Introduction to Philosophy of Religion

This blog is for students who may be new to the topic of philosophy of religion. It is especially aimed at those who are following the A-level OCR Religious Studies course, but I intend it not to be limited to purely topics on the specification. I keep it updated with material, usually things I am thinking about because I am looking at them in class with my students.

Philosophy means ‘the love of wisdom’ and has its roots in ancient Greece. The father of philosophy is considered to be Socrates, who developed a dialogue of question and answer that aimed at uncovering assumptions and arriving at truth. This is known as the Socratic method. However this method came about, what is certain is that it placed a new value on the use of reason (or logos, in Greek) in order to penetrate to the heart of what was true. The dialogues which we have are written by Plato, a student of Socrates, and they present Socrates questioning various characters , firstly drawing out their beliefs, opinions and assumptions, and by asking them to provide the basis for their belief , leading them through a process of doubt in order to try and arrive at a stronger basis for them or even to destroy them and think of new and better ones. It is in this sense that Western Philosophy has been called “footnotes to Plato”, as this rational process has influenced all that has come since, including science and religion.

For a very good overview of the pre-socratic philosophers, see this link: http://www.thebigview.com/greeks/

I have arranged the posts on this website into categories to make it easier to find something you might be interested in. If you are new to the OCR Religious Studies A-Level course, I recommend reading the posts on philosophical foundations.

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2 thoughts on “Introduction to Philosophy of Religion

  1. I think that link is not working Matthew. Would love to get some more information on the pre-socratics, thinking of teaching more about Zeno and Heraclitus for Philosophy of Religion next year (partly for personal interest!)

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