Blog: Exploring History in Religious Studies - Gillian Cooke

Blog: Exploring History in Religious Studies - Gillian Cooke

30 Religious Studies teachers visited the Group Archives as part of the OCR Religious Studies Forum.   

There will be no surprises about the sheer volume of Religious Studies question papers in the Group Archives – the original regulations for our examinations in 1858 stated that 'every candidate be examined in Religious Knowledge, unless his parents or guardians object.'

Our first long term Secretary, George Forrest Browne, was a clergyman who went on to become Bishop of Bristol. In fact, 21 of the 31 examiners in the 1860s were from the clergy.

What was more surprising to the Religious Studies teachers who visited the archives was the history and breadth of questions about other faiths, including Islamic Studies question papers for Malaysian candidates in 1972. And, thanks to the Keynes scrapbook, there was also some nineteenth century humour - one candidate was quoted - "Blessed are they that spitefully use you, for they shall be persecuted."

Gillian Cooke
Group Archivist, Cambridge Assessment

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