Three Views on Cosmology: Physics, Philosophy and Religion

10 credits

Syllabus, Bachelor's level, 1FA229

Education cycle
First cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Physics G1N, Religious Studies G1N, Theoretical Philosophy G1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 1 February 2022
Responsible department
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Entry requirements

General entry requirements

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course the student shall be able to:

  • give a basic account of the standard model of physical cosmology, observational evidence, and current limitations in empirical knowledge
  • apply basic concepts and positions from the philosophy of science, philosophy of cosmology, epistemology, and metaphysics
  • account for basic ideas within religion about the origin and character of the cosmos
  • identify, analyse, and discuss central problems in cosmology from within physics, philosophy and religion in an interdisciplinary fashion
  • communicate with disciplinary awareness his/her own opinions on the relation between physics, philosophy, and religion with regard to cosmology
  • engage in interdisciplinary cooperation across the disciplines of physics, philosophy and religion


An introductury overview of disciplinary methods in physics, philosophy and religion used in cosmology. Concepts in and aspects of basic properties of the universe. Origin and Destiny: cause, creation, beginning, ultimate future, eternity. Structure: law, space and time, constituents, large-scale structure and evolution, infinity. Underdetermination and Observation Selection Effects: chance, necessity, fine-tuning of physical constants, multiverse, theory assessment.


Lectures, seminars, lab sessions, excursions, problem-solving workshops and peer-learning group work, adapted to the different disciplinary traditions.


Written assignments (3 credits), written examination (4 credits) and active participation in seminars (3 credits).

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.