This unit explains the differences between the classical Christian position in comparison with alternatives (for example, the Hellenic concept of God of Plato and Aristotle). It then examines classical proofs for the existence of God in the history of western philosophy, and considers various classical divine attributes, and our use of language to describe God. It also discusses various problems or issues in relation to the classical Christian conception of God, for example, the problem of evil, or the problem of divine foreknowledge.

Unit code: AP2210C (Approved)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Philosophy

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Critically explain a range of proofs of God’s existence


Elaborate and evaluate the critiques of arguments for the existence of God made, for example, in the medieval and the early modern periods


Critically expound the important accounts of certain divine attributes; for example, God’s omniscience, freedom, eternity or simplicity


Critically expound at least one problem for classical Christian theism; for example, the problem of evil, or the problem of divine foreknowledge, etc.

Unit sequence

30 points of Philosophy at first level


Lectures, seminars, tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Aquinas, Thomas. Summa Theologiae. Part 1, questions 2–25.
  • Craig, William L., ed. Philosophy of Religion: A Reader and Guide. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2002.
  • Davies, Brian. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • ———, ed. Philosophy of Religion: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • Hughes, Gerard. The Nature of God. London: Routledge, 1995.
  • Murray, Michael, and Michael C. Rea. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008.
  • Palmer, Michael, ed. The Question of God: An Introduction and Sourcebook. London: Routledge, 2001.
  • Quinn, Philip L., and Charles Taliaferro, eds. A Companion to Philosophy of Religion. Oxford: Blackwell, 1997.
  • Stump, Eleanore, and Michael Murray, eds. Philosophy of Religion: The Big Questions. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999.
  • Swinburne, Richard. The Christian God. Oxford: Clarendon, 1994.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

1 x 2,000-word essay

0 50.0

Unit variation one: 2-hour written examination

Unit variation two: 5 take-home examinations comprising 2,000 words total

One of the variations set out here is chosen by the lecturer/unit coordinator prior to the start of the unit, in conjunction with the Dean, and is published in the unit outline. The lecturer may choose different variations for different levels in the same unit. Students may have choices within a given variation, but are not able to make choices outside that set variation.

0 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-02-01 10:31:43 +1100