Associate Professor of Philosophy
Director of General Education
At North Park since: 2008
Ask the question, “But what are you going to do with a philosophy degree?” and Dr. Karl Clifton-Soderstrom has the answer.
“As a major, philosophy is one of the most versatile degrees to have,” he says, citing numerous North Park graduates who have gone on to top graduate schools and successful careers in politics, art, business, law, community development, ministry, and more. Philosophy majors, he adds, often score high on graduate entrance exams and gain highly practical skills that are valued in the workplace.
Professor Clifton-Soderstrom joined North Park for its academic vision and found a vital and challenging community of faculty and students. “The North Park philosophy program offers an essential preparation for work, life, and faith after college by teaching students how to become public intellectuals in whatever profession or community into which they live,” he says. “It provides an exciting context for exploration by giving students the freedom to think critically about the most pressing issues facing society.”
With graduate degrees in philosophy and theology, his scholarly work in phenomenology of virtues and vices has drawn from both disciplines in his examinations of the moral life. In the classroom, he leads faith-based discussions and draws inspiration from Christian philosophers, including Augustine, Aquinas, and Kierkegaard. He also connects philosophy to other great questions in philosophy of technology and the philosophy of art. For example, "what are online social networks doing to the meaning of community?" and "how do the arts teach us how to perceive and understand the world around us?"
Professor Clifton-Soderstrom is a member of the Society for Phenomenological and Existential Philosophy and the Society of Christian Ethics.
PhD, Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago
MA, Philosophy, Loyola University Chicago
German Language Studies, Universitat Heidelberg, Germany
MA, Theology, North Park Theological Seminary
BS, Physics and Mathematics, North Park University
Karl Clifton-Soderstrom. "Becoming Native: Grounding Environmental Ethics in our Local Places, Narratives, and Communities." Covenant Quarterly. (Spring, 2011).