Windows on Worldviews: exploring secular beliefs in A-level and GCSE Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies is an innovative, free video resource which unpacks both religious and secular beliefs.

According to recent research more than 70% of UK young people aged 15-plus have no formal religious affiliation with many embracing a secular humanist worldview.

Why is it important to understand secular worldviews? Today many western people are confused about God and religion. We live in a complex and challenging world. Multiple perspectives and sound bites can overwhelm us. Many reject the Christian faith, often without knowing why. How can we help them find God and Jesus?

Consider this story.

The Mafia ‘Boss of bosses’ Salvatore ‘Toto’ Riina was nicknamed ‘The Beast’ because of his brutality. It was from prison that he ordered the murder of a 13-year-old boy. Lucia, his daughter, claimed that her father was a Christian!

“We are Catholics and I owe my love to my father and my mother,” she said. “Mama and Papa used to come into our room to say a prayer of thanks to Jesus together.”

Just before he died in 2017, ‘The Beast’ was caught on a wiretap boasting afresh about his gory crimes and declaring that he ‘regretted nothing’. At his funeral one of his nephews said: “Goodbye Uncle Toto, you’re going to the angels.”

Scripture teaches us that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Proverbs 9:10).”

Without worldview wisdom and understanding many will read this dramatic story about this brutal mafia mobster and dismiss the Christian faith without further thought. Christians are just hypocrites, they might murmur. To truly engage with stories like this and help us to disciple young people we need to be discerning about the Beast’s complex worldview.

‘The Beast’ combined the Roman Catholic faith with secular beliefs and mafia folklore. To understand this challenging complexity we have produced two films about ‘The Beast’ in our brand new resource ‘Windows on Worldviews: exploring secular beliefs in A-level and GCSE Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies’.

This innovative and free video resource will support GCSE and A-Level Philosophy, Ethics and Religious Studies students and their teachers to explore these unnoticed and unexamined secular beliefs. Windows on Worldviews is a collection of six accessible short videos based on true stories that look at popular aspects of non-religious beliefs. To go with the stories: six short ‘boffin slots’- explanatory videos that open up and critique the philosophical roots of the commonly held beliefs under exploration.

This free resource from RealityBites complements curriculum materials and will fascinate teachers and students studying aspects of humanism such as secularism, materialism, consumerism, scientism and atheism as part of their examination studies. We also contrast humanism with pagan, animist, New Age and Christian beliefs.

The five minute story films are firmly rooted in popular culture, using narratives from football, celebrity news, love and relationships, mafia mobsters, technology and pop festivals. With diverse storylines relevant to young people aged 15 -18 they can be used in any order, individually or as a series. The ‘boffin slots’ undergird the learning points in the stories and will help teachers and students discuss and compare aspects of humanism with traditional Christian beliefs.

To help busy teachers Windows on Worldviews also includes a written guide, suggested discussion starters for class use and useful links to further resources. The discussion starters can be adjusted as preferred.

Producer, Patricia Gray said: “With these short films RealityBites aims to address some of the fundamental worldview questions in a way that particularly speaks to young people at a time when their studies and beliefs are a major influence on their identity. The stories are non-preachy, appealing and up-to-the minute. Humour and, sometimes, a gently ironic approach will stimulate thinking and discussion.”

Writer Mark Roques said: “I wrote this resource, with its stand-alone and complementary parts to engage and challenge critical thinking, something students badly need to develop in our complex social media-driven world. However, it can be used at different learning levels as the teacher wishes and will complement philosophy, ethics and religious studies at both GCSE and A-levels. As a former RE teacher myself, I would have found a resource like this an absolute boon in the classroom.”

To find out more about this new resource and to view the films go to:

Mark Roques
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Categories: RealityBites

Mark Roques

Mark taught Philosophy and Religious Education at Prior Park College, Bath, for many years. As Director of RealityBites he has developed a rich range of resources for youth workers and teachers. He has spoken at conferences in the UK, Holland, South Korea, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. Mark is a lively storyteller and the author of four books, including The Spy, the Rat and the Bed of Nails: Creative Ways of Talking about Christian Faith. His work is focused on storytelling and how this can help us to communicate the Christian faith. He has written many articles for the Baptist Times, RE Today, Youthscape, Direction magazine and the Christian Teachers Journal.


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