Skip to content
Pupils from Malbank School and Sixth Form in Nantwich taking part in the symposium.

An afternoon of panel discussions, workshops, and an interactive keynote address took place at the Parkgate Road Campus, considering the deep questions of life through the lenses of diverse religious and philosophical traditions from across the globe.

Pupils and staff attended from a range of schools including Tarporley High School, Queen’s Park High School in Chester, Holly Lodge Sixth Form in Liverpool, and Malbank School and Sixth Form in Nantwich.

Speakers included: Dr Patrice Haynes, from Liverpool Hope University; and academics from the University of Chester’s Department of Theology and Religious Studies. They were: Professor David Clough; Associate Professor Alana Vincent; Dr Caroline Tee; and Dr Dhivan Jones. The event also offered an introduction to the new BA Philosophy, Ethics and Religion course, which began in October.

The first of two panels looked at the meaning of freedom in African, Jewish and Christian thought. The second addressed the question, ‘What is the good life?’, and considered what that means in Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. Finally Dr Dhivan Jones got everyone thinking about what it means to do philosophy and ethics alongside religious traditions by looking at how religious philosophical perspectives broaden our thinking about questions of identity, moral responsibility and the ethics of eating.

Teacher Ben Cox, Head of the Faculty of Humanities and teacher of Religious Studies at Tarporley High School, said: “I think the major benefit of the symposium for students was to have the opportunity for them to listen to academics outline and discuss points on core themes in the study of religion. This was both informative and inspiring.”

Organiser, Dr Ben Fulford, Deputy Head of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, said: “We wanted to celebrate the launch of our new BA in Philosophy, Ethics and Religion by organising a symposium that would help A-level students think about familiar topics from the sorts of fresh angles that feature in this new course.

“In particular we wanted to engage students in a diversity of philosophical perspectives from a variety of religious traditions, including those that rarely feature in philosophy, ethics or philosophy of religion at A-level or in a traditional philosophy degree.”

He added: “It was wonderful to have a room packed with students to talk about the resources religious traditions bring to profound philosophical and ethical problems! The panels were fascinating – and students asked some excellent questions. Our brilliant speakers showcased the depth and richness of thinking that comes from looking at key questions in philosophy and ethics with a greater breadth of perspectives.”

Share this content