Humanities

God-Curious: Asking Eternal Questions

The Dean of King’s Stephen Cherry, has this week published a book intended to encourage sixth formers to consider studying theology. Called God-Curious: Asking Eternal Questions, the book came out of Stephen’s observation that, ‘on the whole, introductory books about theology are not as interesting or attractive as the subject itself.’

So, encouraged by our undergraduate admissions team, Stephen wrote some material for the King’s website that put forward the idea that theology is fascinating, fun and important: 

Stephen explains how the book itself emerged.

‘I was aware, as I wrote the new webpages, that there are those who think that theology is only possibly of interest to people who follow one religion or another. So I also wrote some material that made the point that even if you think religion is absurd it’s not going to go away any time soon, so it might be good idea to discover a bit more about how it all hangs together.

I hadn’t been writing for long when I realised that I had more than a few webpages on my hands and so – partly because I had just broken my ankle – I decided to see what happened if I tried to write something more extensive. It wasn’t long before I had the first draft of a little book that argued that theology is fascinating, fun and important, and that it is, in fact, the antidote to fundamentalism.’

Stephen has written more extensively about the book on his blog Another Angle.

Date posted: 

Tuesday 21 February 2017

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Reading suggestion

Erruptions that shook the world cover

Clive Oppenheimer,
Eruptions that shook the world
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Volcano eruptions are among the most dramatic and significant geological events. In this fascinating book the vulcanologist Clive Oppenheimer, who is a professor in the department of Geography at Cambridge, considers how volcano eruptions have intersected with key episodes of human and environmental history such as mass extinctions, the fall of empires, or more recent instances of political instability.

Are you interested in studying Geography at Cambridge? Nina and Adam have written about their experiences on the course if you want to find out more about what is involved, and if you are in Year 12, do consider signing up for the Masterclass on 8 April.

Date posted: 

Wednesday 8 February 2017

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Ancient World / Classics essay competition

Ruined arch

Porta Maggiore in the Aurelian walls

Fitzwilliam College is running a Ancient World / Classics Year 12 essay competition. It you think that you might be interested in studying Classics at Cambridge, it's a good opportunity to explore a topic. Possible questions include:

  • How important is authorial intention in our understanding and appreciation of ancient literature?
  • “Ancient texts just give us the perspectives of the rich and famous. Archaeology shows us everyone.” Discuss.
  • "In the ancient world, the sea always linked rather than divided people." Discuss.

For more information and how to enter, please see

Date posted: 

Tuesday 7 February 2017

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Robert Walker Prize for Essays in Law 2017

Law books

Find out about Cambridge Law on the course website.

Students interested in applying for Law have a great opportunity coming up to engage with their subject beyond what they are doing at their school at the moment.

Trinity College has launched the Robert Walker Prize for Essays in Law in 2013. The prize is named after an Honorary Fellow of the College, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and former law student at Trinity.

The Robert Walker Prize has three objectives:

  •     to encourage students with an interest in Law to explore that interest by researching, considering and developing an argument about a legal topic of importance to modern society
  •     to encourage those interested in Law to apply for a university course in Law; and
  •     to recognise the achievements of high-calibre students, from whatever background they may come.

The topic for this year’s competition will be announced on Monday 6 February 2017 and the deadline for submission is Monday 24 April 2017.

The full list details of the competition are available on the Trinity College website.

Good luck to those who enter the competition!

Date posted: 

Tuesday 31 January 2017

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Vellacott History Essay Prize 2017

Peterhouse is setting some interesting questions for Year 12  students to discuss (with reference to any academic discipline or area of interest) for its annual Vellacott Essay Prize.

Students are asked to choose a topic that you have not previously studied at school from the long list of questions, which include a wide range of historical topics, also touching on a number of other subject areas, such as Classics, Theology, Art, Literature, Music, Politics, Architecture and Sociology. Here are some examples of the questions set:

  • Is race a modern concept?
  • What were the political consequences of the Black Death?
  • Why did early modern people accuse their neighbours of being witches?
  • Why were there so many new inventions in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries?
  • Was there a 'crisis of masculinity' in the late Victorian period?
  • 'Probably there are countries where you can predict a man's opinions from his income, but it is never quite safe to do so in England'. Do you agree with George Orwell?

The full list of questions and details of the competition are available on the Peterhouse website in the Vellacott Prize information pdf, and please also read the details of eligibility and the history of the Peterhouse essay prizes. The deadline is 17 March 2017 .Good luck to those who choose to explore some of these topics, whether just for curiosity or to develop an essay and enter the competition!

Date posted: 

Friday 27 January 2017

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Spies, Trolls, Drones and Polls: Being(s) in Cyberspace

Credit: Hillary

The University of Hull is offering a series of talks about Ethics and Rights in Cyberspace.

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, "The Common Good: Ethics and Rights in Cyber Security" project seeks to understand where the balance lies between security and ethics in digital governance.  If the recent controversies surrounding U.S. governmental surveillance and implicated technology companies demonstrated anything, it is the need for proportionate, just and effective cyber security in digital governance that is committed to the common good.

The talks are free, but booking is required. Details and booking can be found on their webpage.

Date posted: 

Tuesday 24 January 2017

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Sutton Trust Summer Schools (Year 12)

Bodley's Court lawn

Would you like to explore your subject interest in deepth? Then the Year 12 Sutton Trust Summer Schools might be just the thing for you.

The Cambridge Sutton Trust Summer Schools are week-long, subject-specific residentials, where you live and study as a Cambridge student. You’ll stay in your own private student room within a Cambridge College, eat with other Summer School students in the canteens and socialise in the common rooms.

During the day, you’ll be in your academic department, where you’ll be taught by world-leading experts in your subject. They’ll guide you through new areas of study, introducing you to the depth and breadth of a Cambridge undergraduate course.

The programme includes a wide variety of courses in Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and applications are open 9 January 2017 to 2 March 2017! For more information please see Sutton Trust Summer Schools

 

Date posted: 

Friday 13 January 2017

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Year 11 Summer School for Arts and Humanities

Ancient columns and a pool

The outdoor dining room at Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli

For students interested in the Arts and Humanities and especially Italy, Selwyn College has organised a Summer School this year from Friday 30th June – Sunday 2nd July. The Summer School will feature a range of different Arts and Humanities subjects, themed around Italy. Participants will travel (virtually) through the Italian peninsula with University of Cambridge scholars as their guides as they experience taster lectures in Languages, History, Art History, Archaeology, Anthropology, Film and Linguistics. More information about the Summer School and how to sign up can be found at Selwyn College.

And while you are waiting for the Summer School in June, why not read some of our student perspectives for Classics, MML or History in the meantime, to get an idea of which subjects you could study at University.

Date posted: 

Tuesday 10 January 2017

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Hull, City of Culture 2017

Hull History CentreImage credit: gnomonic

The award "UK City of Culture" is given every four years to a city that demonstrates the belief in the transformational power of culture. Hull was announced the winner of UK City of Culture 2017 in 2013 and will celebrate the unique character of the city, its people, history and geography for the year with an arts and cultural programme. 

If you are interested in the Arts and Humanities, why not have a look at what Hull UK City of Culture 2017 has to offer this year? This is a good opportunity to develope your academic interest in your field, so look out for talks, exhibitions and other interesting events in Hull!

Some suggestions that you might find interesting:

Do you like literature? Why not start getting your teeth into Dylan Thomas' poetry with a performance of the soundtrack to the film Set Fire To The Stars?

If you are interested in history, you could visit the Hull History Centre to view the Hull Charters. 

And in the exhibition Lines of Thought you will be able to see drawings by famous artists from Dürer to Degas, Michelangelo to Matisse and Rembrandt to Riley, so delve into the history of art with these great masters.

For more information see the Hull City of Culture 2017 website and especially their What's On page.

Date posted: 

Sunday 1 January 2017

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