Contributing to a new worldview in religious education

Dr Chris Cotter is one of 13 academics meeting online to share views on ‘religion and worldviews’ in an ongoing project to reform religious education in England and Wales.

On Friday 22 May, the scholars took part in the first of a series of virtual meetings organised by the Religious Education Council (REC) of England and Wales in conjunction with the UK’s theology and religious studies organisation, TRS-UK.

The aim of the events is to produce a set of position papers offering a range of options for understanding the way in which the concept of worldview is – and could be - used in religious education.

Each participant will submit a short paper about their understanding of the use of worldview, which will form the basis of a report. Dr Cotter’s contribution will focus particularly on his work on ‘non-religion’ and efforts to reconstruct religious studies in Higher Education beyond the confines of the world religions paradigm.

Other participants with a connection to our School include PhD alumna Dr Suzanne Owen (Leeds Trinity).

Worldview Project

The work is part of the REC’s ongoing Worldview Project, which aims to support syllabus writers in local authority, religious and other contexts in developing syllabuses that use the worldview paradigm in ways appropriate to their context, and to assist teachers through providing exemplification of units of work.

In 2018 a report by an independent Commission on Religious Education, established by the REC, recommended a new approach to RE in schools that prepares young people for living in an increasingly diverse world. It set out 11 recommendations for a reformed subject called ‘Religion and Worldviews’.


REC for England and Wales


Commission on Religious Education

BBC article 2018 'Teach religion and worldviews instead of RE'

Dr Cotter’s volume, After World Religions