Students Vote Philosophy's Tepley as "Professor of the Year"

Prof. Joshua Tepley

Joshua Tepley, Ph.D., assistant professor of philosophy, was awarded the 2015 Abbott Gerald McCarthy Professor of the Year award by the Saint Anselm student body. Tepley received his award on March 22, as part of the annual Student Government Association Inauguration at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

Prof. Joshua TepleyTepley is a third year professor at the college, teaching Human Nature Seminar, Ethics Seminar, Contemporary Philosophy, and Critical Thinking.

John “JJ” Courtney '17, presented the award, saying, “Little did I know when I selected Dr. Tepley’s course, it would be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

“He plays one of the best, and might I add, frustrating, ‘Devil’s Advocate’ that I’ve ever encountered. He would challenge many of my contributions to class, and I would have to defend myself, which greatly helped me form my own opinions.”

Outside of the classroom, Tepley organizes the Philosophy Department’s colloquia, co-organizes Mind Over Major, co-organizes a Star Trek & Philosophy series, and conducts his own research. His research focuses on Heidegger and Sartre, two twentieth-century European philosophers, and showing their work from an analytic philosophy perspective.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award,” said Tepley. “I love teaching philosophy, and I put a lot of time and energy into my classes. It’s nice to learn that what I do seems to be resonating with my students—who, I should add, are wonderful.”

The student body nominates professors for the award. During Student Government elections, students also vote for professor of the year from a pool of five finalists.

The Irony of Barack Obama

Niebuhr

A large segment of the American electorate may believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim, but two Saint Anselm College professors argue that the president is not only a Christian, but one whose leadership is guided by his faith.

In their new book, The Irony of Barack Obama, professors Ward Holder, a theologian, and Peter Josephson, a political scientist, say that Obama is deeply influenced by the Christian political thinker, Reihnhold Niebuhr. Holder calls Niebuhr the greatest 20th century American theologian, while Josephson says he is a political theorist who is unusual for being both critical of and devoted to American democracy.

Niebuhr understands the tension between Christian biblical teachings and the demands of governing. This balance of faith and politics, of Christian pragmatism and progressiveness, can be identified in everything from Obama’s foreign policy to his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech and his stand on gay marriage, the professors say.

It is thus ironic that Barack Obama is the favored candidate of the secular left, say the professors, while Mitt Romney has the support of Evangelical Christians. And while Romney declares that faith will have nothing to do with his governance, Obama talks about how Christianity guides his presidency.