Faith and Reason


Course Objective

• Students have an introductory understanding of various issues in
• Students are thoroughly familiar with applications of these issues to
questions about faith and reason;
• Students have close reading skills;
• Students have developed several philosophical skills: critical
thinking, argumentation analysis, conceptual analysis, interpretation
and comparative analysis;
• Students know how to develop, present, discuss, and defend their own
philosophically rigorous arguments.

Course Content

Are faith and reason diametrically opposed, as contemporary commentators
like Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett would have us believe? Or are
they different, complementary, or perhaps even mutually supportive? In
this course, we will explore some systematic perspectives on the
relation between faith and reason. We will do so by closely reading
selections from three ‘contemporary classics’ in analytic philosophy
of religion and epistemology. Together, these texts provide a solid
introduction to religious epistemology and particularly what has come to
be known as ‘reformed epistemology’. Since these works provide the
starting point for many later discussions about religious epistemology,
studying them carefully will put students in a good position to find
their own way in later debates.

Teaching Methods

Classes will be taught as a mix between traditional lectures and
interactive discussions, with presentations and active participation by

Method of Assessment

• Three short assignments to test comprehension of the assigned readings
• Final paper of approximately 2,500 words in which students evaluate
and interact with (a relevant selection of) the assigned readings (50%)


• William Alston. Perceiving God. Cornell University Press, 1991
• Richard Swinburne. Revelation, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, 2007
• Alvin Plantinga. Warranted Christian Belief. Oxford University Press,

Target Audience

Mandatory for students in the subprogramme Exploring a Discipline
"Philosophy and Religion", elective for Master's students of other

General Information

Course Code W_FRFAR
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Religion and Theology
Course Coordinator prof. dr. R. van Woudenberg
Examiner prof. dr. R. van Woudenberg
Teaching Staff prof. dr. D.M.K.H. Grube MA
prof. dr. ir. G.J. de Ridder

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar, Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: