History, Philosophy, Religion, and Social Sciences

Our offerings span the breadth of human experience past and present, reflecting the call of our age for cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and humanistic approaches to individual self-awareness, personal development, and an understanding of the world.

Amy Foster, Department Head

Sample Courses

United States History

This course is a chronological survey attentive to the political, economic, cultural, social, and constitutional developments by which the United States achieved independence, became a nation, and grew into a world power.

The Modern Middle East

This course is an introduction to the modern Middle East and its relations with the West from World War I to the present. Students explore the causes of the current crescendo of Arab/Islamic hostility towards the West, the development of the Israeli/Palestinian stand-off, the oil issue, the Iranian Revolution, the spread of Radical Islam, and the forces that triggered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Peace and Justice

This course explores the view of various religious traditions and key religious leaders on the important themes of peace and justice. Drawing on some of the central components of religious thought – compassion, neighborly love, repairing the world – the course examines contemporary topics such as poverty, human rights, racial justice, gender equity, peace and non-violence, and environmental sustainability and justice. Utilizing a variety of religious perspectives, students learn basic doctrines from each of the religions to aid in understanding, assessing, and developing solutions for the issues studied.


This course examines basic economic concepts and macroeconomic theory, and serves as the department’s introduction to the field of economics. Students begin by studying the fundamental concepts of scarcity, opportunity cost, production possibilities curves, and supply and demand. They then focus on the U.S. national economy and its links to the global economy by using a variety of measures of economic performance.


This course provides an overview of the major components that comprise the scientific study of psychology. Students examine a variety of theoretical perspectives (biological, cognitive, behavioral, and psychoanalytic) as they work to develop an understanding of human thought and behavior.