The God Question

Dublin City University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    The God Question

  • Host University

    Dublin City University

  • Location

    Dublin, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    Religion

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations

    Upper

    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

    5
  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    2
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    3
  • Overview

    Description
    This is a course of questions, with few, perhaps, no definitive answers. It is especially for those who do not expect to reach full certainty; 100% proof; no grey areas, conflicts, or need to nuance. It is a course which will succeed – and not fail – if one’s notion of the mystery of God is widened and expanded, if not further complicated – not solved nor minimised. And so let the questions begin: Does God exist, and if so, who or what is God? What is humanity? What is the purpose of life? For many, these, and the following, are the ultimate questions, or the ultimate mysteries: Can we know God? How? What does God reveal of God’s Self? Are there attributes of God that one can come to understand through the use of reason alone or through the world around us? What is revelation? What is revealed about God through the Bible, or for Catholics, the Bible and Sacred Tradition? Is the God of the Tanakh (Old Testament, Hebrew Bible) the same God of the Gospels? Does God reveal God’s Self beyond the normal confines of the Church? How can there be (a loving, omnipotent, etc.) God and the existence of suffering, evils, and useless terrors and afflictions? Is Jesus the final and most complete revelation of God? What does Jesus’ life reveal about God and the Christian Trinitarian belief? Must one know Jesus to know God? If so, what does this imply about the faith systems and beliefs of those of other faiths outside of Christianity? What about the revelations purported by Muslims in the Qur’an? What about God’s covenant with the Jewish people? How is God made manifest through indigenous religions? Can there be true, but conflicting notions of God among the world’s faiths or must there only be one true way? What is the relationship of ethics and God? Is the biblical God moral? Is God moral? Is there a difference in those last two questions? Is God perfectly good? Is God all-powerful? Is God omniscient (if so, then are we free?). Is God eternal? Is God impassible? If so, is God apathetic? What is justice to God? What is mercy to God? How does mercy and justice work together within God? What is the relationship between human and Divine Justice? What is the relationship of God and evolution, God and science? Is Deism valid? How about agnosticism or misotheism? Have views and interpretations of God changed in the course of so-called Christian history? Is God male? Female? Both/neither? How does one speak of God – through metaphor only? What can one say of God without footnotes or asterisks (*)? Is apophatic or kataphatic language more appropriate when speaking of God? Is God love (agape)? What is love (agape?). Does anyone know God? How? Who? Is God dead? Is God irrelevant? Is God dependent upon human beings? Is God abusive? Is God a projection of our thoughts or wishes, or a culture’s thoughts or wishes? Is God an unconscious longing or desire but nothing more? Is God partial? Does God love all equally or some in ways clearly superior to others? Does God answer prayers? Does humanity need God? Does God need humanity? What are human beings? Are they inherently good, evil, a blank slate – and how does this relate to God? 

    Learning Outcomes
    1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge of key themes, concepts and methods in theological exploration of the God Question.
    2. Engage critically with historical and contemporary theological perspectives.
    3. Critically reflect upon the dialogue between experience and reflection on the Mystery of God.
    4. Empathise with the deeper questions of the men and women of our time, including reflection on the experience of suffering.