Dr. James McRae is an Associate Professor of Asian Philosophy and Religion and the coordinator for Asian Studies at Westminster College. He began his study of philosophy at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 1998. Because of his interest in Asian and comparative philosophy, he moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in comparative philosophy with a specialization in ethics from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Dr. McRae joined the Classics, Philosophy, and Religious Studies department at Westminster College in the fall of 2006.
Dr. McRae specializes in Asian and comparative philosophy, particularly the areas of moral development, applied ethics (especially environmental and biomedical ethics), philosophy of film and literature, and Japanese philosophy (including Zen and bushido). He is currently co-editing two books: Environmental Philosophy in the Asian Traditions of Thought (with J. Baird Callicott, forthcoming) and The Philosophy of Ang Lee (with Robert Arp and Adam Barkman, forthcoming).
An avid martial artist since 1995, Dr. McRae teaches Jeet Kune Do and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu through the Westminster Wellness Program and is a faculty advisor and instructor for the Westminster College Mixed Martial Arts Club. In his spare time, he writes fiction and composes music. He lives in Columbia, Missouri with his wife, Heather, who is a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of Missouri specializing in medieval Iberia. They have one son, Jack, who was born in March of 2009.