About Philosophy & Religion

The Department of Philosophy and Religion provides a major in Philosophy and Religion, a minor in Philosophy, a concentration in Philosophy and Religion Studies, a Concentration in Ethics, extensive offerings in general education, and administrative support for the American Studies major.

Philosophy and Religion courses promote rigorous inquiry involving both analytical and integrative reasoning, and provide crucial tools, for decision-making. The focus centrally on the capacities of reasoning and logic, reflection on meaning and values, and texts, issues and questions foundational to many of the world's cultures. They contribute significantly to the fulfillment of Rowan's mission to educate students who remain lifelong learners and responsible citizens of diverse communities.

What Philosophers Say about the Use of Philosophy

To philosophize is to ask “why are there things rather than nothing?” . . . a daring attempt to fathom this unfathomable question by disclosing what it summons us to ask, to push our questioning to the very end. Where such an attempt occurs there is philosophy.

. . . philosophy cannot be directly learned like manual and technical skills; it cannot be directly applied, or judged by its usefulness in the manner of economic or other professional knowledge.

But what is useless can still be a force, perhaps the only real force. What has no immediate echo in everyday life can be intimately bound up with a nation’s profound historical development, and can even anticipate it. What is untimely will have its own times. This is true of philosophy.

Martin Heidegger: An Introduction to Metaphysics

The cinnamon can be eaten and so it gets cut down; the lacquer tree can be used and so it gets hacked apart. All people know the use of the useful, but nobody knows the use of useless!

A person has to understand the useless before you can talk to him or her about the useful.

Zhuangzi (Daoist philosopher)

Philosophy News & Events

Today, April 9, at 4:45 in Bunce Hall, Room 350, Drew Kopp of Writing Arts will present a sequel to the talk he gave us in our first semester on Schopenhauer’s ‘invisible’ influence on Nietzsche’s ‘On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense.’ His new talk is entitled “Schopenhauer’s Telescope: Tracing the Mind of a Clever Animal.”

The 1st Annual Ethics and Society Student Conference will take place April 11, 2014 in the Student Center, Room 127, from 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Best Majors for GRE Scores in 2013: Philosophy Dominates


Fu Scholarships and Graduation, Spring 2011

Fu Scholarships Recipients 2012

2012 CLAS Dean's Awards Ceremony

Newsweek: Religion Studies Revival

Recent Faculty Publications:

Dr. Matthew Lund, N.R. Hanson: Observation, Discovery, and Scientific Change, Humanity Books (Prometheus), January 2010

Dr. David Clowney and Dr. Patricia Mosto, Earthcare: An Anthology in Environmental Ethics, (Rowman & Littlefield), November 2009

Dr. Ellen Miller, Releasing Philosophy, Thinking Art: A Phenomenological Study of Sylvia Plath's Poetry, Davies Group Publishers, March 2009

Dr. Dianne Ashton, Co-editor, Four Centuries of Jewish Women's Spirituality, Second Edition, Brandeis University Press, 2008

Dr. Youru Wang, editor, Deconstruction and the Ethical in Asian Thought, Routledge, 2007

Dr. Youru Wang, Linguistic Strategies in Daoist Zhuangzi and Chan Buddhism: the Other Way of Speaking, Routledge, 2003.

Links to other Philosophy and Religion Programs in other universities in this area: