Thursday, October 10, 2013

DVD Series: Philosophy of Religion with William Lane Craig

The Philosophy of Religion Course by William Lane Craig is a 19 DVD, 30 hour survey course covering religious epistemology, natural theology, the coherence of theism, and Christian doctrine. It comes in a set of two DVD albums and includes a CD with course syllabus and handouts.

Content: This seminary course taught by William Lane Craig covers a great deal of material targeted to a more advanced level. Craig structures the lectures to deal first with faith: the presumption of atheism, religious belief with and without warrant. Then on to the existence of God with arguments from natural theology: cosmological, teleological, axiological, and ontological arguments are all presented in detail, complete with questions and answers from the students. The course continues on to explore the attributes of God and the concept of the trinity. Craig deals with the problem of evil, covers the doctrine of creation, and examines divine providence. The course concludes with a focus on Christ, the atonement, and Christian particularism.

Impressions: The teaching content of the DVDs is extremely stimulating and helpful. Craig is in his element and explores the subjects deeply, making use of diagrams and interacting with the students. The video quality is very good with multiple camera angles and good sound. The good production quality is to be commended. Apart from the curriculum Craig shares a series of four or five short instructional pieces of practical wisdom for the students; these little life-principles are a great added bonus.

Recommendation: This is high quality material and is worth watching more than once. Apologetics 315 would recommend this course for those who have grasped the content of Reasonable Faith and Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview and who want to delve deeper into the area of philosophy of religion.

This and other similar content can be found at the Biola Apologetics Store here.

Check it out.

11 comments :

bossmanham said...

Brian, do you have an extra $135.00 I could borrow? ;)

Aaron said...

This is an excellent resource, highly recommended, and well worth the price.

If you were to take this course on grounds at Biola you would probably be paying anywhere from $800 to $1200. Now you can watch in the comfort of your living room for $135!

Also, pick up Craig's Philosophy of Religion: A Reader and Guide, as a supplement to the DVD course.

Bryan said...

Does the syllabus include recommended reading as well? If so, which book(s) are suggested/required?

Brian Auten said...

Course Texts:
Balaguer, Mark. “Platonism in Metaphysics.” Pre-print for Encyclopedia of
Philosophy. Stanford University.

Brody, Baruch, ed. Readings in the Philosophy of Religion. Englewood Cliffs,
N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1974.

Craig, William Lane, ed. Philosophy of Religion: a Reader and Guide.
Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2002.

Earman, John. Hume’s Abject Failure. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Howard-Snyder, Daniel, ed. The Evidential Argument from Evil. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1996.

Meeker, Kevin and Quinn, Philip L., eds. The Philosophical Challenge of
Religious Diversity
. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Quinn, Philip L. and Taliaferro, Charles, eds. A Companion to Philosophy of
Religion
, Blackwell Companions to Philosophy 8. Oxford: Blackwell, 1997.

Shalkowski, Scott. “Atheological Apologetics.” American Philosophical
Quarterly 26 (1989): 1-17.

The Janitor said...

Neither the course link nor the discount link work for me. Here is a working link for the corse: http://apps.biola.edu/apologetics-store/products/videos/item/philosophy-of-religion_DVD

The price of the recommended book Philosophy of Religion: A Reader and Guide is $200! ... So to get the full course experience you're going to spend about $400. That's VERY expensive and I'm really not sure it's worth it when one could just familiarize themselves with Craig's free material and then purxhase some much cheapie philosophy of religion text books (Taliaferro has a great starting text). Especially since this is apparently only a survey level course!

Anonymous said...

Nonsense, I paid $40 for 'Philosophy of Religion: a Reader and Guide'

Justin Mooney said...

This looks like an old post that has been reposted (some of the comments are from 2010 and 2012), which would explain why the links don't work.

Keep an eye on the prices of used copies of Philosophy of Religion: A Reader and Guide. I was able to acquire one for around $30 (used) on Amazon just last year. Occasionally a cheap one pops up. On the other hand, if you have a good library you may be able to track down most of the papers it contains that way. Some of the other books in the required reading are worthwhile too. In fact, if you are already familiar with Craig's scholarly work, the required reading list is probably a better investment than the DVDs themselves (though the DVD set is good too).

The Janitor said...

Biola sells the book for $200. Other retailers through Amazon are from $120 up. The fact that you found a used copy for $40 doesn't mean that anyone who takes the class will be able to find the same. Add to that the cost of the other course texts Brian mentions (another of which is over $100) and my comment is clearly not nonsense.

Anyway, getting the DVDs and a cheaper Phil of Rel text or just the DVDs might be a good idea, unless you have over $400 to blow on something you aren't even getting course credit for!

Jun Seob said...

are the lectures in this dvd series much more advanced than his books reasonable faith and philosophical foundations for a christian worldview and his defenders podcasts?

Justin Mooney said...

Jun Seob,

They are more advanced than the defenders podcasts and (if memory serves) Reasonable Faith. Parts of it are more advanced (or at least more detailed) than Philosophical Foundations, but other parts seemed to be modeled directly after their corresponding chapter in that book. For example, I remember that the treatment of the Trinity and the Incarnation was basically taken from Philosophical Foundations (though he did go on to reply to a critique of his model of the Trinity that had appeared in a philosophy journal).

Brian Auten said...

Thanks, Justin.
Also to note is that there is a lot of good question/answer interaction with the students.

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