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Dr James Holt

Understanding Buddhism: A Guide for Teachers by Dr James Holt, Associate Professor of Religious Education at the University, is published by Bloomsbury and is available to buy here.  

Buddhism is often the religion that teachers have the least confidence in teaching despite being the sixth largest religion in the UK and being commonly regarded as one of the six major religions to be taught in schools throughout the country. This book explores the beliefs and practices of Buddhism as a lived religion in the UK. 

The book engages with Buddhist beliefs and practices and provides students and teachers with the confidence to address misconceptions and recognise the importance of beliefs in the lives of believers, enabling teachers to share this knowledge with confidence. 

James covers the concepts that form the central beliefs of Buddhism and the expression of these beliefs in worship, daily life and the ethics of Buddhists in the modern day. Each chapter includes authentic voices of believers today and provides opportunities for the reader to consider the concepts and how they can be respected and taught and in the classroom. 

The book forms part of the Teaching Religions and Worldviews series of guides, each one designed to build teachers' confidence and expertise in teaching a different religion or worldview in the classroom. 

James is currently the Chair of Examiners for Pearson/Edexcel GCSE, A Level, and International GCSE Religious Studies. Prior to his role at Chester, he worked as a Religious Education secondary school teacher.  He is responsible for the leadership of RE in the School of Education which includes the running of the Secondary PGCE course and involvement in all aspects of Primary and Early Years work.  

James said: “In my role at the University of Chester I aim to train and inspire the RE teachers of the future. I hope that this book helps to give teachers confidence to teach the subject they love.” 


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