News from University of Wales Trinity Saint David: March 2016

Study Tour to Berlin (February 2016)

During February Reading Week, staff and students from TRSIS exchanged the cold climes of Wales for the even colder climes of Berlin as part of the Study Tour module offered annually to those at levels 5 and 6. Visits were made to various places of religious interest (including the Jewish Museum, the ‘Neue’ Synagogue, the Berliner Dom, St Mary’s Church and Sachsenhausen concentration camp), as well as the more ‘touristy’ destinations such as the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie. The group was also fortunate enough to be given a presentation by Hartmut Bomhoff of Abraham Geiger College on the history of the Jewish community in Berlin, and to meet representatives from the House of One, a project that will eventually see a synagogue, a church and a mosque housed together under the one roof. Even with a full schedule, staff and students still found time to enjoy a currywurst or two. A really brilliant week and one not likely to be forgotten in a hurry!

Study Day 1

AS Revision Day (2 March 2016)

The Halliwell Centre on the Carmarthen campus was the setting, at the beginning of March, for the Trinity St David AS Revision Day for Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics, by now a firm fixture of the academic calendar. The event, co-hosted by the School of TRSIS and the School of Cultural Studies, was attended by some 180 students from secondary schools stretching the length and breadth of south and south-west Wales. Attendees were able to choose from a diverse programme of talks, each of which was delivered by specialists from the Schools of TRSIS and Cultural Studies and specifically tailored to meet with the course content at AS Level. Topics included (but were by no means limited to): Situation Ethics; The Life and Teachings of Buddha; Philosophy of Religion: Evil and Suffering; Religion and Contemporary Society: Freud and Jung; and, The Jewish Festivals.

A lunchtime reception provided the opportunity for TSD staff to meet exclusively with teachers, and it was the new WJEC syllabus (to be taught from September 2016) that dominated discussion. The conversation reinforced the importance of maintaining strong links with colleagues in secondary education, highlighting the unique role that TSD is able to play during this period of transition and, ultimately, in helping to safeguard the future of Religious Studies in Wales.

After the academic activities had been concluded, the event was brought to a close in the traditional manner…with a religiously-themed pub-style quiz (eagerly awaited by the School of TRSIS’ student ambassadors). This year, it was Brynteg School from Bridgend who walked away with the bragging rights (and, more importantly, the chocolate!)…a fantastic end to what was a hugely successful day! The very best of luck to all attendees in their forthcoming exams!

Rhodri Thomas