Program  Information

Michael Taber, Chair
240 895 4900
mstaber@smcm.edu

Penny Shissler, Office Clerk
240 895 2159

Program Highlight

The department offers a major and minor in Philosophy and a major and minor in Religious Studies. As an active and energetic department, we are committed towards an intercultural, international and interdisciplinary understanding of the world. We teach across the traditional fields of philosophy and religious studies, and beyond the cultural divides of East and West. Departmental faculty likes to teach in a variety of venues (Nitze Program; Women, Gender and Sexuality; Environmental Studies; Asian Studies; African and African Diaspora Studies), to take students on study tours (Greece, Germany/Poland, India, Thailand, and, in the future, England and Israel), and to bring questions of global relevance to the campus communities through scheduling events with renowned speakers and activists.

Thailand Study Tour

2005 ASIANetwork Freeman Student-Faculty Fellowship

John Schroeder and five St. Mary’s students (Chris Kalman, Sarah Posey, Allison Mull, Claudia Peknik, and Erica Schuetz) have received a fully funded research grant to study Engaged Buddhism in Thailand this summer. Their project begins at Webster University in Hua Hin, Thailand where the five students will receive six days of intensive workshops on Buddhist philosophy and religion, the different traditions of Buddhism in SE Asia, and the history of Engaged Buddhism in Thailand.

After this introductory period, the students will pursue independent research focusing on different aspects of Engaged Buddhism in Thailand; Allison Mull will research issues of women in Thai Buddhism, and will live for two weeks with Buddhist nuns at the Songdhammakalyani Temple in Bangkok; Sarah Posey and Chris Kalman will research various forms of alternative education at Moo Baan Dek (Children’s Village), and Claudia Peknik and Erica Schuetz will investigate Buddhist environmentalism and sustainable living communities at the South East Asia Learning Centre and the Buddhist organic farming community of Hin Pha Fan Nam. John Schroeder will then gather the students together for a two-day retreat and workshop at Wongsanit Ashram to finish writing projects, give presentations to each about their research projects, and to brainstorm about future events and presentations for the upcoming academic year at St. Mary’s College.

International Education Department 

Chiang Mai

Engaged Buddhism Thailand Summer Study Tour

Semester abroad program at Payap University in Chiang Mai, Thailand