As part of ND+ and to deepen our knowledge for A-level Philosophy Ethics and Religious Studies, we welcomed Dr Rachel Cresswell to our Thursday morning class on April 29.
Dr Cresswell is a junior research fellow at Blackfriars Hall, Oxford, specializing in the history of Christianity in the medieval west, focusing on the Bible in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. She offered her expertise on the theology we study, and talked about the potential career opportunities and pathways that this A-level offers.
Dr Cresswell began her talk with a discussion about her experience as an A-level student. Then, she described her journey to studying a masters in philosophy (she got a degree in history first). This was extremely interesting as it enabled the students in our class to look at careers they had not ever considered before and gave us a new perspective on what our studies may potentially lead us to.
Dr Cresswell’s talk was particularly engaging when she introduced us to the many ways that religion has been taught over the centuries, including the fact that many people had not even seen a bible unless they were wealthy until the 1500s. Her examples of various bibles in different formats allowed us to understand that there are many aspects of studying philosophy that tie into other subjects including art and history.
Lower sixth student Katherine said: “I really liked the historical aspect of the talk - it was really interesting. It was good to see how religious texts have changed over time and how that has impacted people’s perspective of God. It’s nice to see the different questions people want to know the answer to and how studying theology has helped answer them.”
ND+ sessions provide us with exciting key knowledge which not only further develops our studies, but also in this circumstance, gives us an insight into the possible career and study pathways accessible to us in the future. It was an honor to speak with Rachel and discuss key themes relating to the historical contexts of philosophy. We feel able to ask more questions relating to the topics studied on the course and really engage with our A level as a result of this.
By Georgina Lindsay and Millie Walker.