Religious Studies Teachers Academy Masterclass 2017 (Russell Square, London)

1st December 2017 @ 10:00 AM – 3:45 PM
Russell Square, London
Russell Square
Bloomsbury, London WC1B 5BE
The EventThe ProgrammeThe SpeakersWhat Teachers SayWhy Attend?Details and Bookings

The Event

This professional training day will introduce you to a world of visually exciting resources that can be used for flipped learning, private study and classroom work. You will be given exclusive syllabus-specific printed resources plus a guide to the online resources available on new web resources, hosted by the University of Oxford.

Who is it for?

All teachers of A level Religious Studies

A unique opportunity to:

  • Be the first to enjoy a guided tour of the University of Oxford SDA website for Religious Studies teachers (please bring a wifi enabled device)
  • Explore 2,000 complete works, summaries, mind-maps and targeted video material.
  • Experiment with flipped learning – high quality media resources.
  • Gain in-depth subject knowledge and insight from leading modern scholars

The Programme

Miracles in Focus and the Great Debates on Special Divine Action (SDA): Resources for Religious Studies – Dr Andrew Pinsent

Dr Pinsent has led a $2.5million project at Oxford University producing world-class online resources for Religious Studies teachers. Debates in philosophy, religion and ethics can be explored using for example e-copies of original manuscripts and professional video interviews. Teachers will learn how the site works and receive training on how to use the resource for flipped learning, classroom teaching and independent research. The site continues to grow and feedback from teachers will be used to meet classroom needs. You will be encouraged to follow the tour on your own device during this session.

Life after Death: The Dialogue Between Science Religion and Philosophy – Julie Arliss

Julie Arliss will introduce this session with video examples for flipped learning designed to accelerate student engagement with the key concepts and ideas related to this part of the course. The concept of soul; resurrection of the flesh as expressed in the writings of Augustine; spiritual resurrection; the significance of 1 Corinthians 15: 42-44 and 50-54. Different interpretations within the Christian tradition including objective immortality in process thought. Questions about the authority of scripture, the authority of religious experience and scientific contributions to the debate, as well as the competing truth claims of other religions will be considered. How far are beliefs about life after death reasonable – based on reason – and how meaningful are faith statements about life after death.

Developments in Christian thought: Science and Religion – Professor Alister McGrath (London & Oxford) Professor Keith Ward (Liverpool)

How and why science has influenced Christianity, and how has Christianity responded? This session will draw on a number of specific scientific discoveries (e.g. Big Bang, Darwin) and examine how far science is compatible with and a stimulus for developments in Christian thought. Nobody is better placed to discuss the evolving story of the relationship between science and religion with discussion of both traditional and contemporary Christian theology than Professor McGrath and Professor Keith Ward. Professor McGrath is named as a source on several UK RS syllabi and this session will explain and make clear the relevance of the views found in Professor McGrath’s books Christian Theology, Wiley-Blackwell, and Theology the Basics, Blackwell.

Being Human: Christianity and Secularism in Dialogue – Dr Steven Shakespeare

Secularism thinks about what it means to be human without reference to God and religion. Christians start from the claim that humans are made in the image of God. So are Christianity and secularism poles apart? Can Christian thought speak to the challenges of the modern world – or should religion be seen as essentially a private matter? Examining issues such as environmental ethics, human enhancement and neuroscience, Dr Shakespeare will explore the critical dialogues between Christianity and secular thought, as we struggle with the question: what is a human being?

The Speakers

Julie Arliss

Recently awarded a Farmington Fellowship from Harris Manchester College, Oxford, Julie Arliss is a highly-accomplished teacher and author. She is a well-known international educator working closely with teachers to bring the best resources to schools. She is on the CPD team for one of the leading examination boards, a former principal examiner for Cambridge International Examinations, and founder of Academy Conferences. She continues to teach A level, at Kings College Taunton

Professor Alister McGrath

Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion, Oxford University. Professor McGrath gained first class honours from Oxford University in Chemistry and first class honours in Theology. He holds an Oxford DPhil for his research in Molecular Biology and a DD from Oxford University’s Faculty of Theology for his work in Historical and Systematic Theology. A former atheist, he has established a reputation as one of the leading apologists for Christianity. Author of Christian Theology, Wiley-Blackwell, Theology: the Basics, Blackwell and The Dawkins Delusion, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. Professor McGrath is a modern day ‘great thinker’ and his work is a fundamental part of A level study.

Dr Steven Shakespeare

Dr Steven Shakespeare is a senior lecturer at the University of Liverpool Hope. He has a PhD from Cambridge and is widely published with books such as Radical Orthodoxy: A Critical Introduction (SPCK, 2007); and Derrida and Theology (T & T Clark, 2009). His current interests include the philosophical importance of the boundaries drawn between human and animal, machine and organism, flesh and spirit. He has published on transhumanism, black metal theory, philosophy of religion.

Dr Andrew Pinsent

Dr Andrew Pinsent is project leader on a $2.5M project creating teaching resources for schools. He is a popular speaker and regularly invited into schools. He is a fomer particle physicist at CERN, being a named author on thirty-one papers of the DELPHI experiment and a current member of the United Kingdom Institute of Physics. Dr Pinsent has a second doctorate in Philosophy, a degree in Theology, and is currently the Research Director of the Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, a Research Fellow of Harris-Manchester College and a member of the Faculty of Theology and Religion at Oxford University.

Professor Keith Ward

Professor KeithWard is Regius Professor Emeritus of Divinity at Oxford and was Professor of the History and Philosophy of Religion at King’s College, London. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a member of the executive Council of the Royal Institute of Philosophy. He is currently publishing academic work on the development of Ethical thinking and holds an academic chair at Heythrop College, London. He has been a leading voice in debates about Science and Religion with academic articles and a number of popular texts such as ‘Why There Almost Certainly Is a God’ responding to challenges to religion from science. You have the picture from the RS flyer. Professor Ward is very experienced at working with teachers and is on the CPD team for one of the leading A level examination boards

What Teachers Say

“Every aspect of this course has been absolutely superb. I feel totally inspired and very luck to have listened to so many wonderful speakers. Thank you SO much.”

“The opportunity to network and talk to colleagues about how they are managing the new A level has been very useful.”

“Fantastic programme that has been very inspiring.”

“I hope to attend future events and to send other members of the department. It has been an invaluable event in terms of developing the level of my own thinking and future practice. I feel rejuvenated in my approach.”

Why Attend?

These Masterclasses, with input from world-class thinkers, will offer great opportunities to:

  • Be inspired
  • Gain understanding
  • Deepen knowledge
  • Refine beliefs
  • Explore foundational ideas
  • Be stimulated by debates
  • Prepare for exam success

Details and Bookings

Arrival from 09.30. The programme begins promptly at 10.00 and concludes at 15.15.
Note: times for London conference as follows: 10.00 arrival; 10.30 start; 15.45 finish.



A fixed fee of £220 made online at the time of booking. Staff
are warmly invited to join the team for informal discussion over
break and lunch with refreshments provided.


Bookings can be made online at

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