This course addresses three areas of study in philosophy and religion, asking some of the most important questions faced by humans (What can we know? What is our true nature? Does God exist? How should I live my life?) and investigating in-depth the answers that have been put forward by philosophers over the years. This course helps to give context to the history of ideas that has led to the modern world we face today. You will develop skills of critical analysis, research, persuasive argument, logic and literary interpretation, all of which are transferable to other areas of study such as English, History, Law, Maths, Politics, Psychology and Sociology. The insight into a range of ideas and the skills learned make Religious Studies a good subject for careers in Law, Medicine, Teaching, Business, Care, Journalism and anything else that involves working with people, problem solving or written communications.
The course is divided into three main topics:
Philosophy of Religion: Philosophical issues and questions; The nature and influence of religious experience; Problems of evil and suffering; Philosophical language; Works of scholars; Influences of developments in religious belief.
Religion and Ethics: Significant concepts in issues or debates in religion and ethics; A study of three ethical theories; Application of ethical theories to issues of importance; Ethical language; Deontology, Virtue Ethics and the works of scholars; Medical ethics: beginning and end of life issues.
New Testament Studies: Social, historical and religious context of the New Testament; Texts and interpretation of the Person of Jesus; Interpreting the text and issues of relationship, purpose and authorship; Ways of interpreting the scripture; Texts and interpretation: the Kingdom of God, conflict, the death and resurrection of Jesus; Scientific and historical-critical challenges, ethical living and the works of scholars.
Each unit will be assessed with a two hour written examination at the end of the course.
The examinations will include two short, structured questions, two extended essays, one of which is based on an extract from a text studied.
Each examination contributes 33.33% to the overall grade.
For success in this subject a Grade 6 or above is expected in GCSE English Language or GCSE English Literature or a Grade 6 in GCSE Religious Studies if studied in Key Stage 4.