An Introduction to Philosophy for Theology

Foundational Unit

Rev. Dr Chris Mulherin (coordinator)
Semester 1, 2020
Monday 2.00pm – 5.00pm

The unit provides an overview of some major concepts and thinkers in the western philosophical tradition that are relevant for the study of theology. It is suitable both as a preparation for theological studies and also as an introduction for students wishing to pursue further philosophical studies. Thinkers studied will include some or all of: Plato, Aristotle, Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche and Heidegger. Themes studied will include some or all of: arguments for the existence of God, the classical attributes of God, consideration of the problem of evil, the nature of religious language, the human person, ethics and the nature of the Good, natural law and political philosophy.

Census Date

Tuesday 17 March




face-to-face 3-hour weekly classes in semester (small class option: 2-hours)


  • one 1,000-word seminar paper 20%
  • one 3,000-word essay 50%
  • one 2-hour written examination (2,000 words) 30%
or [Lecturer variation]
  • one 2,000-word essay 40%
  • one 4,000-word essay 60%


  • Allen, Diogenes. Philosophy for Understanding Theology. London: SCM, 1985.
  • Allen, Diogenes, and Eric O. Springsted, eds. Primary Readings in Philosophy for Understanding Theology. Leominister: Gracewing, 1992.
  • Bonsor, Jack A. Athens and Jerusalem: The Role of Philosophy in Theology. New York: Paulist, 1993.
  • Clark, Kelly J., Richard Lints, and James K. A. Smith. 101 Key Terms in Philosophy and Their Importance for Theology. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2004.
  • Davies, Brian. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.
  • Flint, Thomas P., ed. Christian Philosophy. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1990.
  • McCabe, Herbert. God Matters. London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1987.
  • Moreland, James P., and William L. Craig. Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2003.
  • Rowe, William L., William J. Wainwright, and Robert Ferm, eds. Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. 
  • Scodel, Ruth. An Introduction to Greek Tragedy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.