Department Detail

Philosophy and Religious Studies

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The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies serves as the intellectual cornerstone of Marywood’s Mission and Core Values. Each discipline approaches life’s ultimate questions using its own disciplinary methods and sources. The department is dedicated to fostering thoughtful, reflective, and just habits of mind in students. Both areas of study offer introductory courses and diverse arrays of elective options that support the Core Requirements for all Marywood Bachelor’s degrees. In addition, students can pursue the BA in Religious Studies or the BA in Philosophy.


Philosophy, using the tools of logically rigorous and honest inquiry, addresses contemporary and age-old questions such as: What is the nature of reality? What is knowledge, and how do I know what I think I know? What are the arguments for and against the existence of God? How do I make ethically sound decisions? What responsibilities do we have to future generations? What constitutes a morally worthwhile life? Can morality be challenged? Does art imitate life or does life imitate art? Does animal suffering matter less than human suffering? Could there be minds without bodies? Can a computer be conscious? The Department’s greatest strength is our faculty, all of whom have advanced degrees, are dedicated to being excellent teachers and mentors to our students, and model a life of joyful service to others. We expect students to engage with assignments that are aimed at developing their reading, writing, thinking, and speaking skills, so that they may serve as innovators and leaders in their civic lives as well as in their chosen careers. We celebrate diversity, personal responsibility, and civility, and strive to produce graduates with a desire for life-long learning in their communities and on the global stage.

Religious Studies

Religious Studies uses academic methods to critically explore the religious dimension of life addressing questions such as: What are the worldviews, practices and ethical ideals of the world’s religions? How do religious understandings of the nature of reality and knowledge affect a person’s action in the world? How do race, gender, and class help us understand historical and contemporary embodiments of religion? What are the skills needed for interfaith dialogue, including dialogue with various forms of non-belief? Because of Marywood’s religious affiliation, special attention is given to the academic understanding of the Catholic tradition’s historical and contemporary approaches to these questions. Questions such as these and many more are addressed in an atmosphere of open and respectful dialogue in Religious Studies courses.

Philosophy Program

Religious Studies Program

Philosophy and Religious Studies Website