Thought about God has re-emerged as a fundamental interest for contemporary continental philosophy. Is it possible to think about God at all? If so, in what way? This unit examines developments in twentieth-century continental philosophy that establish the framework for contemporary thought about metaphysics, God, and faith. Particular attention will be given to major texts covering nihilism, existentialism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and postmodern thought.

Unit code: AP9160C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Philosophy

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Give an account of the philosophical positions studied in the unit that explains their relation to the development of postmodern thought during the twentieth century.


Outline the philosophical context for the texts studied in the unit, and reflect on the issues they seek to address.


Compare the key characteristics of the philosophical positions studied in the unit.


Appraise the significance of the philosophical positions studied in the unit.


Assess critically the arguments in the texts studied in the unit.


Demonstrate the capacity to research a specific topic in a critically rigorous, sustained and self-directed manner.

Unit sequence

One unit of Philosophy


Lectures and tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Copleston, Frederick C. A History of Philosophy. Vols 7 and 9. London: Burns & Oates, 1963 and 1975.
  • Critchley, Simon, and William Schroeder. A Companion to Continental Philosophy. Blackwell Companions to Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.
  • Cutrofello, Andrew. Continental Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction. Routledge Contemporary Introductions to Philosophy. London: Routledge, 2005.
  • Gadamer, Hans-Georg. Truth and Method. 2nd ed. Translated by William Glen-Doepel. Translation revised by Joel Weinsheimer and Donald G. Marshall. New York: Crossroad, 1992.
  • Heidegger, Martin. Being and Time: A Translation of “Sein und Zeit”. Translated by Joan Stambaugh. Revised by Dennis J. Schmidt. State University of New York Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2010.
  • Husserl, Edmund. Collected Works. Vol. 8, The Idea of Phenomenology. Translated by Lee Hardy. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic, 1999.
  • Levinas, Emmanuel. “Philosophy and the Idea of Infinity.” In Collected Philosophical Papers, Translated by Alphonso Lingis, 47–59. Pittsburgh: Duquesne University Press, 1998.
  • Sokolowski, Robert. An Introduction to Phenomenology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  • Teichman, Jenny, and Graham White, eds. An Introduction to Modern European Philosophy. 2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1998.
  • West, David. Continental Philosophy: An Introduction. New ed. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2010.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Variant 1

Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper

Variant 1 - 2 x 1000 word seminar papers (2 x 15%)

One choice from two assessment variants will be nominated at the time of scheduling by the lecturer/unit coordinator prior to the start of the unit, published in the unit outline. Students may have topical choices within a given assessment variation, but are not able to make choices outside that set of assessments.

2000 30.0
Skeleton Argument (e.g. Philosophy)

Variant 1 - 1000-word skeleton argument

1000 10.0

Variant 1 - 4000-word essay

4000 60.0

Variant 2

Skeleton Argument (e.g. Philosophy)

Variant 2 - 1000-word skeleton argument

1000 10.0

Variant 2 - 6000-word essay

6000 90.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 22 Jul, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:51 +1000