Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies

Program Information


Anne Ashbaugh, Ph.D., Chair LA 4210C
Stephannie Faison, Administrative Assistant Phone: 410-704-2755 Fax:410-704-4398


The Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies offers a major and minor in Philosophy, and a major and minor in Religious Studies.

Program in Philosophy

The examination of the nature of philosophy is an essential feature of the Philosophy and Religious Studies Program at Towson University. The program pays close attention to the history of philosophy for it is in its history that the nature of philosophy is manifested. The program also attends to the diverse social and cultural settings out of which philosophy develops, to which it speaks and with which it interacts. Philosophy cultivates and nourishes rigorous thinking; the development and the practice of analytic and dialectical skills are strongly emphasized.

The program encourages students to take as great a diversity of courses as possible. It is flexible enough to insure the incorporation of new interpretations and new schools of philosophy. It also enables the faculty to be innovative and to develop new courses.

The program prepares students for advanced work in philosophy, humanistic studies, and various professions. The sound, clear and systematic thinking that philosophy emphasizes also makes philosophical education relevant to every other discipline. Hence, the program is designed to meet not only the needs of those students majoring or minoring in philosophy and religious studies, but also the needs of every other student in the university. Furthermore, it fosters reflection, a prerequisite for leading a good life.

Many graduates of the department attend graduate school to pursue advanced degrees to prepare for college-level teaching, research and for various careers in public service.

If you are among those students who plan to enter the fields of education, law or other professions, you will find that philosophy is excellent preparation. The major in philosophy also provides a solid foundation for work in the humanities. As a student of philosophy, you will become disciplined in thinking, perceptive in discerning issues, articulate in stating problems, and open to the thinking of others.

In exceptional instances the student may, with the permission of the chair, make substitution of courses within the department for required courses. Three credits may, with the permission of the chair, be taken in an allied discipline.


Top of Page


Program in Religious Studies

Religious Studies as an academic endeavor takes as its subject matter two distinct but related objects of investigation. On the one hand, it focuses on the varied religious traditions, both living and dead, that figure prominently in any adequate account of the development of human culture. On the other hand, it theorizes about the phenomenon of religion itself, abstracting from its concrete manifestations and subjecting it to explanation and evaluation. Both orientations reveal religion to be complex by nature. Any specific religious tradition is impressively multifaceted. Typically, it is the outgrowth of an intricate history and the embodiment of a distinctive program for communal existence. Its vision of the nature of the cosmos and its understanding of the meaning of human life may find expression through ritual, myth, doctrine, art or philosophy. When religion is treated in more general terms, investigation may explore its psychological, sociological, anthropological, artistic, ethical or metaphysical dimensions. These considerations make it apparent that Religious Studies is well conceived as a multidisciplinary enterprise whose subject matter is best understood through the employment of a variety of approaches.


Top of Page


Call for Papers: IASESP Conference

Philosophy Newsletter (PDF)


Upcoming CLA Events



University Police

Closings & News
410-704-NEWS (6397)

Text Alerts
Sign up now