Studies in Religion and Philosophy provide an invitation to dialogue about fundamental religious and philosophical questions.
Studies in Religion address the search for ultimate meaning by exploring such themes as the nature of the sacred, the relationship between the human and the divine, and the spiritual dimension of human existence. Studies in religion also address questions about the responsibilities human beings owe to each other and to their communities, the cultural significance of religious beliefs and practices, as well as the personal and social nature of religious experience. Courses in this area include the study of indigenous religions as well as major religious traditions of the world—i.e., Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism and Daoism; religious ethics; the analysis and interpretation of sacred texts; and the study of Catholic theology and spirituality.
Philosophical Studies explore fundamental questions about the nature of reality and what it means to be human, truth and knowledge, ethical values, aesthetic experience, and religious belief. The aim of philosophical inquiry is to wonder about what is taken for granted by the theoretical and practical frameworks upon which we ordinarily rely. Such inquiry seeks, in a variety of ways, to arrive at a comprehensive understanding of the world and our place in it. By reflecting on matters essential to all disciplines, philosophical studies can help students to see their education as forming an integrated whole. Since it is a vital feature of philosophical inquiry that it wonders about its own goals and methods, courses in this area should allow for this kind of reflection as well. Such courses may be either topical or historical in approach, focusing on fundamental questions or the different ways of thinking about those questions that have emerged over time.