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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Q&A: Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion (TRPR)

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    Dr Ruth Jackson Ravenscroft

    I am the external Director of Studies in TRPR for Murray Edwards, as well as an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity. I supervise undergraduate students for a number of the modules we have in Christian Theology and/or the Philosophy of Religion in the Faculty, including our very popular paper on Theology and Literature. My research has mainly been focussed on philosophy and religion in nineteenth century Germany – I have written a book about the theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher. But I am also interested in questions around theology and gender, as well as religious language and hermeneutics.

    What's special about Theology, Religion and Philosophy of Religion at Cambridge?

    Theology, Religion, and Philosophy of Religion at Cambridge is exciting, challenging, intellectually rigorous and extremely interdisciplinary. Our students all enjoy a uniquely personalised degree, which they can tailor from their first year. Our course is designed to allow students to explore big philosophical and ethical questions about human culture and experience, to develop a deep and nuanced understanding of various religion traditions – both in history and in the present day – and to gain key language and research skills. Our graduates are highly-prized by employers in business, public services, media and education.

    On the Cambridge Tripos degree, there are only two compulsory modules in the whole degree programme. This means that students have a lot of choice over which subjects they study. It is possible to select papers on a range of religious traditions, as well as different theological, philosophical, sociological and historical approaches to the study of religion. Students can combine their interest in religion with areas such as history, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, literature, politics, and science.

    How does Murray Edwards College support its TRPR students?

    Murray Edwards is a fantastic and supportive environment for students in TRPR. We are a small subject overall in Cambridge, with around 1-2 students per year, per College. But being small doesn’t mean we can’t be a bright and lively discipline! You can expect regular meetings with your Director of Studies, a very well-resourced library, and plenty of opportunities for discussion with your peers. 

    What do you enjoy most about working at Murray Edwards College?

    The students! It is a pleasure to work with and teach Murray Edwards students, and to play my part in helping to build a stimulating intellectual community at the College. 

    I am an external Director of Studies, which means that my primary base is not at the College, but one of the good things about this is that I can create circumstances in which my students from different Colleges can meet, work and share ideas with one another. My Murray Edwards students are sometimes supervised alongside my students from other Colleges, and I am keen to offer opportunities for them to socialise across their year group from other Colleges.