Programs in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Why does the Lotus Sutra say that women cannot achieve enlightenment? Why do some Muslim women feel obligated to wear a veil but others do not? Why does the Gospel of Matthew say that Jesus wants his followers to hate their family? Why do the Jewish scriptures say that ancient Israelites could not eat lobsters? In each case a full answer reveals something interesting about the historical social and political contexts of the religious traditions under consideration. For this reason the academic study of religion involves the historical investigation of how human groups use myths, symbols, rituals, and other practices in the creation, maintenance, and contestation of group identity and solidarity, legitimate authority, and social order in general.
Do objective truths exist? If they do, can we discover them? Or is all human knowledge subjective? What does it mean to be human, and how can humans be ethical? How do we know what behaviors are ethical and which are immoral? Is morality merely a human invention? What is the best way to organize society? Is democracy the best political system, or is it a big mistake? Philosophers have provided a wide variety of answers to these sorts of questions for thousands of years. The academic study of philosophy both introduces students to the history of philosophy and trains students to come up with their own sophisticated and logical answers to these questions.
Students who major in Philosophy and Religious studies at St. Thomas Aquinas College can choose from one of the following specializations
Christian Traditions Specialization
Social Justice Specialization
Religious Studies Specialization
Philosophy and Religious Studies Minor
Religious Studies Minor
Dr. David Keppler, Professor of Philosophy
Dr. Craig Martin, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies.
Dr. Robert Trawick, Associate Professor of Religious Studies