Thinking about God


The course offers an introduction to Western Philosophy of Religion and, more specifically, to philosophical issues concerning the God of classical theism (in which Jews, Christians and Muslims believe). In this course we will think about, discuss and debate over central questions concerning the following issues:

  • The theistic concept of God and the attributes traditionally ascribed to God (e.g. omnipotence, omniscience, eternality) and whether the theistic concept of God is coherent or not.
  • The evidence for the existence of God: Are there any successful arguments for or against the existence of God?
  • The nature of religious faith and its relation to reason, and whether it might be rational to believe in God without evidence.

We will think about and discuss these core issues in Western philosophy of religion by looking at a number of important philosophical texts, views and arguments addressing them. The course will develop the ability to interpret and engage with philosophical literature, to analyse and critically evaluate philosophical arguments and to argue philosophically to support one’s own views.

Programme details

Courses starts: 19 Apr 2023

Week 0: Course orientation

Week 1: What is Philosophy of Religion about?

Week 2: Thinking about God’s essential properties (I): omnipotence and omniscience

Week 3: Thinking about God’s essential properties (II): eternity and perfection

Week 4: The ontological argument

Week 5: The argument to design

Week 6: The cosmological argument

Week 7: The argument from religious experience

Week 8: The problem of evil

Week 9: Faith, revelation and prayer

Week 10: Alternative approaches 


Students who register for CATS points will receive a Record of CATS points on successful completion of their course assessment.

To earn credit (CATS points) you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Coursework is an integral part of all weekly classes and everyone enrolled will be expected to do coursework in order to benefit fully from the course. Only those who have registered for credit will be awarded CATS points for completing work at the required standard.

Students who do not register for CATS points during the enrolment process can either register for CATS points prior to the start of their course or retrospectively from the January 1st after the current full academic year has been completed. If you are enrolled on the Certificate of Higher Education you need to indicate this on the enrolment form but there is no additional registration fee.


Description Costs
Course Fee £238.00
Take this course for CATS points £10.00


Dr Roxana Baiasu

Apart from being a Philosophy Tutor of the Department of Continuing Education, Roxana is also Associate Member of the Philosophy Faculty, Oxford University,  Tutorial  Fellow/ Lecturer in Philosophy at Stanford University in Oxford and Research Fellow at Birmingham University.  Prior to this she was a lecturer at the Universities of Vienna, Birmingham,and Leeds, and a Leverhulme Fellow at Sussex University. She is writing in the areas of Post-Kantian metaphysics and epistemology, philosophy of religion, feminist philosophy and philosophy of medicine. She edited (with G. Bird and A.W. Moore) Contemporary Kantian Metaphysics Today: New Essays on Time and Space (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), and published in, among others, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, IJPSResearch in Phenomenology and Sophia.

Course aims

To introduce you to core issues in Western philosophy of religion which concern all monotheistic religions, and to critically explore main approaches to the issues.

Course Objectives

1. To come to understand certain influential views and arguments concerning the nature of God and God’s existence.  

2. To discuss and evaluate these views and arguments.

3. To engage with, and examine, relevant texts.

Teaching methods

There will be one weekly recorded powerpoint lecture presentation and one weekly live session. Students will be asked to read the texts from the set reading in preparation for each live session.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course students will be expected to:

1. be familiar with influential positions and main arguments concerning God’s existence and essential properties;

2. be able to explain and evaluate these positions and arguments critically, that is, to understand the philosophical arguments for and against the positions;

3. present a reasoned argument for supporting or criticising various claims and to reach a well-supported conclusion as to which view is most convincing or rationally defensible.

Assessment methods


One long essay of 1,500 words to be produced at the end of the course,


Two 750 word essays (one to be produced by the end of week 5, and the second by the end of the course). Alternatively, students could choose to give a presentation (and provide notes of 1,000 words). 

Students must submit a completed Declaration of Authorship form at the end of term when submitting your final piece of work. CATS points cannot be awarded without the aforementioned form - Declaration of Authorship form


We will close for enrolments 7 days prior to the start date to allow us to complete the course set up. We will email you at that time (7 days before the course begins) with further information and joining instructions. As always, students will want to check spam and junk folders during this period to ensure that these emails are received.

To earn credit (CATS points) for your course you will need to register and pay an additional £10 fee per course. You can do this by ticking the relevant box at the bottom of the enrolment form or when enrolling online.

Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please complete an application form.

Level and demands

No prior knowledge of the subject is required, but some familiarity with philosophy might be an advantage. 

Most of the Department's weekly classes have 10 or 20 CATS points assigned to them. 10 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of ten 2-hour sessions. 20 CATS points at FHEQ Level 4 usually consist of twenty 2-hour sessions. It is expected that, for every 2 hours of tuition you are given, you will engage in eight hours of private study.

Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme (CATS)