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 Schedule
The Department of Philosophy and World Religions is pleased to announce the schedule for this Fall’s Theorizing at Rowan lecture series.
We will have five events this Fall, including.
Wednesday September 25, 5 pm, Westby 111 — “Grassroots Research: A Not-So Quiet Methodological Revolution” — Dustin Fife (Psychology, Rowan University), Matt Lund (Philosophy, Rowan University), Nadine Sullivan (Sociology, Rowan University), and Chelsie Young (Psychology, Rowan University)
Lund Theorizing
“Prior to the #MeToo Movement, systemic incentive structures marginalized sexual harassment victims and reinforced silence. The current #MeToo grassroots movement is toppling the status quo and giving voice to those who were previously ignored or marginalized. In this paper, we compare underlying factors in the #MeToo Movement to the current revolution in scientific practices (particularly in psychology and the human sciences), where researchers are bristling against the structures that reinforce ethically questionable (or ambiguous) research practices, and offer tangible resources for change. We also highlight lessons yet to be learned and offer insights into how this “Grassroots Research Movement” can capitalize on the current state of research to bring about a richer scientific future. We note that the previous research paradigm valued objectivity and certainty, often to a fault. Under the proposed paradigm, researchers instead are encouraged to embrace ambiguity, recognize their own subjectivity, highlight it, and put safeguards in place to protect the discipline from the foibles of humanity. The unifying principles of this paradigm are as follows: (1) protect humanity, (2) seek truth above all other ambitions, (3) practice transparency and openness, (4) embrace uncertainty and cognitive dissonance, (5) invite scrutiny, and (6) practice dissemination. We conclude with actionable steps educators can take to instill these values in the next generation of scientists.”
Wednesday October 9, 5 pm, Westby 111 — “The Elephant in the Room: Rational Perception and the Problem of Animals” — Nathan Bauer (Philosophy, Rowan University)
Bauer Talk
“According to a promising account of human knowledge, our immediate perception of the world must involve our rational capacities. That is, what we see must already be structured or shaped by our rationality. But this account faces a problem in accounting for the experiences of other animals. Many animals, after all, seem to share our perceptual abilities, but manage to get by in the world without rationality. We’ll explore the challenge animals pose to the account of rational perception—and then I’ll offer a proposal for resolving it.”
Wednesday October 23, 5 pm, Westby 111 — "The Tethered of the Earth: Jordan Peele, Frantz Fanon, Jacques Derrida” — Ammon Allred (Philosophy, University of Toledo). This event is co-sponsored by the English Department
allred theorizing
"This essay examines affinities between Jordan Peele’s Us and Franz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth. When Peele’s first film, Get Out was released, many critics noted the similarity of themes to Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, but up to now less attention has been paid to the continuation of this arc in Us. The most immediately salient point of connection between Peele and Fanon is the role that violence plays in shocking and reorganizing the social imagination and revealing the fragmentary character of the world. However the complex relationship between the Tethered and surface dwellers, particularly between Red and Adelaide, complicates the possibility for envisioning this violence as playing a role in collective identity formation. I suggest that Derrida’s work on hospitality is helpful in thinking about the aporias in the relationship between the tethered and surface dwellers and in extending Fanon’s analysis to consider settler colonialism and genocide.” 
Wednesday November 6, 5 pm, Westby 111 — “The Political Life of Gossip” — Tamsin Kimoto, (Philosophy, Emory University). This event is co-sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Department of Political Science and Economics
“According to its detractors, gossip is frivolous and communicates nothing essential about the world. I argue instead that gossip is an essential tool for members of oppressed groups navigating the university, and political life generally, because of its usefulness as a medium for producing resistant archives and counternarratives. At the same time, gossip is often used as an unofficial tool for institutional discipline against these very same people. I consider two primary cases throughout this talk—sexual harassment and the “difficult” woman of color—to develop an account of gossip as a political and epistemic practice.”
Wednesday November 20, 5 pm, Westby 111 — “Can care ethics be decolonized?” — Eva Boodman (Philosophy, Rowan University)  
“This talk discusses how care should (or shouldn't) be theorized and practiced under settler colonial circumstances. I'll approach the question by taking a close look at how forms of benevolent institutional care in Canada that intend to respond to the harms of colonial dispossession in fact enforce participation in settler colonial processes. Given the interest of settler states in maintaining land dispossession and institutional control of indigenous people, what could transformative, "resurgent" care look like?” 
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 World Religions, 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.

On The Couch! Nathan Bauer talks about the Philosophy Club

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 in World Religions

Why Philosophy and World Religions is good for STEM majors

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