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Darwin Correspondence Project

Darwin and Religion

Key Stage: 
Religious Education

Pupils explore the reaction to Darwin’s findings as evidenced through his letters. Activities investigate the role of tolerance, questions of faith and scientific compatibility and how, in today’s society, we can contribute to the communities we live in.

Starter Presentation

Learning outcomes

By the end of the activities pupils will be able to:

  • define positions of belief and non-belief and describe the conflict in Darwin’s mind over the issue of religion.
  • examine issues of societal conflict, consider the importance of tolerance and suggest successful methods of resolution.
  • construct arguments representing different attitudes towards religion
  • explore issues of contemporary philanthropy in the context of (and outside of) organised religion.

What does Darwin believe?

Discover how Darwin’s own views on religion were complex and changeable.

Duration: 2 x 45 minutes

How important is tolerance?

Using resistance to Darwin’s work as a starting point, explore the role of tolerance in society.

Duration: 2 x 1 hour


Responses to Darwin’s work were sometimes divided. How compatible is religion with science?

Duration: 2 x 45 minutes

Religion and the community

Darwin supported the welfare of his village. What is the role of the church and the individual in supporting local communities?

Duration: 2 x 1 hour