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Hatcham College

A Level Religious Studies

A Level Religious Studies

A Level Religious Studies – AQA

To enjoy an A level in Religious Studies you must have an enquiring mind, an interest in Philosophy and Ethics and a desire to examine some of the most compelling questions which face humankind. You do not need to have a personal religious belief, although it’s fine if you do have one.

Philosophy of religion: The word ‘Philosophy’ translates to the love of knowledge and philosophers embark on an exciting journey in search of truth in an ever changing world. Philosophy asks the most fundamental and deepest questions, for example: How do I know what is true? Is it possible to prove the existence of a transcendent being? Is it logical for religious believers to say that God is omniscient while also believing in free will? Does the existence of evil disprove the existence of a good and powerful God?

Ethics and religion: Ethics is also referred to as moral philosophy. It seeks to investigate questions such as: is it the motivation, the intention or the action itself which makes something ‘right’ or ‘wrong’? Are some actions wrong in all circumstances or is every moral dilemma relative to the circumstance? What is the relationship between religion and morality? What does ‘good’ mean anyway?

Christian Theology: This module takes a theological approach with influences from the social sciences to explore topics including: if I believe that there is life after death, what part of me lives on? How should holy books be understood? How has migration impacted religion and vice versa? And should God be referred to as ‘He’?

Topics include:

Component 1: Philosophy of religion and ethics

Section A: Philosophy of religion

  • Arguments for the existence of God
  • Evil and suffering
  • Religious experience
  • Religious language
  • Miracles
  • Self and life after death

Section B: Ethics and religion

  • Ethical theories
  • Issues of human life and death
  • Issues of animal life and death
  • Introduction to meta-ethics
  • Free will and moral responsibility
  • Conscience
  • Bentham and Kant

Written examination: 3 hours

50% of A-level

Component 2: Study of religions and dialogues

Section A: Study of Christianity

  • Sources of wisdom and authority
  • God/gods/ultimate reality
  • Self, death and the afterlife
  • Good conduct and key moral principles
  • Expression of religious identity
  • Religion, gender and sexuality
  • Religion and science
  • Religion and secularisation
  • Religion and religious pluralism

Section B: The dialogue between philosophy of religion and Christianity

  • How Christianity is influenced by, and has an influence on philosophy of religion in relation to the issues studied

Section C: The dialogue between ethical studies and Christianity

  • How Christianity is influenced by, and has an influence on ethical studies in relation to the issues studied.

Written examination: 3 hours

50% of A-level

Please visit the exam board website for more information.

For more information on the Religious Studies and Philosophy curriculum, please contact Ms Harvey: k.harvey@haaf.org.uk