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What interests should I have if I want to take this course?

If you are interested in exploring theological and philosophical questions about God,  human nature, the afterlife, ethical theory and behaviour and the challenges facing religion in 21st century, then this is the course for you.  You must enjoy extended writing, and 
in-depth reading to gain the most from this course.

What will I learn about?

TOPIC 1  Philosophy of religion

You will study:

  • arguments for the existence of God, including cosmological, design and ontological arguments
  • the nature and impact of religious experience, including visions and mysticism and non-religious responses to these phenomena
  • the challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil and religious responses to this challenge
  • the nature of the soul, mind and body, including Descartes’ dualism
  • the possibility of life after death, including Hick’s replica theory.
  • the nature of God
  • religious language, including Wittgenstein’s language game theory, logical positivism and the via negativa approach.
  • miracles, including criticisms from Hume.

TOPIC 2  Religion and ethics

You will study:

  • normative ethical theories, including Aquinas’ natural law, Fletcher’s situation ethics, Aristotle’s virtue ethics, Bentham’s utilitarianism and Divine Command Theory.
  • the application of ethical theory to contemporary issues of importance, including euthanasia, abortion,  cloning, embryo research, capital punishment and treatment of animals
  • conscience and free will, including determinism and libertarianism
  • meta-ethics

TOPIC 3  Developments in Christian theology and Dialogues

You will study:

  • human nature and purpose of life, including developments in the Christian understanding of God, sin, the self, immortality, the soul, purgatory, heaven and hell
  • Christian beliefs about the nature of Jesus and the role and status of the Bible, including fundamentalism and liberalism
  • Christian practice including baptism, holy communion and missionary work
  • the challenges to Christianity of atheism, pluralism, Marxism, feminism, gender politics, the politics of sexuality and secularisation. Christian responses to these challenges

How will I be assessed?

100% exam - No Coursework

Paper 1: Philosophy of religion and ethics
3 hours, (50% of total A level)

Paper 2: Study of Christianity and Dialogues
3 hours  (50% of total A level)

What Teaching and Learning methods will be used?

You will participate in a range of activities which include group, paired and individual work.  From the first lesson you will undertake timed essay exam practice on a weekly basis and you will be set homework every lesson.  You will be expected to undertake significant preparatory reading before lessons.

What can I do when I complete my qualifications?

Use the qualification to support your UCAS application. Skills developed in this course will help you in a range of university courses including Philosophy, History, English, Law and Religious Studies. Past students have also gone on to study science courses, including medicine. The analytical and evaluative skills developed in this course are helpful in a wide range of careers including law and journalism.

How can I find out more information?

If you have any further questions please contact Ms Whiting in the RE Department.