gain reflective insight into their personal philosophy of religion. Consequently, course goals include:

1. Basic comprehension of systematic concepts and central arguments of Western philosophy of religion.

2. Development of critical reasoning skills applicable to a variety of topical problems and basic arguments in the philosophy of religion.

3. Acquisition of a theoretically informed, reflective, and critical perspective on one’s personal philosophy of religion.

REQUIRED TEXT
John Hick, Classical and Contemporary Readings in the Philosophy of Religion, 3rd edition. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Publishing Co., 1990.

ASSIGNMENTS
1. Readings in the course texts and supplementary materials provided in class.

2. Brief written assignments (1-3 typed pages approximately) based on course readings, student questionnaires, and philosophical exercises. Typed papers are highly recommended, but I will accept legible handwritten papers.

There will be five (5) written assignments worth 5% of your course grade. Evaluation will be on a pass/fail basis. Standards of evaluation include:

COURSE GRADE FOR WRITTEN ASSIGNMENTS

PASSED POINTS LETTER GRADE
5 5 A
4 4 B
3 3 C
2 2 D
1 1 F


EXAMS:
There will be three (3) exams during the semester and a final exam during exam week. They will consist of T/F, multiple choice, short answer, and essay questions. An exam review handout will be provided one week prior to exams. Exam percentages of the course grade are listed in the Calculation of Course Grade section below.

EXAM MAKE-UP POLICY: Permission to be excused from a scheduled exam will be granted only for family emergency or serious medical reason, and must be given prior to the exam. If you believe you have a legitimate reason to be excused, please request permission as soon as possible in order to facilitate rescheduling plans. An unexcused absence from a scheduled exam will result in a failing grade for that exam.

TENTATIVE EXAM SCHEDULE

EXAM DATE
1 10/1
2 10/29
3 11/26
Final TBA


CALCULATION OF COURSE GRADE

Exam 1 20%
Exam 2 20%
Exam 3 20%
Final Exam 30%
Written Assignments 10%


ATTENDANCE POLICY
: You are expected to attend class, be prepared to ask and answer questions, and participate in class discussions. If you miss a class for any reason you are still responsible for material covered and assignments given (which can be easily accessed on my web page). You will be granted three (3) unexcused absences, if class meets three times a week, and one (1) if class meets once a week. Each additional absence will result in a 1/3 reduction in your course grade (for example, a B to a B-). Consistent attendance and class participation will weigh in your favor if you are on the border between two grades.

CLASS FORMAT: Lecture, class discussion, and small-group discussion. Class participation is an integral part of the course and is highly encouraged.



ONLINE RESOURCES: You are strongly encouraged to visit my LOGOS web page for course materials and links to helpful online resources: http://faculty.ccri.edu/paleclerc/

PLEASE NOTE:
As a courtesy to the professor and your peers, please shut off any electronic communication devices prior to entering the classroom.


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