Religious Studies & Philosophy
The religious studies and philosophy courses at Northfield Mount Hermon will get you to think about big questions: meaning and purpose, identity and community, ethics and destiny.
You'll search for answers about who you are and your place in the world. You'll study the world's religions and learn about their influences upon one another. You might look deeper into issues of violence, war, and other troubling human behaviors, or explore philosophy, from Socrates to the existentialists.
Many of the courses take an interdisciplinary approach, recognizing that human experience is not as neatly divided as conventional academic departments. Environmental studies, for example, cuts across lines of science, history, and ethics. Or a study of Islam is much richer when discussions of politics, culture, and the arts of the region are included. That's why classes like Global Inequities and Climate Change: 21st-Century Responses and The Islamic Middle East are taught by pairs of teachers, offer credits in two departments, and give a much deeper understanding of their subject matter.
In fact, your freshman and sophomore humanities requirements introduce you to this collaborative approach. With two teachers and credits in two different disciplines, you'll start by examining the relationship between humans and their environment through literary and philosophical expressions. Then, you'll explore the historical and traditional roles of the world's religions, including their myths, symbols, and geographic and social systems.
And at NMH, you'll go on many field trips. It might be to a local, sustainability-focused farm or a nearby Buddhist community. It might be to Yucca Mountain or a Navajo reservation or Rio de Janeiro. You'll hear lots of guest speakers, too: Holocaust survivors, journalists, military personnel, human rights activists, artists. And all of this, combined with passionate, caring faculty will help you grow and begin your quest for truth.
For more information, and to see course descriptions, see the religious studies and philosophy section of the online Curriculum Guide.