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Religion and Philosophy The content below is information specific to this academic department's fields of interest.

Department Events and News

Robert Sharp, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Publishes

Last September, Robert Sharp presented a paper at the Pittsburgh Area Philosophy Colloquim on whether Aristotelian friendship is possible in online only relationships.  The paper was well received.  In fact, the paper was later accepted by Ethics and Information Technology and appears in Ethics and Information Technology. Vol. 14; Issue 3.  In September of this year, he will help host the conference.  He also had a paper published this Spring in Bioethics. Vol. 26; Issue 5.  The issue deals with chronic health concerns and how to treat them ethically.  The paper warns against the dangers of applying Kantian thinking to patients with severe dementia.

In 2013, Dr. Sharp will have an article on Superman and the importance of Virtue Ethics to the character's personality published in a popular philosophy book about Superman.  In recent years he has published several such articles due to his belief that it is important to keep non-philosophers interested in philosophy and keep the field relevant to society.

Melissa Conroy, Associate Professor of Religion, Publishes

Melissa Conroy had an article titled “Treating Transgendered Children: Clinical Methods and Religious Mythology” published recently by Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science.  Also published, by Sightings at the Martin Marty Center for the Study of Religion, was “Unnatural Acts".

Dr. Conroy was invited by the American Academy of Religion, Atlanta, Georgia to be a panelist.  The topic was "If I knew Then What I Know Now: Lessons from Academic Life from Those that Have Gone Before."

She is an advisor to Equality Alliance, a gay rights organization at Muskingum University, and she is currently working on an article regarding gender diversity and religion.  She was the 2010 recipient of the William Oxley Thompson Ward for Excellence in Teaching.

Todd Lekan, Professor of Philosophy, Serves in Administrative Appointment

Todd Lekan is serving in a temporary administrative appointment directing institutional accreditation at Muskingum University. 

His current research is a book length project on the moral philosophy of William James.  

He published the following article: "A Jamesian Approach to Environmental Ethics," Contemporary Pragmatism, Vol. 9, No. 1 (June 2012), 5-24.

Peter Gosnell, Associate Professor of Religion, Returns from Sabbatical

Peter Gosnell is this year's president of the Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society, a regional section of the Society of Biblical Literature.  He will deliver his presidential address next Spring.

He has returned to campus after being on sabbatical during the 2011-2012 academic year during which he studied as a visiting scholar at Cambridge University in England, working at the library facilities of Tyndale House.  He completed work on his book Learning Good from Knowing God: Basic Biblical Ethics, which is to be published next year by InterVarsity Press.

Rick Nutt, Professor of Religion, Publishes and Acts as Division Coordinator

Rick Nutt, Professor of Religion and Chair of the Religion and Philosophy Department, also acts as the Arts and Humanities Division Coordinator.

In June, 2012, the Edwin Mellen Press published Dr. Nutt's book, An Historical Study of United States Religious Responses to the Vitenam War: A Matter of National Morality."  He will also publish two "theological commentary" articles this Fall in Lectionary Homiletics.

Department Welcomes Joseph Palencik, Visiting Assistant Professor

Joseph Palencik, Visiting Assistant Professor, joined the Religion and Philosophy Department in Fall of 2010 as the replacement for Todd Lekan's philosophy classes.  Dr. Palencik received his Ph.D from SUNY Buffalo and his Masters degree from Kent State University.  He previously taught at Towson University.  His current classes include American Philosophy, Environmental Ethics, and Moral Psychology.