Is postmodernist suspicion an ally of religious faith, or its deadly enemy? How can anyone doubt the value of foundations and still speak meaningfully of God, or religious faith? Alternatively, does the notion of God as foundation amount to limitation of the divine, or even idolatry? This unit looks at how postmodern thinking bids to rework some traditional connections between faith and philosophy.

Unit code: AP3750P

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Philosophy

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Explain the philosophical meaning(s) of the term postmodern, as it informs interrelated postmodern claims for the death of God, death of the self, end of history, and ‘closure of the book’


Explain and evaluate Taylor’s postmodern advocacy of an a/theological faith, with its relationship to anonymous subjectivity and an erring Word


Describe and assess alternatives to Taylor's approach: Jean Luc Marion’s God without Being, and also the Radical Orthodoxy school, who are themselves cognizant of postmodernism


Demonstrate awareness of the significant philosophical commitments expressed in the divergent approaches above

Unit sequence

15 points in Philosophy at Level 2


Lectures and Tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Mark C. Taylor, Erring: A Postmodern A/Theology. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1984. Paperback editions 1987, 1999. (recommended for purchase)
  • Appignanesi, R., and C. Garratt. Postmodernism for Beginners. Cambridge: Icon Books, 1995. N.B. This book is also available in the alternative title, Introducing Postmodernism.
  • Caputo, John D. On Religion. New York: Routledge, 2001.
  • Descombes, Vincent. Modern French Philosophy. Trans L. Scott-Fox and J.M. Harding. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1980.
  • Eagleton, T. Literary Theory: an Introduction. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1996.
  • Hart, Kevin. Postmodernism: a Beginner’s Guide. Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2004. (recommended for purchase)
  • Horner, Robyn. Jean-Luc Marion: A Theo-Logical Introduction. Hants, UK: Burlington VT, 2008.
  • Melchert, Norman. The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy. 4th ed. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, 2002. (Or 3rd ed., 1999.)
  • Reese, William. Dictionary of Philosophy and Religion. New, enlarged ed. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1996.
  • Sim, Stuart (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Postmodernism. 3rd ed. London: Routledge, 2011.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay (2250 words)

2250 50.0

Essay (2250 words)

2250 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Aug, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:50 +1000