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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, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Working on Book

Dr. Sharp, Associate Professor of Philosophy, does research in contemporary ethics issues, particularly ethics and technology issues.  He is currently working on a book about Internet Ethics. Topics will include online justice groups, ethics and social media, and epistemic problems in determining how to treat other people online. He is especially interested in the way that the internet as a medium has changed how we treat each other, both online and offline, as well as the ways in which the internet has exacerbated group polarization and political division. Previously published articles include a look at online friendship (in Ethics and Information Technology Vol. 14. Issue 3) and Kant and Dementia (in Bioethics Vol. 26, Issue 5).

Dr. Sharp also writes for the Philosophy and Pop Culture series, which he believes is a valuable way to show the continued relevance of philosophy to everyday issues.  His most recent article in the series examined what would have happened if Superman had landed in the Third Reich.  Previous articles explored the philosophy of Family Guy, Heroes, and Battlestar Galactica. In fact, he's so interested in how philosophy intersects with pop culture that he started a blog examining ethics in roleplaying and video games, which you can find here:

Outside of publication, Dr. Sharp is a regular contributor and organizer of the Pittsburgh Area Philosophy Colloquium, which brings together scholars in the region for a day of sharing research and networking.  He also advises the Philosophy Club at Muskingum.

Melissa Conroy, Associate Professor of Religion, Out on Academic Leave in Spring 2016

Dr. Melissa Conroy, Associate Professor of Religion, current research is a book-length project on religion, bodies and the theories of Jacques Lacan.  She will be on academic leave from Muskingum University in Spring of 2016 to pursue work on this project.  Her teaching and publications involve topics such as religion, gender, mythology, and film.

Dr. Conroy is currently an advisor to Equality Alliance, a LGBT support group, and to the Delta sorority.

Todd Lekan, Professor of Philosophy, Serves in Administrative Appointment

Dr. Lekan, Professor of Philosophy, holds an administrative appointment as Accreditation Liaison Officer for University Accreditation, in addition to teaching courses for the Philosophy Department.  

Dr. Lekan's current research interests include William James' moral philosophy and pragmatist approaches to ethical issues such as disabilities and animal ethics.

Representative publications include:  

“A Reconstruction of James’ Normative Ethics,” William James Studies, Vol. 9, (2013), 144-168
“A Jamesian Approach to Environmental Ethics,” Contemporary Pragmatism, Vol. 9, No. 1 (2012), 5-24
“Friendship as an Impersonal Value,” The Journal of the Southwestern Philosophical Society, Vol. 26, (2010), 71-79

Dr. Lekan will present a paper on Steven Fesmire's book Dewey during an Author Meets Critics Session at the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association in Washington D.C. in January, 2016.

He will present a paper titled "The Marriage of Ideals and Strenuous Actions: Exploring William James’ Account of Significant Life," at the annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy in Portland, OR in March, 2016.

Peter Gosnell, Associate Professor of Religion, Department Chair

Dr. Peter Gosnell, Associate Professor of Religion, also serves as Department Chair.

Dr. Gosnell continues his research in the area of biblical ethics and is working on an article on the ethical core of the Gospel According to Luke. This past year, his recent book The Ethical Vision of the Bible. Learning Good from Knowing God received a “starred review” from the Library Journal.  In addition to his interests in biblical ethics, Dr. Gosnell loves studying the epistles of Paul.

Dr. Gosnell also continues his involvement with the Eastern Great Lakes Biblical Society, a regional meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature.  As a recent president, he serves on the conference nominating committee.  His presidential address “Comparison, Reversal and Mercy. The Tales of Two Gospels and How They Might Matter,” came into print this past Spring through the conference’s peer-reviewed journal, Conversations with the Biblical World (XXXIII: 1-31). He just finished a second term as one of the New Testament editors for the journal.

Rick Nutt, Professor of Religion, Returns from Sabbaticalm Sabbatical

Dr. Nutt, Professor of Religion, also acts as the chairperson of the Arts and Humanities Division.

During the spring, 2015 term Dr. Nutt was on sabbatical, during which he researched and wrote an article on Presbyterian attitudes toward the naming of a U.S. representative to the Vatican State just prior to and following World War II.  The article, tentatively titled "United States Diplomatic Representation at the Vatican: The Presbyterian Reaction," will appear in the Journal of Presbyterian History.  He also delivered a lecture in Montreat, N.C. based on his last book, An Historical Study of United States Religious Responses to the Vietnam War: A Matter of National Morality.