About this Course
4.6
138 ratings
34 reviews
Philosophy, Science and Religion mark three of the most fundamental modes of thinking about the world and our place in it. Are these modes incompatible? Put another way: is the intellectually responsible thing to do to ‘pick sides’ and identify with one of these approaches at the exclusion of others? Or, are they complementary or mutually supportive? As is typical of questions of such magnitude, the devil is in the details. For example, it is important to work out what is really distinctive about each of these ways of inquiring about the world. In order to gain some clarity here, we’ll be investigating what some of the current leading thinkers in philosophy, science and religion are actually doing. This course, entitled ‘Philosophy and Religion’, is the second of three related courses in our Philosophy, Science and Religion Online series, and in this course we will ask important questions about the age-old debate between science and religion, such as: • What kind of conflicts are there between religion and science? • Does current cognitive science of religion effectively explain away God? • If there is a God who has made us so that we can know him, why do some people not believe? • Is belief in science also a kind of fundamentalism? • What makes us good at getting, giving, or sharing, knowledge? Is this different when it is religious knowledge? The first course in the Philosophy, Science and Religion series, 'Science and Philosophy' was launched early in 2017 and you can sign up to it at any time. The third course —‘Religion and Science’—will be launched early in 2018. Completing all three courses will give you a broader understanding of this fascinating topic. Look for: • Philosophy, Science and Religion I: Science and Philosophy https://www.coursera.org/learn/philosophy-science-religion-1/ • Philosophy, Science and Religion III: Religion and Science Upon successful completion of all three courses, students will: (1) Understand the main parameters at stake in the current debate between science and religion. (2) Have some familiarity with the relevant areas of science that feature in the debate—including cosmology, evolution, and the neurosciences—and will have begun to engage with them conceptually. (3) Have encountered key philosophical approaches to the interface between science and religion, and will have had the opportunity to engage them in practice. (4) Have embarked constructively in cross-disciplinary conversations. (5) Have demonstrated an openness to personal growth through a commitment to dialogue across intellectual and spiritual boundaries. You can also follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/EdiPhilOnline and you can follow the hashtag #psrmooc...
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Calendar

Flexible deadlines

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Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Approx. 12 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 Modules; 2-3 hours of study per module...
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English...
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Approx. 12 hours to complete

Suggested: 6 Modules; 2-3 hours of study per module...
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Clock
1 hour to complete

Introduction to the course

In this module Professor Duncan Pritchard welcomes you to the course and gives you a preview of our journey together over the next six weeks....
Reading
2 videos (Total 7 min), 4 readings
Video2 videos
Professor Duncan Pritchard introduces the course3m
Reading4 readings
About this course10m
Course assessments and exercises10m
Course textbook10m
Introductory Reading: Faith and Rationality10m
Clock
1 hour to complete

Mind, Science, and Religion

Dr. Sarah Lane Ritchie starts us off with a tour of the relationship between the various brain sciences and religious belief....
Reading
5 videos (Total 27 min), 2 readings, 3 quizzes
Video5 videos
Lecture 1.2: Religious Belief and Embodiment4m
Lecture 1.3: Neural Correlates of Religious Belief7m
Lecture 1.4: Religious Belief and the Cognitive Science of Religion8m
Lecture 1.5: Religious Belief Disproved?3m
Reading2 readings
Introductory Reading: Does Contemporary Neuroscience Debunk Religious Belief?10m
Find out more...!10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Test your understanding4m
Test your understanding2m
Module Quiz6m
Week
2
Clock
1 hour to complete

Science and Religion in the Public Realm

In this series of lectures, Professor John Evans describes a sociological approach to the question of religion and science that focuses on contemporary society. Using debates about fact claims and morality of human evolution as his continuing example, and with a focus on the relationship with science that religious and other citizens have with science, he describes three types of conflict. Unlike the philosophical and theological debate that focuses upon conflict over knowledge claims about the physical world, Evans shows how the contemporary debate for citizens is more likely to be about morality. ...
Reading
5 videos (Total 45 min), 1 reading, 6 quizzes
Video5 videos
Lecture 2.2 - Possible conflict between religion and science4m
Lecture 2.3 - Official Christian stances on the conflict9m
Lecture 2.4 - Views on human origins12m
Lecture 2.5 - Is the religious public in moral conflict with science?9m
Reading1 reading
Religion and Science: Beyond the Epistemological Conflict Narrative10m
Quiz6 practice exercises
Test your understanding4m
Test your understanding2m
Test your understanding2m
Test your understanding4m
Module Quiz6m
Assess the reading critically10m
Week
3
Clock
2 hours to complete

Religious Disagreement and Friendly Theism/Atheism

In this series of lectures Professor John Greco discusses the topic of religious disagreement. Part One considers two problems that we find in the epistemology of religion: The Problem of Evil (or Suffering) and The Problem of Divine Hiddenness. In these contexts, theists and atheists often accuse each other of irrationality. Even worse, each party of the debate explains that irrationality by positing some moral or intellectual flaw in the other. The basic idea is this: If you don’t see things the way I do, that must be due to some intellectual or moral flaw in you. Part Two introduces resources in social epistemology that help us to understand what is going on here. The main idea is that social location affects epistemic position-- that social location matters, epistemically speaking. This is a central lesson of contemporary social epistemology, and one that can be fruitfully adopted by religious epistemology as well. Part Three explores some further implications of a “social religious epistemology.” Most importantly, we see how moral and practical aspects of the social environment can have epistemic consequences....
Reading
4 videos (Total 47 min), 3 readings, 4 quizzes
Video4 videos
Lecture 3.2 - Social epistemology23m
Lecture 3.3 - Implications for religious epistemology9m
Lecture 3.4 - Conclusion3m
Reading3 readings
Introductory Reading: Are Theism and Atheism Totally Opposed?10m
Further reading10m
Testimony and the Transmission of Religious Knowledge10m
Quiz4 practice exercises
Test your understanding!6m
Test your understanding!6m
Module Quiz6m
Assess the reading critically2m
Week
4
Clock
4 hours to complete

The Hiddenness Argument and the Contribution of Philosophy

In this series of lectures, Professor John Schellenberg introduces and explains a new argument for atheism known as the hiddenness argument. He highlights the self-imposed limitations of this way of reasoning, which is aimed at ruling out just one candidate for the status of a divine reality, the notion of a personal divine. He then clarifies the relations between this approach to the question of God's existence and other features of the contemporary landscape in philosophy and science – including the philosophical problem of evil, certain results of the cognitive science of religion, and recent moral changes suggesting cultural evolution....
Reading
5 videos (Total 41 min), 2 readings, 6 quizzes
Video5 videos
Lecture 4.2 - Main objections to the argument6m
Lecture 4.3 - Responses to the objections14m
Lecture 4.4 - The relationship between religion and science7m
Lecture 4.5 - Philosophy's contribution to the theism debates5m
Reading2 readings
Introductory Reading: Is God Hidden, Or Does God Simply Not Exist?10m
Divine Hiddenness and Human Philosophy10m
Quiz5 practice exercises
Test your understanding6m
Test your understanding2m
Module Quiz6m
Test your understanding4m
Assess the reading critically2m
4.6
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By CWJun 10th 2018

This was a first class course in all respects. The calibre of the lecturers was very high indeed and they all made the material very accessible.

By EMDec 8th 2017

Refreshing to be updated with the latest developments in epistemology and philosophy of religion among others.

Instructors

Dr Orestis Palermos

Research Explorer
School of Philosophy

Dr Mark Harris

Senior Lecturer in Science and Religion
School of Divinity

Professor Duncan Pritchard

Professor of Philosophy
University of Edinburgh

Dr J Adam Carter

Researcher
Epistemology - Philosphy

About The University of Edinburgh

Influencing the world since 1583, The University of Edinburgh is consistently ranked as one of the world's top 50 universities. Today, we are an established and global leader in online learning, providing degree-level education to 3,000 online students in addition to 36,000 students on-campus. We also offer a wide range of free online courses in a variety of subjects. To find out more about studying for one of our online degrees, search for ‘Edinburgh online’ or visit www.ed.ac.uk/studying/online-learning/postgraduate ...

Frequently Asked Questions

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