Fathers Building

Religion and Philosophy

Classroom Learning at Lawrenceville

The Religion and Philosophy Department seeks to give students the necessary tools to make sense of global events and their own lives. Students will explore the “big questions” surrounding human engagement with the world as they learn about the religious and philosophical underpinnings of moral and ethical thought and practice.


Introduction to Religious Studies cultivates the skills vital to enabling effective inquiry – critical thinking, argument, and analysis – through readings, class discussions, and written assignments. Students explore the relationship between religion and culture, the deeper concepts embedded in religious and cultural traditions, and how religions and cultures evolve over time. They are encouraged to examine their own worldview and to step inside the worldview of other cultures as an intellectual exercise, as they synthesize these perspectives into a broader self-knowledge.

Religion and Philosophy Class at Lawrenceville
Religious Life at Lawrenceville

The many course options within the Religion and Philosophy Department unfold within the context of Lawrenceville’s hallmark Harkness system, an inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning that is ideally suited for explorations of religion, culture, and ethical and moral thought. A significant number of courses in the department are considered interdisciplinary, encouraging students to incorporate a knowledge of history, art, science, and literature in the service of deeper philosophical arguments.

Religion and Philosophy Beyond the Classroom

A student-generated journal, Insight, collects exemplary written and artistic work across the range of religion and philosophy courses, and is published twice each academic year. The Harkness Travel program regularly visits religious and cultural sites in Europe and Asia, including trips to India, Italy, Spain, and Japan.

Outside the department, Religious Life programming is visible and vibrant, designed so students can deepen their own faith and develop understanding and respect for the beliefs, traditions, and practices of others.

Religion and Philosophy Department Faculty

Vineet Chander

Titles: Teacher, Religion and Philosophy Department; Leader for Hinduism

Nuri Friedlander

Titles: Director of Equity and Inclusion, Office of Multicultural Affairs; Teacher, Religion and Philosophy Department

Philip Jordan

Titles: Teacher, Religion and Philosophy Department; Leader for Buddhism, Religious Life, The Diana C. Bunting and Josiah Bunting III Distinguished Teaching Chair

Alexander Kocar

Titles: Teacher, Religion and Philosophy Department

Violet Lee

Titles: School Chaplain; Teacher, Religion and Philosophy Department

Lauren Levy H'97 '01 '12 P'01 '02 '09

Titles: School Rabbi; Teacher, Religion and Philosophy Department, Joseph S. Gruss Chair in Rabbinical Studies

Emma-Claire Sunday

Titles: Teacher, Religion and Philosophy Department