Theology, Philosophy and Religion
The TPR (Theology, Philosophy and Religion) syllabus comprises three elements: the study of theology through key biblical texts; philosophy through some significant philosophers and basic human questions about value and meaning; the study of religion in world religions. It reflects the fact that the religious traditions of the United Kingdom are, in the main, Christian, while taking into account other principal religions represented in the United Kingdom.
The TPR syllabus provides a common body of knowledge which is distinctive in that pupils study a full issues-based course, which requires the ability to read, interpret religious texts theologically, reason philosophically and understand religion in its contemporary setting. It also provides a coherent course, balanced in terms of breadth and depth, and offers all pupils, of any religious persuasion or none, the opportunity to demonstrate their attainment, irrespective of their ethnic or social background.
The syllabus aims at giving candidates the opportunity to:
(i) study the foundational biblical texts of the Judeo-Christian tradition;
(ii) develop philosophical skills to reason, argue and evaluate claims made by religious and non-religious belief systems
(iii) acquire knowledge and develop understanding of the beliefs, values and traditions of one or more religion(s);
(iv) consider the influence of the beliefs, values and traditions associated with one or more religion(s);
(v) consider the theological, philosophical and religious responses to moral issues;
(vi) identify, investigate and respond to fundamental questions of life raised by religion, philosophy and human experience, including questions about the meaning and purpose of life;
(vii) develop skills relevant to the study of theology, philosophy and religion.
TPR vision and values
- Boys should be able to explain what they believe and why, as well as to be able to defend their own beliefs
- Boys will learn and understand religions other than their own
- Boys will learn to communicate with people with different beliefs and ideas: listen to someone else’s opinion and compare it to their own
- Boys will be able to challenge the messages from the media and stereotypes about people and life
- Boys will learn what it means to lead an ethical life
- Boys will think deeply, express their opinions and participate in exciting debates
- Boys will ask the big questions
- Boys will explore answers to the big questions and look for meaning and purpose in their own lives
Pupils will begin to study religion through various religious festivals. In addition, they will explore the theme of ‘belonging’. They will begin to examine and understand the meaning behind the symbolism used by the major world religions. Furthermore, pupils will hear stories from the Bible and consider their meaning, plus understand how these stories influence religious practices in the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Pupils will also learn about the rules and commands contained in significant religious texts and their implications for religious adherents today.
Middle School and Senior School
Pupils will undertake further study of the key beliefs and teachings, as well as practices and ceremonies within the major world religions. A study of theology will be undertaken, focussing upon considerations of what God’s relationship with the world is like along with an examination of various human responses to God. Pupils will study philosophy learning about great thinkers and their ideas. In ethics boys will consider a variety of moral issues such as war, the punishment of criminals, and human responsibility towards the natural environment.