Religious Studies & Philosophy
"Religion matters to those to whom it matters"
This remark from Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic and Interreligious Studies at the University of Edinburgh during her St Cat’s Presents… lecture a few years ago, struck me as remarkably pertinent. Learning about religion is important and relevant to understanding the modern world. As such educated people need to know what and why others believe and understand how and why this might affect their lives.
My intention is that students should leave St Catherine’s with an ability both to appreciate and to appraise religious belief and practice. Of course, one can appreciate another’s way of seeing the world and of doing things without necessarily choosing to adopt those ways as one’s own. Balancing tolerance and respect for others with critical engagement and rational analysis is the intellectual tightrope students of Religious Studies must walk. Perhaps too, students will come to reflect on their own core values in a similar balanced way. Religious Studies explores what it means to be human after all. It is my intention that girls of all beliefs and none thoroughly enjoy their study of religion with us at St Catherine's.
Cecilia Scott, Head of RS