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Leading philosopher leads regional religious conference

The Northern Echo - Wed, Jan 30th 2013

RELIGIOUS ISSUES: World renowned philosopher Dr Peter Vardy visits Carmel RC College to take part in a conference on philosophy and ethics

STUDENTS have been exploring religion and how it affects their lives at a regional conference led by a leading academic.

More than 900 sixth form students from schools across the North-East are attending the two-day conference at Carmel RC College, in Darlington, hosted by world-renowned philosopher and theologian, Dr Peter Vardy, and his wife, Charlotte.

Led by Dr Vardy, the students have been exploring good and bad religion as well as looking into the basis of ethics, the interpretation of religious texts, science and religion, and the origins of the universe.

Dr Vardy said: “I am trying to help the students to think about the issues themselves and form their own views and opinions.

“The issues are relevant to how they are going to live their lives. We do not tell them what to think, we are teaching them to think for themselves and develop their own thoughts and opinions on their world.

“The students have been quite extraordinary. A lot of them are not even Religious Studies students but they have all been very interested in the presentations, which are of a university standard.”

Carmel College student, Emily Smith, 17, said: “It is very thought provoking. I really liked the interpretation of texts presentation as it’s relevant to our studies. It’s given us another viewpoint on issues that affect us.”

Director of sixth form, Tim Madeley, said: “This conference is huge, and it is amazing to see just how intelligent Dr Vardy and his wife are.

“They are showing the students that these topics are not only relevant to RS studies, but to their everyday life.”

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