Philosophy 20810: Philosophical Theology
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Date Topic Reading Catechism
Tu 1/15
Introduction to the course
extra readings
Th 1/17
Divine attributes and the paradox of omnipotence
Anselm, Proslogion §V
Aquinas, "The power of God"
extra readings
The almighty (§§ 269-274)
Tu 1/22
Omnibenevolence, omnipotence, and evil
Mackie, "Evil and omnipotence" Providence and the scandal of evil (§§309-314)
Th 1/24 & Tu 1/29
Evil and freedom of the will
van Inwagen, "The problem of evil" (excerpt)
extra readings
Th 1/31
Essential goodness, omnipotence, and God's freedom
Aquinas, "That God cannot will evil" (Summa Contra Gentiles §95)
extra readings
Tu 2/5
Creation and necessity
Descartes, Letters to Mersenne (May, 1630)
extra readings
The mystery of creation (§§295-301)
Th 2/7, Tu 2/12, & Th 2/14
Trinity and contradiction
Augustine, Confessions Book XIII (excerpt)
Aquinas, Summa Theologica Ia29.4, "The divine persons" (excerpt)
Rea and Brower, “Understanding the Trinity”
extra readings
The Holy Trinity in the teaching of the faith (§§249-256)
Tu 2/19, Th 2/21, & Tu 2/26
Providence, predestination, and foreknowledge
Draft of 1st :short paper due 2/14
Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles 94, 159-163
Aquinas, "Whether the knowledge of God is of future contingent things"
Edwards, Freedom of the Will (excerpt)
extra readings
Th 2/28 & Tu 3/5
The epistemology and metaphysics of the Incarnation
Revised 1st short paper due 3/5

The confession of Chalcedon

Lewis, Mere Christianity (excerpt)

extra readings
True God and true man (§§464-478)
Th 3/7 Midterm exam

Spring break
Tu 3/19
Hume, "Of miracles" (excerpt) Faith and understanding, §156
Th 3/21 The Atonement, pt. 1 (guest lecture: Amy Seymour)


extra readings

Tu 3/26
The Atonement (pt. 2)
Lewis, "Do we believe in penal substitution?"
extra readings
Christ's redemptive death in God's plan of salvation (§§599-618)
Th 3/28 & Tu 4/2
Heaven and hell
Sider, "Hell and vagueness"
extra readings
Heaven, purgatory, hell
Th 4/4 & Tu 4/9
Original sin
2nd short paper due 4/4
Aquinas, "Whether original sin is a habit?"
extra readings
Original sin (§§ 396-409)
Th 4/11, Tu 4/16, & Th 4/18
The resurrection of the body

Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles Chs. 79-81

van Inwagen, "I look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come"

extra readings

I believe in the resurrection of the body (§§988-991)
Tu 4/23
Evidence and belief in God

Plantinga, "Is belief in God properly basic?"

extra readings
Th 4/25
Religious belief and religious disagreement
Plantinga, "Pluralism: a defense of religious exclusivism"
extra readings
Tu 4/30
Fine-tuning and God's existence
3rd short paper due

Rees, Just Six Numbers (excerpt)

extra readings
F, 5/10 Final exam, in usual classroom, from 10:30-12:30