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

Sacred Writes and Prof. Bucar are highlighted in this recent article

The Public Writing Life: the Venue, the Pitch, and the Fee So you’ve decided it’s time to branch out from scholarship and write for the public. After mulling how your expertise relates to something in the news, you have a sense of what to write. You even have some venues in mind. Now what? How,…
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Third World Liberation on the Histories and Possibility of Coalitional Praxis

Date: February 24, 2020 Time: 3:00-6:00pm Location: John D. O’Bryant African American Institute Sponsored by: Africana Studies, Asian Studies, Politics, Philosophy & Economics (PPE) Program, Department of English, Center for Intercultural Engagement , John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, Humanities Center , Service-Learning, Center of Community Service, Office of Cultural , Residential , and Spiritual…
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2020 Philosophy and Religion Essay Award Competition- CFP

The Department of Philosophy and Religion is pleased to announce our annual essay award competition. Awards will be given in two categories: Philosophy and Religion. Details for each are below: Philosophy Paper An award will be given for the best paper defending a substantive thesis in any area of philosophy (theoretical or applied). Papers may…
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Listen to Prof. Illingworth’s episode on the Wisconsin Public Radio

When Bad People Give to Good Causes Jeffrey Epstein and some other high-profile philanthropists have given big bucks to causes–while doing terrible things in their personal lives. An expert on the ethics of giving says non-profit groups should pay attention to the source of the money–and offers advice on personal philanthropy, whether we’re giving away…
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Prof. Williams discusses civil rights in the age of AI with President Aoun

Accountability and responsibility in the digital age were the central themes of a conversation in celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Thursday at Northeastern. In the discussion, hosted by Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern,  Patricia J. Williams, University Distinguished Professor of law and humanities, said the digital…
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Upcoming Events


Film Screening & Discussion

The award-winning documentary Fixed: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement explores the social impact of human biotechnologies…
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03/13/2020 - 03/14/2020

2020 Global Structural Injustice and Minority Rights Conference

The concept of structural injustice is one that has been given a lot of attention by political philosophers in recent years. Iris Young defined structural injustice as a kind of moral wrong that is distinct from unjust, biased or malicious actions by individual actors or policies of states…
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03/19/2020 - 03/20/2020

Framing SNAP: Perspectives on the Nation’s Largest, Least-loved, and Most Enduring Food Assistance Program

Call for Abstracts! The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is a means-tested entitlement authorized under the Food Stamp Act of 1964. However, the current system’s outlines go back to a 1939 USDA pilot program designed to use of surplus commodities. Today, SNAP is the nation’s largest food assistance…
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PPE Guest Speaker, Deva Woodly

More information to come.

04/03/2020 - 04/05/2020

Information Ethics Roundtable 2020 “Scientific Misinformation in the Digital Era”

The Information Ethics Roundtable is a yearly conference that brings together researchers from a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to, philosophy, computer and information science, ..
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04/03/2020 - 04/05/2020

National Bioethics Bowl 2020

The National Bioethics Bowl is an annual tournament which brings teams from colleges and universities around the country to discuss ethical challenges in biomedicine and technology…
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Student Reflections

William and Mary Conference

Isaac Shur
April 6-7, 2019

On the tail-end of my co-op in the department of philosophy and religion, I got to travel to the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia to present a (mostly) finalized version of my paper, ...

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