School of Philosophy and Religious Studies (SPRS)
The Program of the School of Philosophy and Religious Studies (SPRS) aims to provide a foundation of research and education in both Asian and Western Philosophical and Religious Traditions and categories, as well as a supportive environment for the exploration of contemporary Applied Philosophy. A broad understanding of Applied Philosophy implies a commitment to the perspective that philosophical inquiry and research can and should be used to respond to the critical problems of our time. The field arose out of an understanding that directed deliberation on questions of values, and critical, analytical examination - the hallmarks of philosophical reflection - can shed light on important areas of public concern and contestation, some of the most familiar of which include war, justice, medical ethics, gender, economics, science, conflict resolution, the environment, and much else.
The Program for the study of Religion at the SPRS will present courses in Dharma Studies, as well as World Religions, Comparative Theology, History of Religions, Religious Ethics, Philosophy of Religions, and Praxis. Courses in practical and esoteric aspects of religious traditions, such as the study of meditative techniques in transnational faith traditions, will also be considered. Plans include the establishment of a certification program in International Interfaith Ministry.
The curriculum also aims to provide a solid grounding in the history of ancient and modern philosophy, both Eastern and Western, covering Philosophy’s sub disciplines, such as Logic, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Aesthetics, and Ethics. Specialized areas of study include interdisciplinary, pluralist, multicultural approaches to specific philosophical fields such as Philosophy of Science(s); Environmental Philosophy; Philosophy of Peace; Phenomenology, and Philosophy of Psychology. These fields are not juxtaposed, but are in dynamic interrelationship with each other. For example, a broad understanding of Environmental Philosophy would include not only environmental ethics, but also environmental aesthetics, ontology, theology, the philosophy of science, eco-feminism, deep ecology, market theory, eco-psychology, and the philosophy of technology.
A central emphasis of the SPRS will be the Philosophy of Peace and its sub-fields of global philosophy of development, environmental ethics, moral philosophy, gender ethics, social and political philosophy, intercultural philosophy, and related areas of research. The prime locus of research and education on the Philosophy of Peace and its relevant sub-fields will be at the SPRS’s Nalanda Center for Peace Studies (NCPS). It is the recognition of correlation and interdependence, and the development of philosophical perspectives guided by this insight, that the SPRS aims to foster. The Institutes, Centers, and Programs of the SPRS are guided by an integrative and pluralist orientation.
SPRS Executive Director:
Rita D. Sherma, Ph.D.
Professor, TU (on leave until further notice)
SPRS Council of Advisors (COA):