Associate Professor Clanton
Assistant Professor Monaghan
Both philosophy and religious studies offer students the opportunity to explore deep-rooted values and ideals that have shaped the development of human culture, particularly in the West. Questions about the nature of being human, the nature of our private and social obligations, and faith and its relation to reason are discussed in many of the courses. Discussed are the historical dimensions of these questions, how answers to them have developed historically, and how questions have shaped the growth of our civilization. In religious studies, students do this through introductory and upper-level course work in Biblical studies, theology, and comparative religious traditions. In a non-religious context, they see many of the same concerns arising in such courses as Ethics or Ancient and Medieval Philosophy.
In all courses, a major emphasis is to help students develop the ability to think knowledgeably, rationally and critically for themselves. Thus, at the end of either major, each student completes a senior thesis, in which he or she has the opportunity to work closely with one member of the department to explore in-depth an issue of the student's choosing.