Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: On Faith – Three.


On Faith – Three.

Listen to the Kwame Anthony Appiah Reith Lecture on Creed                                                                                                                 Write a min. 100 word reflection.


Whilst many of my peers seemed to know about the Reith Lectures beforehand, I learned about them with this task and a whole new world opened up. I am watching TED talks a lot and I found the Reith Lectures to be similar, but audible and in more depth with a discussion following. For sure I will go back to listen to further lectures.

Kwame Anthony Appiah, the speaker of the Reith Lectures 2016 has got a very complex background and diverse cultural heritage. Something that rarely would work, his parents made happen – they were ‘members of different churches’ (Appiah, 2016), still within Christian roots, but certainly baring its challenges. Especially as religion ‘infused their lives’ (Appiah, 2016). Also I was growing up with my mother being Catholic and my dad Protestant, however this was never really a subject in our family as religion was not something we practised. I was baptised Catholic – not because my parents planned it, but because a wicker in Tenerife, one of the Canary Islands, and the men gathering around him had the idea that ‘this child had to be baptised!’, when they had dinner in the same restaurant – and certainly a few glasses of vino too much. Even though religion does not play a big part in my life, the story does and is part of my identity. In this case the personal narrative is more important than the body of beliefs.

I find it interesting that Appiah is of the opinion ‘that religion is not, in the first instance, a matter of belief.’, but sees religion as 3-dimensional where practice and who you practice with is more important. However, whilst he puts importance on the holistic approach to religion, Appiah also appreciates that we ‘tend to emphasize the details of belief over the shared practices and the communities’. In the TED Talk ‘Is religion good or bad? (This is a trick question.)’ from 2014, Appiah is challenging the thought there may not be ‘such a THING as religion’. In this talk he further lays out that religion and belief does not have to involve a god. Leading on from there I would like to claim that the experience of achievement – alone or with a group – in arts education and the pure creation, can be a religious experience. And therefore maybe most or lots of art is religious?

And finally something that easily gets forgotten it seems – we need to see the scriptures – of any religion – in historical and geographical context. Due to that we all carry responsibilities in creating new traditions for future generations.




Transcripts of both talks for those that are having difficulties to understand/follow or make notes on the spoken language.

Transcript of Kwame Anthony Appiah Reith Lecture on Mistaken Identities – Creed, 2016
 Transcript of TED Talk:  ‘Is religion good or bad? (This is a trick question.)’, Appiah, 2014
Audivisual sources:
 TED Talk:  ‘Is religion good or bad? (This is a trick question.)’, Appiah, 2014
 Accessed: 10/3/17

2 thoughts on “Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: On Faith – Three.

  1. Hi Nora,

    I love your baptism story! It sounds like a joyful memory.

    I have bookmarked Appiah’s TED talk for later – thank you for this! I am hoping to find it a bit easier to engage with than the lecture.

    • Hello Annabel,

      Yes, you are right – the baptism story has become a memory now…Transmitted through the narrative of my parent’s memories. Ever so often told. And told again.
      Almost like a family bible. Wrote and rewrote…

      Thanks for your note!

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