Bob Bailey

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Inclusive Teaching & Learning – Faith – Task 3: A reflection on Professor Kwame Anthony Appiah’s Reith Lecture on Creed

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How beautiful to hear such an erudite and easy to listen to presentation on Identity in terms of Creed. I was dragged up as a Roman Catholic (an inheritance rather than a choice) and decided, after turning 14 years old, to never go to Church again and to subsequently call myself an Atheist. This Reith lecture made perfect sense to this non-believer but, more importantly, it intrigued me to understand why people hold a religious view over and above other views, where the point of fact plays no role in their belief that “the history of Faith is the History of Doubt”. Rather than learning by rote one is allowed to question, to grapple, to challenge Faith in order to understand ones own position within that chosen faith.

There is great inequality of gender and sexuality in all religions due, in part, to our cultural interpretations that had probably never been known or thought about at the time of writing Scriptures or Religious Writings. This may be a reason why most Western Cultures consider Religion is not seen as important factors to the make up of the individual. Professor Appiah suggests that many non-western cultures would dispute that Religion is not a defining aspect of who they are.

Fundamentalism – truth fallacy to doubt. Injured by the rhetoric of faith; can this be challenged? Only by conversation in difference amongst consensual adults; without this it would be a one sided lecture rather than a debate or coming together of understanding in opposition.

To underplay the concept of Religion and to change this to Community and sharing within this community or similar minded people…

A stimulating Lecture with some very interesting questions that challenged Professor Appiah’s viewpoints. I had never thought that Theology could be so interesting.

2 Comments

  1. “I was dragged up as a Roman Catholic (an inheritance rather than a choice) and decided, after turning 14 years old, to never go to Church again and to subsequently call myself an Atheist” – Does that fact you were dragged mean you were kicking and screaming? Would like you to expand on your version of atheism, and how would you discuss that as part of a matrix of the ‘inclusive teaching and learning’ discourse? To answer one might want to think whether atheism is indeed a belief, faith or religion.

  2. ‘To have no faith a faith in itself’ is what you might be asking? It is a viewpoint which is like any follower of any creed, held to account by others opposing that viewpoint…
    I was too young to kick and scream, too well mannered (or scared?) to oppose or question the Status Quo so I went along with what I was expected to do; turn up and shut up… times have radically changed since the early 1970’s, I’m pleased to say. We would like our students to question and respond independently, with research and reasoning… something I did not do till in my late teenage years.

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