Department of Philosophy & Religious Studies

The joint Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies offers a major in each discipline, but many students decide to double major. Combined, the faculty in Philosophy and Religious Studies represent the religious and philosophical traditions of the West, the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia. Students learn to appreciate different responses to questions of ultimate meaning, ethics, how to lead a good and happy life, and life beyond material existence.

The Philosophy curriculum includes courses on the traditional areas of philosophy, such as Ancient Greek philosophy, modern European philosophy, Continental philosophy, and critical thinking, but we are unusual in offering courses in both East and South Asian thought, as well as environmental ethics and feminism. Our perspective is global, engaged, interdisciplinary and multi-cultural.

The Religious Studies curriculum offers comparative courses in the major religious traditions. The introductory survey course leads to upper-division courses on the Jewish and Christian traditions, Islam, and South Asian and East Asian religions. We also offer courses on comparative fundamentalism, the Holocaust, feminism and religion, and religion and ethics. Because the study of religion reaches into a variety of disciplines, religious studies encourages interdisciplinary concentrations and encourages double majors.