About the OCRS
Established in 2016, the Online Centre for Religious Studies aims to promote and facilitate the academic study of religion for a wide and diverse audience.
Study religion online
Our courses will take you from the basics of what a religion is (or isn't!), right through to a detailed exploration of the key faiths alive today.
Download free digital resources for personal use, or to assist in the classroom.
Religions are languages, not brands
9 October 2023 | Jonas Atlas
When we speak of religions today, they are often described like products in a supermarket: packages of beliefs, rules of conduct, symbols, and rituals, which are offered by specific brands. These brands advertise their own particular product range: reincarnation in the package of one religion, a heaven in that of the other; prayer in the package of one religion, meditation in that of the other; priests in the package of one religion, rabbis in that of the other.
What the Weltanschauung!?
20 June 2022 | Luke Burns
In June 2022 the Independent Schools Religious Studies Association (ISRSA) published a response to the 2018 proposal by the Commission on Religious Education to overhaul the subject of Religious Education, make it more academically focused, and rename it to Religion and Worldviews. We have previously covered the proposed change, and its challenges, here: Religion and Worldviews (24 February 2019). This article was updated by Luke Burns on 22nd June 2022
Is Religious Education out of Date?
18 August 2021 | Luke Burns
The National Secular Society has recently published a piece by Keith Sharpe, in which he argues that it’s time to move on from Religious Education. Sharpe’s argument is centred on the ambiguity and lack of purpose that accompany Religious Education in the current period. He makes a number of points, which I have summarised below. 1. RE has always been a vehicle for communicating cultural values. Rather than a distinct area of learning as with other curriculum subjects like maths, history or physics, religious education has always been a form of socialisation, a process through which children are inducted into a national identity based on societal norms, values and beliefs.