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insight4me Philosophy/RS: Metaphysics Of God – Curriculum Insights With Glasgow, UEA & Nottingham

18th March 2020 @ 13:30 - 14:30






insight4me is a series of subject specific webinars for current Year 12/Year 13 students. The sessions support students’ current studies by giving an insight into particular curriculum areas whilst affording students the opportunity to talk to different universities and make informed comparisons about how, in this case, Philosophy/RS is taught.

In this insight4me Philosophy webinar for schools and colleges, three universities, University of East Anglia, University of Nottingham, and University of Glasgow, will each have roughly 20 minutes to deliver a punchy, topic based ‘micro’ talk. Within an overall session theme of Metaphysics Of God, the universities have the freedom to choose their own topic, making links to the A Level curriculum and using the time to convey the key points of the case studies for the Year 12/Year 13 students.

Through the discussion, the universities are encouraged to provide an insight into the teaching and learning experience of this topic at university, and compare and contrast how other subject areas across the Philosophy/RS spectrum might be treated. Students will gain an insight into how these subjects continue beyond the A-levels.

By hearing from 3 unis, students will also appreciate how the further study of Philosophy/RS can vary between institutions, contributing to the depth of their HE research and assisting informed decision making.

Full details of the universities and their talks will be posted below once confirmed:

  • University of East Anglia: Dr James Andow will present: A deeper look at the problem of evil.  People suffer. Can we reconcile this with the existence of God? If God exists, either God doesn’t know about our suffering, or God can’t prevent the suffering, or God doesn’t want to stop the suffering – but none of those options fits easily with traditional understandings of God. Philosophers and theologians try to solve this ‘problem of evil’. But maybe there is a deep problem with their attempts. Do they face up to the true nature and structure of the suffering? Is it problematic to make excuses for God in this way?
  • University of Glasgow: Dr Jonathan Birch:  The beauty of Metaphysics of God is that it involves fundamental questions in ontology, epistemology, ethics, and theology. This diversity also makes it challenging.  This session will highlight some of the common misconceptions of students studying the specification, setting you on the right track in your own studies. But we also look beyond the A-Level, where at places like Glasgow, students have the opportunity to explore both Christian and non-Christian perspectives on God, meaning, and value, which provide sometimes radical alternatives.
  • University of Nottingham: Professor Jon Robson will present: A being than which no greater can be conceived’?  A standard philosophical answer to the question ‘what is God?’ is that God is the greatest possible being or, as Anselm famously put things, ‘a being than which no greater can be conceived’. In this session, we’ll think a bit about what it would mean for something to match this description. What kinds of properties would the greatest possible being possess? And what would it take for a being like this to be worthy or worship?

Students will have the chance to question each speaker and/or offer their own ideas.

This will be a dynamic, fast paced event with the universities cycling between 3 different virtual rooms. The universities will decide how to manage the time but a rough guide would be a 12 minute talk followed by questions from the schools.



Suitable for: Year 12 and 13 students studying, or with a possible interest in studying, Philosophy/RE and related disciplines.

Preparation/Pre-Reading: Students may wish to consider the 3 topics and discuss some of the key elements in advance. Students can also think about questions they have about studying Philosophy/RE at university level.

The IT Setup: The setup is similar to Skype, using a pc and webcam, although students take part as a group with the image projected on a whiteboard rather than as individuals in front of lots of pcs. Dedicated videoconferencing equipment is also compatible if available to the school. Further details are here: Connecting in to a Channel Talent Event (Please Click)

We will work with your IT department to ensure everything is set up and working prior to the event. The sessions are generally limited to 3 to 5 schools to maintain the interactive nature of the experience. In this event there will be three groups of schools taking part increasing the opportunity to participate.

Booking a Place: This is free for schools and colleges. If you have a group of students that you would like to take part in this event, please click here 

Subject to availability we will book a place for you.


18th March 2020
13:30 - 14:30