Masterclass Webinar - Thursday 25th March 2021

United Kingdom

A level Philosophy Ethics and Religion years 12 and 13

2019-20 programme

What to Expect on the Day

Subject-specific events with experts are highly effective in terms of impact on pupil outcomes. Attend this A level RS webinar day with distinguished academics to inspire and enthuse, as well as boost grades. Whether you’re looking to freshen up student directed learning or to equip students with the skills and knowledge to excel, the Academy Conferences webinar is designed for you.

During the day students will be able to contribute and provide feedback, and there is also an opportunity for Q and A with all our speakers. Full notes supplied so that you leave feeling supported and inspired.

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Join us on Snapchat – aconferences – for your daily philosophical thought of the day, plus access to free resources.

Morning Session

Welcome and Introduction

9.30 - 9.40

Religious Language. Is it true that only ‘God speaks well of God?’

9.40 - 10.20 Julie Arliss

The difficulties of using language about the quantum world are understood and accepted, yet God is often talked about in language at a level suitable for a seven year old. There is in fact a rich discourse between theology and philosophy concerning the meaningfulness of religious language. This session will map the key ideas and introduce the important themes. The very different questions asked by philosophers such as Wittgenstein and Ayer, and theologians such as Aquinas and Karl Barth will be identified to give students a clear handle on this complicated topic. Cognitive and non-cognitive approaches will also be evaluated and students given tools for critical evaluation.

Short 5 Minute Break

10.20 – 10.25

Meta-Ethics

10.25 - 11.05 Professor Keith Ward

GE Moore insisted that if we don’t try to answer the question of what ‘good’ means then the rest of ethics is useless.

What do we mean when we use a word like ‘good’ or ‘ought’? What is the relationship between facts and values? This session will address a number of responses to this question including ethical naturalism, ethical non-naturalism, emotivism and prescriptivism.

15 minute Q & A

11.05 – 11.20 Julie Arliss and Professor Keith Ward

Break

11.20 – 11.30

Ontological Argument

11.30 – 12.10 Tom Greggs

The Ontological Argument is a lesser-known ‘proof’ for the existence of God and, rather like Marmite, you either love it or hate it. This session will explain the difference between an a priori argument and an a posteriori argument and discuss whether, even theoretically, it is possible to have an a priori existential argument. What, if anything, does the strongest form of Ontological argument have to contribute to the debate about the existence of God? From Anselm to Descartes to Malcolm and Plantinga – this ‘proof’ is a puzzle for the philosophically minded to tackle.

10 minute Q & A

12.10 – 12.20 Professor Tom Greggs

Short 5 Minute Break

12.20 – 12.25

Revise Right - Getting the most out of your Revision Time

12.25 – 13.00 Andrew Capone

Revision is a set of skills that can be taught. The secret is helping your memory to remember by using techniques to help your mind to get instant access and recall under exam pressure. This session will tap into all the best-known methods for committing something to memory.

End Morning Session

13.00

Afternoon Session

Begin Afternoon Session

14.00

The Divine Attributes

14.00 - 14.45 Keith Ward

Voted the most popular talk from our November webinar we are delighted to be able to air this talk again.

In Western thought, there are four main views of God:

  • Classical – God is eternal, simple, and immutable (Aristotle/Aquinas).
  • Process – Events are free and creative; God attracts them to good outcomes, but they may resist (Whitehead).
  • Biblical – God is maximally good, knowing and powerful, but maybe not technically omniscient and omnipotent.
  • New Testament – God becomes incarnate and all things are united in Christ, so God suffers and changes and includes the cosmos. This talk defends the ‘New Testament’ view. But is it really in the New Testament? It is for you to decide!

Break

14.45 - 15.00

Choice of Seminar​

15.00 - 16.00​

Seminar with Theology Faculty, University of Oxford

God’s Action in the world. Including Special Divine Action and Miracles.

Seminar with Divinity Faculty, University of Aberdeen

Evaluating the work of Professor Daphne Hampson.
Julie Arliss

Julie Arliss

Julie Arliss is a well-known experienced teacher and author. She works closely with exam boards and is perfectly placed to support students in preparation for A level examinations. She is an experienced examiner. Julie has an international reputation for inspiring academic excellence and encouraging students to push the boundaries of knowledge.

Prof Keith Ward

Professor Keith Ward

Emeritus Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford University.

Professor Keith Ward is a leading philosopher of religion and much in demand on the international academic scene. Liberation Theology and Marx feature in his book, ‘A Guide for the Perplexed’ and more fully in ‘In Defence of the Soul’ both of which are accessible to students. A Former President of the World Congress of Faiths and member of The Board of Social Responsibility for the Church of England; Professor Ward has also written a 5 volume work on ‘Comparative Theology’, which is about inter-faith relations. Professor Ward has recorded programmes for Al Jazeera TV and recently for the Egyptian Arabic TV channel. He is a former Chair of the Governors of the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and on the Academic Committee of the Islamic Centre at Oxford.

Dr Andrew Pinsent – Oxford

Dr Andrew Pinsent – Oxford

Dr Pinsent is an international speaker, in great demand across the globe. He is a polymath with doctorates in both physics and philosophy. There are few better placed to discuss matters of science and philosophy. He is a former particle physicist at CERN and a named author on thirty-one papers of the DELPHI experiment. He is a member of the United Kingdom Institute of Physics. Dr Pinsent also has a second doctorate in philosophy 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.

Andrew Capone

Andrew Capone has been an an examiner for OCR and Edexcel and leads a very successful department at St Simon Stock School. He is an inspirational teacher, passionate about RS and determined to develop the full potential of every student both in the classroom and under the pressure of examinations. Andrew is author of a number of popular teaching packs and revision guides for A level, and is a highly valued member of the Academy Conferences team.

Professor Tom Greggs

Professor Tom Greggs

Marischal Chair, University of Aberdeen.

Tom Greggs holds the Marischal Chair, (actually a physical chair established in 1616) at the University of Aberdeen. He previously held a chair at the University of Chester. He has also taught at the University of Cambridge. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Scotland, and is an Honorary Professor of Theology at St Mellitus College, London. He has been a visiting research fellow at St John’s College, Durham, and College of Arts and Sciences International Visiting Scholar and Visiting Professor at the University of Virginia.

He is the author of five major books and is currently the recipient of a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship. He is in high demand as a speaker and well known for his engaging wit.

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