department of philosophy

Chafee Hall, Room 230, 142 Flagg Road, Kingston, RI 02881 – 401.874.2418

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William Bartels



Dr. Bartels received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Rice University and spent two years studying philosophy and religious studies in France thanks to French Government scholarships. He has taught philosophy and/or religion courses at Rice University, the University of Lowell, and, since 1987, here at the University of Rhode Island. His areas of interest are faith and reason, logic and critical thinking, world religions, and ethics, especially sexual ethics.


Areas of interest are Philosophy of Religion, World Religions, and Ethics, especially Sexual Ethics


  • Ph.D., Religious Studies, Rice University, 1985
  • Diplôme d’Étude Approfondie, Philosophy and Religion, Université des Sciences Humaines, Strasbourg, France, 1981
  • M.A., Religious Studies, Rice University, 1981
  • Master of Divinity, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 1977
  • B.S., Psychology, University of Illinois, 1974


Invited essay on finding meaning in death, in BEFRIENDING DEATH: OVER 100 ESSAYISTS ON LIVING AND DYING, M. Vocino and A. Killelea, Eds., 2014


Invited panelist for post-production discussion of Howard Brenton’s controversial play “Paul,” Gamm Theatre, March, 2011

“No Other Gods – Fear and Loathing of Another’s Religion” invited presentation, Rhode Island Annual Islamic Conference on “Islamophobia,” University of Rhode Island, October, 2007.

“Love, Sex, and Marriage: A Liberal Christian View and its Relevance to the GLBT Community,” Third Annual Symposium on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues, University of Rhode Island, April, 1997.

“Can Belief in God be Rational?,” Presentation to Association for Religion and Intellectual Life, University of Rhode Island, November, 1995

“Does God Exist?”, Invited participation in a debate with an atheist held at the University of Rhode Island, March 1995

“Are Heterosexism and Homophobia Sins?,” Invited participation in a debate on this questions with a fundamentalist minister, University of Rhode Island, March, 1994

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