Philosophy and Christian Worldview

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
COURSE UNIT 176 - 8176


This introduces students to the skills and ideas that are essential to philosophical enquiry and gives students an overview of key themes, issues and ideas in the classical Western philosophical tradition from Socrates to Descartes. The unit begins with an introduction to aesthetics, epistemology, logic and metaphysics and how these topics were addressed in Greek philosophy. The unit introduces some key themes of medieval Catholic philosophy and Renaissance Humanism. Through critical interaction with intellectual ideas that have shaped the philosophical tradition, this unit challenges students to engage with philosophical ideas concerning goodness, truth and beauty from a Christian point of departure.


To introduce students to a selection of leading thinkers in the classical Western philosophical tradition and to equip students with critical tools to reflect deeply on the issues of goodness, truth and beauty from a Christian perspective. The unit also aims to acquaint students with philosophical concepts and basic principles of logic in such a way as to develop their critical thinking skills.


Category of outcome

By the end of this unit students should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

·         Identify and understand the meaning of key concepts and terms in philosophy (such as epistemology, hermeneutics, ontology and metaphysics)

·         Demonstrate a basic understanding of epistemological, ethical and aesthetic theories

·         Recognise and distinguish between valid and invalid arguments

Intellectual skills

·         Compare and contrast differing views on major philosophical ideas

·         Critically assess a variety of classical philosophical texts and their contribution to the philosophical tradition

Practical and Transferable skills; Personal qualities

·         Identify instances of good and poor reasoning in texts

·         Interact with complex texts with skill, precision and critical insight

·         Make informed personal judgements on philosophical positions


Assessment task


Weighting within unit



250 words

2000 words




·         176:

·         8176:

An essay plan with formative feedback

An essay



2000 words

2000 words






·         176:

·         8176:

An essay

An essay

and a learning journal*


* Distance learning students are required to pass this element. So long as this element has been passed, they will be eligible for compensation if the overall unit mark is within the compensation zone (30-39%), and the compensatable credit allowance as set out in the Degree Regulations has not been exceeded.




Available on which programme(s)?

BA in Theology


1.    What is a Christian Worldview?

2.    The Central Questions of Philosophy

3.    Logic

4.    Epistemology

5.    Aesthetics

6.    Greek Philosophy 1: Socrates and Plato

7.    Greek Philosophy 2: Aristotle

8.    Roman philosophy: Stoicism and Neo-Platonism

9.    Medieval Catholic Philosophy

10.  Renaissance Humanism 1: Mirandola and Machiavelli

11.  Renaissance Humanism 2: Erasmus and More

Teaching method

Interactive Lectures

Additional eLearning content

Unit materials are available at Spurgeon’s Online to support student learning


Written feedback within 15 working days from submission

Date of approval (for office use)


Information updated on

December 2015


Aristotle, The Metaphysics, edited by Hugh Lawson-Tancred (London: Penguin, 1999)

Buckingham, W, The Philosophy Book (Big Ideas Simply Explained) (DK Publishing, 2011)

Craig, E., Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2002)

Eagleton, T., The Meaning of Life (OUP, 2007)

Gaarder, J., Sophie’s World (London: Orion, 2000)

Honderich,, T., Oxford Companion to Philosophy (OUP, 1995)

Kenny, A., The Rise of Modern Philosophy (OUP, 2006)

McGrade, A.S., Cambridge Companion to Medieval Philosophy (CUP, 2003)

Plato, The Republic edited by G. R. F. Ferrari (CUP, 2000)

Tarnas, R., The Passion of the Western Mind (Ballantine Books, 1995)

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Philosophy and Christian Worldview

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
Course Unit 176 - 8176





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Dr Joshua T. Searle

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