About the Department
Philosophy is the process of thinking rationally and critically about the most basic and important questions of life: what gives life meaning, what is ultimately real, what is the character of value or ethics, how do I distinguish knowledge from the varying opinions of what people claim to be true, what constitutes sound reasoning?
Philosophical thinking is essential to authentic personhood. Also, the critical thinking skills attained are applicable to any vocation, and philosophy teaches these skills more directly and consistently than any other academic discipline.
Religious Studies utilizes the insights and methods of such diverse fields as literary criticism, linguistics, iconography, anthropology, psychology, sociology, and history in order to analyze and explore the essential character of the religious dimension of life, especially the various ways in which religious experience has been or is understood and expressed in the world. No religious or irreligious beliefs are required in such study.