Philosophy & World Religions

Philosophy & World Religions

About Philosophy & World Religions

The Department of Philosophy and World Religions is located on the 3rd floor of Bunce Hall. (856-256-4075)

For information about Philosophy, please email

For information about World Religions, please email   

The Department provides a 30 s.h. major in Philosophy and World Religions, a minor in Philosophy, a minor in Philosophy and World Religions, a minor in Ethics, and 12 s.h. Certificates of Undergraduate Study (CUGS) in Philosophy, World Religions, Asian Philosophy and Religion, and Ethics. 

Philosophy and World Religions majors excel on all the graduate school admissions tests: GRE, LSAT, GMAT, and MCAT.  Our major is especially well suited for those interested in law, government, public policy, publishing, journalism, business management, advertising, environmental advocacy, science policy, health care management, and social work. 

Our alumni are currently working in law, educational leadership, Homeland Security, university teaching, business management, public policy, university administration, and many other fields.  

We are leaders in Ethics, Philosophy of Science, and Interreligious Dialogue.  We offer courses in Biomedical Ethics, Philosophy and Gender, Social and Political Philosophy, Buddhism, Environmental Ethics, Business Ethics, Religion in America, Philosophy of Mind and many other interesting courses.  

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Stay connected to Philosophy and Religion Studies

Theorizing at Rowan is a series of public, work in progress lectures covering a range of topics of relevance to scholars in philosophy, religion studies, and other related disciplines. The goal of the series is to promote scholarly exchange involving the Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies, the university, and interested scholars throughout the region. Speakers will include members of the department as well as faculty from other departments at Rowan and from other institutions.

All Theorizing at Rowan events are free and open to the public.

Further information about the Theorizing at Rowan series can be found here
theorizing poster 2019
The Department of Philosophy and Religion Studies is pleased to announce the schedule for this Spring’s Theorizing at Rowan lecture series.
We will have three events this Spring, including:

Wednesday, March 13, 5 pm, Robinson Hall 224 — “Finding My Place: Using Kant’s Philosophy on Taste to Justify the Teaching of Hip-Hop in the Music Classroom” — Adrian Barnes (Music Education, Rowan University). This event is co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Program.
Professor Barnes has provided the following description of his talk: “In the field of music education, there is an age-old belief that music education is aesthetic education (MEAE). Under this belief, the music educator is to teach students certain standards, which will allow them to judge music as “good” or “bad.” This system of teaching has often devalued and limited the teaching of other genres, especially hip-hop. However, by looking through the lens of Kant’s pure aesthetic judgment on taste, we learn that value of music cannot be taught and is left to the beholder. This presentation will focus on using Kant’s Judgment on taste to make the music classroom more culturally inclusive and open to the serious teaching of hip-hop.”
barnes poster
Wednesday, April 3, 5 pm, Robinson Hall 224 — “The Trouble With Bentham“— Carrie Shanafelt (School of the Humanities, Fairleigh Dickinson University). This event is co-sponsored by the Africana Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies Programs.
Prof. Shanafelt has provided the following description of her talk: “Jeremy Bentham has been a favorite target of philosophers, novelists, and theorists since his own lifetime; derided as an inhumane projector and a kook, he is best known for an abandoned prison reform project (the Panopticon) and his mummified corpse. This talk addresses three central criticisms by Charles Dickens, Michel Foucault, and Vivasvan Soni in the context of the recent publication of several of Bentham's private papers, many of which were suppressed after his death. These papers reveal that Bentham was a tireless advocate for legal protections of liberty, especially for women, colonized and enslaved persons, and gender and sexual minorities, but also that he struggled to convince his contemporaries to extend justice under the law for these and other minority groups. Anticipating current intersectional political movements, Bentham argued that these so-called minorities far outnumber their patriarchal masters, and that the “sinister interests” of bigoted oppressors have convinced each of these groups to endure oppression in isolation rather than demand justice together.”

This event is co-sponsored by the Africana Studies and the Women’s and Gender Studies Programs.
the trouble with Bentham
Wednesday, April 17, 5 pm, Robinson Hall 224 — “Religious and Secular Representation in the AIDS Quilt” — Whitney Cox (Religion Studies, Rowan University).  This event is co-sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.
Prof. Cox has provided the following description of her talk: “In Houston during 1988, the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt was displayed and sold as a decidedly secular memorial. However, the presence of clergy and Christian language at the display caused a great deal of anger from the head of the American Gay & Lesbian Atheists, who took his case to the letters to the editor section of the local gay press. This confrontation and the resulting fallout raises questions about the complicated intersections of Christianity and gay identity at the height of the AIDS crisis.”

This event is co-sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

On The Couch! Nathan Bauer talks about the Philosophy Club

Philosophy and Religion Studies Annual Newsletter

The Compass - Fall 2015 CHSS Newsletter

Here is a link to an interfaith calendar if you are interested in learning more about holidays in different religions. Everyone is Welcome!

Here is a link to an article and video about Rowan's new, 2018 Interfaith Center.

Well-Known American Judaism Expert Dianne Ashton is Longtime Rowan Professor

Why Philosophy and Religion Studies is good for STEM majors

2014 CHSS Annual Report (Featuring the Ramsey Brothers & Dianne Ashton's Scholarship)

Best Majors for GRE Scores in 2013: Philosophy Dominates

Newsweek: Religion Studies Revival

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

cover of Dianne's book

Hannukkah in America by Dr. Dianne Ashton, NYU Press, 2013

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.

chan buddhism

Dr. Youru Wang's new book on Buddhism is now out!  It's called Dao Companion to Chinese Buddhist Philosophy (Dao Companions to Chinese Philosophy) 1st ed. 2018 Edition