Philosophy and Religion

The Philosophy and Religion Department at Montclair State University is home to the "big questions": the nature of truth, knowledge, art, morality, social justice, life, death, God, the universe, and Being itself. In our department, you will learn what human beings have thought about these big questions throughout history, and how they have sought to live their lives in relation to the answers. You will also be encouraged to address these questions yourself and make them relevant to your own life.

The discipline of Philosophy puts you in conversation with thinkers from ancient times to the present who have asked questions such as: What is the nature of truth, and justice? Is there a natural law that governs the universe? How can I know reality—through reason or through sense experience? How is my mind related to my body? How do I make ethical judgments when there is no clear "right" or "wrong" answer? What makes something beautiful? Is democracy always the best form of government?

The study of Religion aims to understand how people have lived out their central beliefs about this world and the next, the secular and the sacred, humanity and the divine. In itself, religion has been an arena for struggling with questions of meaning and reality. It has also been a powerful influence in law, government, family life, and the arts. One cannot adequately understand human experience or the clash of nations and empires without attending to the roles played by religion.

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