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Debate about God and the ultimate nature of reality is as vibrant now as it has ever been. Historical and cultural change has called into question the nature and truth of belief in God. It has also opened the ‘West’ to different voices and traditions, which understand reality in distinctive ways.
This postgraduate certificate offers a unique opportunity to study the philosophical implications of this dynamic field at an advanced level. Students engage with highly contemporary European philosophy, plus a wide range of non-European philosophical traditions.
The modules are taught by experienced lecturers who are also leading scholars in the field. Their expertise ranges across cutting edge philosophical speculation about the absolute, feminist thought, Indian and Chinese traditions, and the fascinating connections between mysticism and philosophy.
The certificate offers a distinctively contemporary and global approach to philosophy of religion. Graduates in a related discipline will find this an exciting and challenging development of their study. Those who teach or otherwise work with religious ideas and communities will find it deepens and refreshes their knowledge and critical understanding.
The certificate is taught over one year in intensive blocks on Saturdays, and consists of four 15 credit modules.
1. Beyond Western Philosophy of Religion. Explores the challenges and opportunities created for philosophy of religion when we abandon the ‘Eurocentric’ perspective and take seriously the global interface of religious, cultural and political forms.
2. Feminist Philosophy of Religion. Considers how philosophy of religion can be reconfigured in light of feminist philosophical reflections on the concept of the divine, religious beliefs, languages and spiritual practices.
3. Thinking the Absolute: Modern and Contemporary Perspectives. Opens the door to engage with contemporary philosophy as it speculates on the limits of what can be thought and tries to break through those limits to touch upon a reality which is not tied to a human perspective.
4. Mysticism and Philosophy: Eastern and Western Perspectives. Explores the academically neglected 20th century flourishing of original and popular religious philosophies with their roots in eastern and western forms of mysticism. Key thinkers include Chardin, Huxley, Krishnamurti, Maharshi, Buber and Meher Baba.
Teaching & Research
The Theology, Philosophy and Religious Studies department is the leading research department at Liverpool Hope, with all staff publishing and researching at an international level. We have a strong tradition of supporting both taught Masters students and postgraduate researchers. Postgraduate seminars, which offer opportunities for students to present work, occur on a regular basis. There are frequent advanced research seminars and guest lectures.
The Association for Continental Philosophy of Religion is based at Liverpool Hope, and runs international conferences, seminars and reading groups, as well as sponsoring a series of publications. Departmental staff take leading roles in relevant academic societies, such as the Mystical Theology Network, the Kierkegaard Society of the UK and the Eckhart Society.
One of the key strengths of the department is its interdisciplinary nature, and its ability to draw on research expertise from across theological and religious studies perspectives.
The course offers you the opportunity to develop skills in analysing and presenting complex arguments, engaging with independent research and an in-depth critical understanding of religious philosophies. The tutorial team takes seriously how these contribute to your personal development, and provide an enhanced set of capabilities when seeking employment or further training in graduate careers such as civil service, teaching or social work. The course also offers the opportunity for career enhancement to those already involved in teaching religion, religious ministry or other occupations which involve dealing with cultural and religious complexity. In addition, the certificate provides a foundation for further Masters level work and for PhD research.