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Faith and Reason

PHIL 335

Faith and Reason

Description and Objectives

This course will offer an age-appropriate, philosophical study of faith and its relationship to human reason.

We will explore how the two kinds of human knowing cannot possibly conflict, nor in a strict sense contradict the claims of the other.

Ideally, the course hopes to better prepare students for the inevitable demands made upon their faith by the modern university and its representatives.

Topics covered:

·  Faith and reason as kinds of human knowing

·  The claims made by each on the knower

·  The impossibility of their contradiction

·  Intellectual errors stemming from an erroneous understanding of faith and reason

·  Moral errors stemming from an erroneous understanding of faith and reason


  • The Regensburg Address by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
  • Fides et Ratio by St. John Paul II
  • Pensées by Blaise Pascal

Course Requirements


  1. Quizzes (60% of the total/quarter): these will occur each Thursday (the day before, if ‘floater’ hits the course).
    1. If a student happens to miss the regularly scheduled quiz on Thursday for a legitimate health, personal, or familial reason, that particular quiz must be made up beforethe following Thursday (i.e. within 7 days).If the student does not take the initiative via email to establish a time/day so as to make-up with the quiz within that time, the score reverts to a “0”.
  2. Tests (40% of the total/quarter): there will be two (2) tests each quarter.

One extra-credit assignment may be offered toward the conclusion of each quarter.

Successful Students

The hallmark of any academically successful student is diligence.  In our circumstances, it is a “forward leaning” disposition towards academic work – its care and completion.

The acquisition of this virtue should be highly sought-after for its applicability not only to academic studies, but a host of non-academic contexts throughout one’s life.

Students can even have little interest in a given subject, but still exhibit a diligence toward assignments or in tackling course difficulties, and yet remain academically successful within the course.