Religious Studies (Theology, Philosophy and Ethics) A-Level | Surbiton High School
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Religious Studies (Theology, Philosophy and Ethics) A-Level

Examination Board: OCR

Is there such a thing as right and wrong? What happens when I die? Why might a good God allow evil in the world? These are all questions that are tackled head-on in the Religious Studies A-level course, as well as more practical questions, such as what is the ethical way to run a business? and is euthanasia morally acceptable?

A-level Religious Studies is not a preparation for the religious life. Rather, it is a stringent academic subject that will encourage you to write in an orderly and lucid way, help you to understand and evaluate complex critical theories, and develop your sensitivity to the variety of factors influencing religious thought and practice.

These skills will be of value in any future career and will demonstrate to future employers and university interviewers a high level of academic competence.

Students taking Religious Studies have combined it with almost every other subject and gone on to a wide range of undergraduate courses. As well as Theology and Philosophy, students have also applied for Psychology, English, History, Economics, Medicine, Dentistry, Geography and Education. Partly because of the transferable skills that it develops, universities have a very positive attitude towards a Religious Studies A-level.


Philosophy of Religion

Examination: 2 hours
■ Ancient philosophical influences
■ The nature of the soul, mind and body
■ Arguments about the existence or non-existence of God
■ The nature and impact of religious experience
■ The challenge for religious belief of the problem of evil
■ Ideas about the nature of God
■ Issues in religious language

Religion and Ethics

Examination: 2 hours
■ Normative ethical theories: Utilitarianism, Kantian Deontology, Situation Ethics and Natural Law.
■ The application of ethical theory to two contemporary issues of importance, namely business ethics and euthanasia.
■ Ethical language and thought
■ Debates surrounding the significant idea of conscience.
■ Sexual ethics and the influence on ethical thought of developments in religious beliefs.

Developments in Christian Thought

Examination: 2 hours
■ Saint Augustine’s teaching on human nature
■ Death and the afterlife
■ Knowledge of God’s existence
■ The person of Jesus Christ
■ Christian moral principles: considering the diversity of Christian moral reasoning and practices and sources of ethics.
■ Christian moral action: exploring the teaching and example of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
■ Religious Pluralism and it’s impact on society and Christian theology.
■ Gender and Society: analysing the impact of changing views of gender and gender roles on Christian thought and practice.
■ Gender and Theology: the reinterpretation of God by feminist theologians.
■ The challenge of secularism: exploring whether religion has any part to play in public life.
■ Liberation Theology and Marx.