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Department of
History, Philosophy, & Religious Studies

Students and scholars of History, Philosophy, and Religious studies are not satisfied with easy answers, or easy questions for that matter.

Our program

In the Department of History, Philosophy and Religious Studies, we read and confront challenging texts, from Socrates to Kant, Augustine to the Bhagavad-Gita. With historical research and narrative interpretation, strengthening writing and analytical skills, and learning to discuss and debate theories and opinions from various perspectives, students are able to explore different parts of the world and eras in more depth while investigating themes that remain relevant today, such as religion, race, gender, consumerism, and civil rights.

We look for the common concerns at the heart of the human experience and discuss how great thinkers and movements throughout world history have addressed them.

We learn to resist reductive thinking and engage in respectful debate, to write critical analyses and ask questions of our own.

All program majors complete a set of core requirements and concentrate in either Philosophy or Religious Studies. We also offer minors in both, as well as in History.

Putting ideas to practice

Every year, the department hosts an Undergraduate Conference that highlights student work and sponsors an annual essay contest. And you can join the Philosophy Forum or Philosophy Club to continue the conversation beyond the classroom.

History, Philosophy and Religious Studies will teach you to think more deeply, speak more clearly, and always strive for broader perspective and greater understanding. And there’s no limit to where you can go with a skillset like that.


Faces of MMC

  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/819-hannah-wolfe-12"><img src="/live/image/gid/102/width/215/src_region/50,0,516,466/7410_hannah.rev.1453903058.jpg" alt="Hannah Wolfe ’12" title="Hannah Wolfe ’12" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> While she was studying religion at MMC, Hannah interned at <a href="http://www.odysseynetworks.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Odyssey Networks</a>, an organization that uses electronic media to enhance interfaith understanding. After graduating, Hannah spent twelve months in South Africa with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to learn, to educate, and to immerse herself in a different form of life. She now serves her community as a staffing consultant at Express Employment Professionals in Reading, Pennsylvania.</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/819-hannah-wolfe-12">Hannah Wolfe ’12</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2012, Major in <a href="/departments/philosophy-and-religious-studies/index.php">Philosophy & Religious Studies</a></p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2076-emily-inman-17"><img src="/live/image/gid/102/width/215/src_region/0,416,779,1196/15814_emily_inman.rev.1500911668.jpg" alt="Emily Inman ’17" title="Emily Inman ’17" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> “The words for Emily were relatively easy to choose, given her passion for life, literature, and learning. Dante, from Canto 27 of <em>Purgatorio</em> in the <em>Divine Comedy</em>, offers some of the best parting words ever from a teacher to a student: “[We the faculty have] brought you here through intellect and art;/from now on, let your pleasure be your guide;/you’re past the steep and narrow paths…. Await no further word or sign from [us]:/your will is free, right, and whole—to act/against that will would be to err: therefore/[we] crown and miter you over yourself.”</p><p> -Dr. Bradley Herling</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/2076-emily-inman-17">Emily Inman ’17</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2017, Double-Major in <a href="/departments/history-philosophy-and-religious-studies/">Philosophy</a> and <a href="/departments/english/">English and World Literatures</a></p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1686-francesca-piazza-12"><img src="/live/image/gid/102/width/215/src_region/247,0,923,675/13601_fran_piazza.rev.1467733452.jpg" alt="Francesca Piazza ’12" title="Francesca Piazza ’12" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> While studying religion at MMC, Francesca wrote horoscopes for The Monitor, the College’s newspaper and started to fine-tune her own new age business. Since graduating, Francesca has made her business, Sister Fran Designs, a full time job and continues to write horoscopes for her local paper. Her degree in Religious Studies has greatly helped her with understanding the basics of different belief systems which has only improved her ability to market products with spiritual purpose. She now lives in Danvers, Massachusetts. Check out her website, <a href="http://www.SisterFranDesigns.com">Sister Fran Designs</a>!</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/1686-francesca-piazza-12">Francesca Piazza ’12</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2012, Major in <a href="/departments/history-philosophy-and-religious-studies/">Religious Studies</a></p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/820-christian-kronsted-14"><img src="/live/image/gid/102/width/215/src_region/347,90,875,619/7411_christian.rev.1453903058.jpg" alt="Christian Kronsted ’14" title="Christian Kronsted ’14" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> Christian wanted to make philosophy more accessible so he worked with faculty member Carrie-Ann Biondi and developed <em><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBccspWcyyU" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cogito</a></em>, the world’s first philosophy card game. It’s a cross between <em>Uno</em> and games like <em>Magic: The Gathering</em>. Christian wants everyone to “grow down” and think some great thoughts—through play. In 2015, Christian earned his MA in Philosophy at the University of Chicago. He is currently working towards his Ph.D. at the University of Memphis with a <span class="lt-line-clamp__line lt-line-clamp__line--last">specialization in embodied cognition, narrative theory, and philosophy of dance.</span></p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/820-christian-kronsted-14">Christian Kronsted ’14</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2014, Major in <a href="/departments/philosophy-and-religious-studies/index.php">Philosophy</a></p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/821-ashley-feith-13"><img src="/live/image/gid/102/width/215/src_region/0,0,811,811/8136_video.rev.1453903266.jpg" alt="Ashley Feith ’13" title="Ashley Feith ’13" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> Ashley pursued religious studies to learn about the diverse world we live in, and to find out what makes people tick. Her curiosity led her to study abroad in Greece. She captured her experience in a short video—and won a nationwide prize. Check it out <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR18kQ7tLR0" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>. Ashley, a specialty coffee enthusiast, now lives and works in Seattle, Washington.</p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/821-ashley-feith-13">Ashley Feith ’13</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2013, Major in <a href="/departments/philosophy-and-religious-studies/index.php">Philosophy& Religious Studies</a></p></div>
  • <span class="lw_profiles_image" style="float: left;"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2516-alanna-kearney-12"><img src="/live/image/gid/102/width/215/src_region/0,0,300,300/17757_Kearney_Alanna.rev.1527276231.jpg" alt="Alanna Kearney ’12" title="Alanna Kearney ’12" class="lw_image" width="215"/></a></span></span><div class="lw_profiles_103 styled-link"><p> Alanna knew early on that she wanted to major in philosophy. When she applied to law school, it became clear that this was the right choice. Armed with the skills she learned in courses like Ethics, Logic, and Philosophy of Law, and the advice of faculty member Carrie-Ann Biondi—Alanna rocked the LSAT and got into nine law schools. She earned her Doctor of Law degree from Villanova in 2015. </p></div><div class="lw_profiles_name"><a href="/live/profiles/2516-alanna-kearney-12">Alanna Kearney ’12</a></div><div class="lw_profiles_104"><p> Class of 2012, Major in <a href="/departments/history-philosophy-and-religious-studies/">Philosophy</a></p></div>