There has never been a more exciting or important time to study Religion: our increasingly globalised world, the threat of religious terrorism and the rapid rise of multi-faith societies mean that understanding and critically analysing religious beliefs is essential in contemporary society. We do not study religious beliefs and practices with the aim of becoming religious, but for the purpose of understanding and engaging with them, so that we might be able to respond more effectively to modern issues and conflict.
Philosophy, whilst a separate subject in its own right, is a natural companion subject to Religion and the two have been studied alongside each other for thousands of years. Philosophy provides the tools to help us study religion; the critical evaluation of ideas, the questioning mind and the relentless pursuit of the truth. It also forces us to confront the central questions of our being: what does it mean to be human? What is my purpose? How should I live? Who should I become?
Oakhamians study Religion and Philosophy until the end of Form 3 and can then choose to continue their studies at IGCSE (Edexcel). In the Upper School, the Department offers Pre-U Philosophy and Theology as well as International Baccalaureate Philosophy at Higher and Standard Level; all Upper School Philosophy students, both Pre-U and IB, are automatically members of the Philosophy Society which meets once every half-term. Students are taught by passionate subject specialists at every stage and so are encouraged to engage in in-depth, critical debate about key religious and philosophical issues.