Introduction to Religious Philosophy

Ref: C3743811

We will look at the following arguments that are central to religious thinking. We will firstly study the nature of God and ask whether the attributes of the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic God (all-knowing, all loving, all-powerful etc) makes sense. The Design Argument (the world is so perfectly designed for life that is most likely that there is a designer God). The First Cause (or Cosmological) argument, that claims that the universe requires a first cause and that this is an Uncaused Causer or God. Religious Experience allows us to explore those claims that God exists because some people have directly experienced God (e.g. near-death experiences, conversions, speaking in tongues, miracles). The problem of evil: How do Christians defend God against the criticism that the existence of suffering means God cannot have the attributes of an all loving, all-powerful and all-knowing being? Can God be proven to exist just by using reason (the Ontological Argument)?

Course aim

This will follow on from the introduction to philosophy course but does stand alone as a suitable course for a student with no previous experience. It will introduce many of the philosophical arguments for and against the existence of God.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This is for anyone with a genuine interest in religious thinking whether a believer, non-believer or agnostic.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • An understanding of how arguments are presented and debated in a philosophical way.
  • Recognise how believers and non-believers understand their own beliefs and to discuss the differences.
  • Develop confidence to discuss and debate potentially sensitive issues on people's personal beliefs.
  • To engage in the philosophical arguments that underpin religious belief in human history and in today's society.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • Nothing else is needed
  • All materials will be provided

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here

Download full course information sheet

Introduction to Religious Philosophy


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2018
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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