University Reading List

I’m currently reading Philosophy and Theology at Oxford University, and have decided to share the reading lists that I’m set as I receive them from my tutors. At the time of writing, I have completed my first term of my first year of study, so this list will expand as I progress through my degree.

In the first term, I studied one paper (Logic and Moral Philosophy) for philosophy, and one paper (Religion and Religions) for theology. Logic is formal logic taught from a single textbook over eight weeks; Moral Philosophy is an in-depth, term-long study of a single text, J.S. Mill’s Utilitarianism; Religion and Religions is the study of religion as a human phenomenon through a psychological, anthropological and sociological lens, as well as a study of four major world religions.

Next term, I will study for two papers: General Philosophy (for philosophy) and The Figure Of Jesus Through The Centuries (for theology). I will update this list when I have competed the term.

I will try to break down the reading as clearly as possible.

(Please note that the majority of set reading at university is for particular chapters and passages, which I have tried to denote in this list. Books that have already been mentioned previously in the list (but for different chapters) are denoted with an asterisk (*). Also, not all the books that were set did I read, and not all the books I read were set; I have added a few books to the sociology of religion section.)

Year One Philosophy

Logic

  • The Logic Manual, by Volker Halbach

Moral Philosophy (Utilitarianism)

General/Reference

  • Utilitarianism, by J.S. Mill
  • Mill on Utilitarianism, by R. Crisp
  • Cambridge Companion to Mill, by J. Skorupski
  •  John Stuart Mill, by J. Skorupski

Weeks 1-2: Utility and Desire

  • Reasons and Persons, by D. Parfit, Reasons and Persons, (Appendix I)

  • Ethics, by J.L. Mackie (ch.6, especially sections 6 and 7)

  • Well-Being, by J. Griffin (chs. 1-3)

Weeks 3-4: The Proof of Utilitarianism

Weeks 5-6: The Forms of Utilitarianism

  • *Utilitarianism, by J.S. Mill (especially chs. 2 and 5)

  • *Mill on Utilitarianism, by R. Crisp (ch. 5)

  • Moral Thinking, by R.M Hare (chs. 2-3)

  • Utilitarianism For and Against, by Smart and Williams (esp. sect. 7 of Smart and sect. 6 of Williams)

  • Ideal Code, Real World, by B. Hooker (chs. 1, 3, and 4)

  • Consequentialism and Its Critics, by S. Scheffler (introduction)

Weeks 7-8: Justice and Equality

  • *Utilitarianism, by J.S. Mill (ch .5)

  • *Mill on Utilitarianism, by R. Crisp (ch. 7)

  • Anarchy, State and Utopia, by R. Nozick (chs. 2 and 7)

  • ‘Rights as Trumps’ by R. Dworkin in Theories of Rights, by J. Waldron

  • “Are There Any Natural Rights?, by H.L.A Hart in Philosophical Review 64 (1955)


Year One Theology

Religion and Religions

General (Introductory)

  • Get Set for Religious Studies, by D. Corrywright and P. Morgan
  • Religion: The Modern Theories, by S.D. Kunin
  • Religion: The Classical Theories, by J. Thrower
  • Religions in the Modern World, by L. Woodhead
  • Nine Theories of Religion, by D. Pals
  • Comparative Religion: A History, by E. Sharpe

Classical Texts

  • From Primitives to Zen; A Thematic Sourcebook of the History of Religions, by M. Eliade
  • The Golden Bough, by J.G. Frazer
  • The Varieties of Religious Experience, by W. James
  • The Idea of the Holy, by R. Otto
  • Speeches on Religion, by F. Schleiermacher
  • The Rites of Passage, by A. van Gennep

Other General Suggestions

  • The Anthropology of Religion, by F. Bowie
  • The Meaning and End of Religion, by W. Cantwell Smith
  • Religion Defined and Explained, by Clarke and Byrne
  • The Sacred and the Profane, by M. Eliade
  • Theories of Primitive Religion, by E. Evans-Pritchard
  • The New Penguin Handbook of Living Religions, by J. Hinnells
  • The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion, by J. Hinnells
  • The World’s Religions, by N. Smart

Week One: What Is Religion?

  • *Religion Defined and Explained, by Clarke and Byrne
  • *Theories of Primitive Religion, by E. Evans-Pritchard
  • *Religion: The Classical Theories, by J. Thrower

Week Two: Is Studying Religion Doing Theology?

  • Understanding Religion, by E. Sharpe
  • Approaches to the Study of Religion, by P. Connolly (ch. 7 by F. Whaling)
  • The Study of Religion, Traditional and New Religions, by Sutherland and Clarke
  • Theology: A Very Short Introduction, by D. Ford

Week Three: The Idea Of The Holy

  • The Idea of The Holy, by R. Otto
  • *Religion: The Modern Theories, by S.D. Kunin (ch. 5)
  • *Comparative Religion: A History, by E. Sharpe (particularly ch. 7)

Week Four: The Sociology Of Religion

  • *Nine Theories of Religion, by D. Pals (chapters on Durkheim, Marx, and Weber)
  • *The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion, by J. Hinnells (chapter on sociology)
  • The Sociology of Religion, by M. Hamilton
  • The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, by E. Durkheim
  • The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, by M. Weber
  • Sociology of Religion, by M. Weber
  • Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, K. Marx (introduction)

Week Five: Islam

  • Islam: A Very Short Introduction, by M. Ruthven
  • Discovering Islam, by A. Ahmed
  • Islam: The Straight Path, by J. Esposito
  • Muhammed, by M. Rodinson

Week Six: Hinduism

  • Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction, by K. Knott
  • Hinduism: A Short History, by K. Klostermaier
  • Hinduism and Modernity, by D. Smith
  • The Hindu View of Life, by S. Radhakrishnan

We did not have tutorial on Judaism or Buddhism, but were still given the reading for Judaism:

Judaism

  • Judaism: A Very Short Introduction, by N. Solomon
  • The Jewish Heritage, by D. Cohn-Sherbok
  • Modern Judaism, by D. Cohn-Sherbok
  • The Essence of Judaism, by L. Baeck

 

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