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.

Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

The joint department of philosophy and religious studies consists of five professors in philosophy and four in religious studies. We offer a major in each discipline but many of our students double major. Combined, the faculty in Philosophy and Religious Studies represent the religious and philosophical traditions of the West, the Middle East and South Asia and East Asia. Students learn to appreciate different responses to questions of ultimate meaning, life beyond material existence, ethics, the good and the happy life.

The Faculty in Philosophy teach courses in 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.

Faculty in Religious Studies offer 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.

Please see the College Catalog for a complete review of all student requirements.