Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Philosophical Foundations of Theology

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Fundamental and Dogmatic Theology, including Ecumenism

DESCRIPTION This study-unit shows that philosophy has a vital role to play in laying the foundations for acceptance of revelation and so in providing the essential groundwork for theological activity. Philosophy is vital to what is called the “preamble of faith” which is the way in which we epistemically justify our acceptance of revelation in the first place. This study-unit will therefore be an exercise conducted through the historical and systematic examination of various models around which theological reflection has taken shape. It will also offer an examination of the metaphysics which underlies many of the paradigmatic themes in theology.

Study-Unit Aims:

Philosophy and logic constitute an integral part of every theological argument. This study-unit offers a philosophical introduction to the form as well as the content of theological discourse. A number of philosophical positions that have a potentially direct impact on theological claims will be studied carefully. The relationship between philosophical method and the claims of theology has evolved through different phases in history. The study-unit is thus also intended to offer an overview of both history and analysis.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Possess a fuller awareness of the philosophical assumptions present in both contemporary as well as classical theological views;
- Acquire knowledge of concepts, topics and systems;
- Develop the intellectual confidence required when engaging with academic texts of philosophical theology;
- Examine the philosophical views in ecclesiastical pronouncements regarding theological truths.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Possess the required critical skills in assessing theological arguments;
- Stimulate creative thinking when examining theological claims;
- Develop mature hermeneutical keys when studying classical texts that are foundational to theological claims;
- Foster healthy debate within standardized ideological or traditional frameworks.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

General Bibliography:

- Allen, D., and Springsted E.O., Philosophy for Understanding Theology, WJK Press, 2007.
- Kenny, A., What is Faith? Essays in the Philosophy of Religion, Oxford University Press 1992.
- Kerr, F., Theology after Wittgenstein, Blackwell Publishing, 1997.
- Kerr, F., Immortal Longings: Versions of Transcending Humanity, Notre Dame University Press, 1997.
- Levering, M., Scripture and Metaphysics, Blackwell Publishing, 2004.
- McInerny, R., Preambula Fidei, Catholic University of America Press, 2006.
- Swinburne, R., The Coherence of Theism, Oxford Clarendon Press, 1977.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

Mark Joseph Zammit

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.