Chair's Welcome

Welcome to the Department of Philosophy and Religion at Northeastern University. Our department is filled with faculty and students who love to think, read and talk about “the big questions,” as well as about current events and contemporary issues involving ethics, religion, and political philosophy. We have an active research faculty and an award winning group of students whose plans range from heading off to graduate or law school to careers in public service, non-profit organizations, and business. Many of our students take advantage of our combined majors with other disciplines, such as computer science, international affairs, environmental studies, physics, history, english, economics, and media and screen studies.

The Department is home to  The Ethics Institute, which does research in applied ethics, religious ethics, descriptive ethics, and normative theory. Our Philosophy Club is an active group of undergraduates who gather weekly for dinner and discussions. Our Ethics Bowl team studies pressing social and ethical issues and competes in competitions around the region. We are fortunate to have a vibrant intellectual community that is committed to bringing philosophical and religious studies research and methods to bear on contemporary events and issues.

On this website you will find information about our majors and minors, about experiential liberal arts opportunities, and about our student and faculty community. You can also “Like” us on Facebook, where you can see upcoming events, recent photos of different activities, and see exciting opportunities for students.

If you have any questions about our programs or department, please feel free to contact me at or call us at 617.373.3636.

Ron Sandler
Department Chair

Department News

Prof. Smead publishes an article on Aeon’s website

Professor Rory Smead, and Professor Patrick Forber, Tufts University, explore the purpose of punishment in their article, “Punishment isn’t about the common good, it’s about spite.”  They explore the various reasons why punishment is invoked, ranging from actions to promote and restore the greater good, to actions that are spiteful retributions for the wrongdoer.  

Prof. Delmas’ recent published book ‘A Duty to Resist: When Disobedience Should Be Uncivil’

Prof. Candice Delmas puts forward a groundbreaking theory that resisting injustice is itself a civic duty, which sometimes requires breaking the law. Using today’s social movements such as Black Lives Matter, the anti-Trump resistance, and feminist activism in Europe and Russia as examples, Professor Delmas turns a major tradition in political theory against itself by…
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Prof. Delmas’ recent article in Oxford University Press blog

Read Professor Delmas’ recent article “Not your grandmother’s women’s lib movement: Femen’s uncivil disobedience” Oksana Shachko died on 23 July 2018. Although her name may not be familiar to all, her contributions to women’s rights may. Oksana co-founded the feminist socialist collective Femen in her native Ukraine ten years ago, with the purpose of fighting…
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Upcoming Events


Sarah Lustbader presents “Process as Punishment: Why Innocent People Plead Guilty”

Sarah Lustbader is a Senior Legal Counsel at the Fair Punishment Project. She joined FPP after working as a Senior Program Associate at the Vera Institute of Justice and as a criminal defense attorney at The Bronx Defenders…
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Student Reflections

Miranda Viskatis

Visiting Researcher at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP)

During my Spring 2018 Co-op, I was a Visiting Researcher at the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP) in Munich, Germany.

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Amar Fernald

11th Annual DePauw Undergraduate Ethics Symposium at the Prindle Institute for Ethics, April 19-21, 2018

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of traveling to Greencastle, Indiana, to attend the 11 Annual Undergraduate Ethics Symposium at the Prindle Institute for Ethics. DePauw University.

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Bioethics Bowl 2018

National Bioethics Bowl, University of South Alabama, April 13-14, 2018

Hi my name is Kaleem Ahmid. I am a second year health sciences and philosophy double-major, and one of the members of this year’s Bioethics Bowl team that made the long journey to Mobil, Alabama, to compete at this year’s annual National College BioEthics Bowl.

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