Freud, Jung and Religion for sixth formers

Being on site at St Luke's College for most of the day is a rare luxury, occasioned by ruthlessly clearing the diary to support them during the OFSTED Inspection. I was delighted to be asked to cover an A-level theology class whose tutor was off sick.

[Transatlantic translation: A-levels are public examinations, usually taken at about 18 years of age. Nowadays, they are split into two discrete years: AS and A2. You have to have at least 2 A-levels or equivalent to get into University. To get into medicine or law or into a top university, you might be required to pass three or four at grade A.]

The class comprised six students who will be taking their exam in June. They were revising for a paper which links the philosophy of religion with ethics and we were on Freud and Jung and their approach to religion. It was really enjoyable to explore how a good exam answer would involve intelligent discussion of the issues and then to look at how we might answer Freud's negative analysis of religious belief and practice. We particularly discussed how Catholicism helped to direct guilt towards the truth by looking at the things for which a person would reasonably feel guilty - as opposed to the neurotic, free-floating guilt which arises for many people who do not trouble to examine their conscience.

The students were really enjoyable to work with. Their tutor is probably off for a couple of weeks so I have promised to go in for a couple more lessons before the half-term break. I'm looking forward to it.

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