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Philosophy & Ethics Masterclass

Our Sixth Form Philosophy & Religion students attended a conference, exploring key questions, big ideas and some principles for clear thinking.

Organised by Academy Conferences, the day’s lectures covered a variety of topics, from animal rights to gender theology.  Conference founder Julia Arliss gave an interesting and moving presentation on the relationship between humans and animals, questioning how far our beliefs about animals are based on reason.

The second lecture was hosted by Professor Keith Ward, Emeritus Regius Professor of Divinity at the Oxford University, on the conscience. The leading philosopher of religion spoke on whether truth and moral laws would still exist, even if the universe did not. The girls also heard from Professor Daphne Hampson, a prominent theologian in Feminist Theology and an Associate of the Department of Theology & Religion at Oxford University, who trained at Harvard.  Finally Professor Alister McGrath, author of The Dawkins Delusion, gave a lecture with a focus on Religion and Science, examining how far scientific discoveries, such as the Big Bang, have challenged the need for God.

To conclude, students were given a forum to discuss the motion: ‘Freewill is an illusion’. A lively debate ensued, drawing upon science, determinism and religion – a stimulating end to a thought-provoking day.


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