Towson University

Department Name: 
Philosophy and Religious Studies
Approximate Enrollment (entire institution): 
Number of Religion Majors: 
Number of Full-Time Departmental Faculty: 
Public Institution?: 
Related to a religious denomination or body?: 
Which best describes the institution?: 
Grants bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees
Department offers undergraduate coursework in ministerial preparation (either a track, a minor, or a major)?: 
Department or institution offers masters programs in religious studies or theological studies?: 
Department or institution offers doctoral programs in religious studies or theological studies?: 
Description of Undergraduate Major: 

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