SPECIAL: Westminster Faith Debates




These materials and links were provided for RE:ONLINE with the kind assistance of the University of Lancaster ‘s Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion


The Westminster Faith Debates take place in central London every spring, and are open to the public free of charge. They bring together leading academics and public figures to debate the latest research on religion and values.  Each year, the debates explore a different theme.


The Westminster Faith Debates website hosts videos of each debate.  These videos offer RE teachers excellent resources and potential lesson starters, particularly for GCSE and A Level classes.


With the kind assistance of the University of Lancaster ‘s Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion and the Westminster Faith Debates team RE:ONLINE has been able to tag each video, link them to GCSE and A Level syllabuses for AQA, Edexcel, OCR, and WJEC, and provide broad lesson plans and ideas for how each video might be used.  These resources can be found individually in our learning section, but we have also brought them all together here as an RE:ONLINE Special.


Click on the link for summaries and lesson ideas for each debate linked to GCSE and A Level specifications.


2012 – Religion and Public Life


Religious identity in ‘superdiverse’ societies

Can we afford religion?

Do Christians Really Oppose Gay Marriage?

Does politics still need religion?

Is it right for religions to treat men and women differently?

Religion in public life?



2013 – Religion and Personal Life


Should we legislate to permit assisted dying?

Stem cell research, abortion and the ‘soul of the embryo’?

Too much sex these days – the sexualisation of society?

What are the main trends in religion and values in Britain?

What have we learned about radicalisation?

What limits to religious freedom?

What role for religious organisations in an era of shrinking welfare?

What’s a traditional family and do we need it?

Westminster Faith Debates: What’s the Place of Faith in Schools?

Why do God?



2014 – Global Religious Trends


Are attempts to promote worldwide religious freedom naive or necessary?

Can historic Churches retain global unity?

Do the benefits of engaging religion for development outweigh the dangers?

How has religion become an agent in peace-building in conflict areas of the world?

How should moderates deal with hardliners?

Religion and violence in the Arab spring



2015 – Religion, Violence and Cohesion


RE for Real a consultation on Religious Education

How far should concern with religious freedom shape foreign policy

Wheres the conscience of the nation

Women bishops what difference does it make

Social Cohesion – lessons from the Pennines

What should schools do about radicalisation