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

Listen to Prof. Basl’s recent podcast on Ethics in the Age of Information and AI

Ethics in the Age of Information and AI with John Basl John Basl, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Northeastern University, tells us why we need to think of ethics as currency in all areas including business, technology, and machine learning. Guest Biography John received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2011….
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Prof. Illingworth publishes an article in “The Conversation”

“An ethicist explains why philanthropy is no license to do bad stuff” I teach a course on ethics and philanthropy and have written about how to donate to charities ethically. Recent news about people who make big charitable gifts acting badly is making me wonder whether philanthropy really does make the world better. Think about…
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Prof. Bucar and Prof. Goodwin Sacred Writes Video

Check out Prof. Bucar’s and Prof. Goodwin’s sacred write video!

Prof. Bucar seeks to expand awareness and knowledge of religion in daily life

It only takes three minutes of chatting with Elizabeth Bucar, a religious ethicist who studies sexuality and gender in Islamic and Christian communities, to understand her passion for what she does. “I have the best job in the world,” said Bucar, who works as an associate professor of philosophy and religion at Northeastern. “I get…
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Upcoming Events

03/13/2020 - 03/15/2020

2020 Global Structural Injustice and Minority Rights Conference

Keynote Speakers: Avigail Eisenberg, University of Victoria Stephen Gardiner, University of Washington Catherine Lu, McGill University Conference Theme: 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,…
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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, political science, library science, journalism, and law to discuss ethical issues such as information privacy, intellectual property, access to information, artificial intelligence, and big data. Scientific hoaxes (Feder…
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04/03/2020 - 04/05/2020

National Bioethics Bowl 2020

What is National Bioethics Bowl? 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. Undergraduate teams receive the case packet several months before the competition.  The case packet features 15 cases (each with 3 questions about the philosophical aspects…
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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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