This post is from a guest author. Chloe is a Year 10 pupil (that means ages 14-15 in the UK system) from Sandbach High School and Sixth Form College, in Cheshire.
She has written about the topic: ‘What does Religious Studies mean to me?’
I hope you find it interesting (we certainly did here), and we hope to begin featuring more guest posts in the near future.
Of course, answers will always fuel my excitement: The reasoning behind obscure faiths, the origins of sexism and the modern movement of religion. However in reality, it’s the questions that spark my interest. Always the unanswerable ones. Is there really one creator? Can we ever end the war between Israel and Palestine? Which religion is next to develop? With these sparks I can watch the trends of humanity from one single chair, and observe the patterns of our race that have continued for millennia.
Through my lessons I’m discovering the impact of the modern world, and I’m proud to see such diversity coursing through this planet. I believe religion itself to be inevitable- a conscience forever needs somewhere to call home- and I’m fascinated by the truths we can conjure and the rules we can inflict upon ourselves for the good of morality. Religion can never cease to exist, it’s impossible, thus knowledge in this area will never be obsolete. History on a mass scale, in my opinion, is already pre-determined, and from this slant religion prompts me to ask ‘By whom?’ It tells me to examine ideas that could lead me anywhere and feed the love I have for further thinking. Religious education not only teaches me about stories and morals; it allows me to understand and appreciate the concepts that can divide nations and draw together countries.
Currently, there may be a stigma surrounding faith, yet now I am educated and feel qualified to say that religion is open to interpretation, ergo it is the decision of the individual to act a certain way in the belief that they are correct. Everything can be interpreted in some way or another, but with the help of teachers and out of school figures I am learning that there is no black and no white; there is a broad spectrum of communities and allegiances. I am perfectly content to study this spectrum, but through school I’m evaluating and watching it grow with increased trepidation. Personally, I can broaden my understanding of current affairs such as war and terrorism, whilst simultaneously withholding an untainted view of faith due to the books I can study and the figures I can learn about. I’m inspired every lesson to research and explore, and even become swept up in the allure of religion itself. With this passion drawn forth by education, there’s so much to be created. Instead of pushing through assignments like those of other departments, I can linger and indulge my own curiosity, producing work of originality and depth.
Simply, it’s a subject that encourages depth and originality of thought, hence why it gives me a copious amount of happiness merely to be in the research process. I’m pushed to achieve, sometimes further than I think I can, but it only succeeds in bringing me pleasure; challenges are often massively appealing. For me, it’s about being allowed to overthink events and tales, and being asked to analyse and infer. If I’m being honest, there’s something religious education can offer that other subjects cannot. With the likes of mathematics and science there is little left to explore. The experiments have been done, the formulas discovered, and major breakthroughs are rare and difficult to achieve. However, our world and our views will change consistently, and religious education puts me at the forefront of this change. It permits me to explore and even challenge the boundaries of faith and morals, and hopefully witness humanity make strides towards a better future. In short, maths and science help us discover our world; religious education the wonder within it.