James Holt (scholar)

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James Holt is a British scholar of Latter-day Saint religion and history and a senior lecturer in religious education at the University of Chester.

Holt has degrees from Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Chester and the University of Birmingham. He published Religious Education in the Secondary School: An introduction to teaching, learning and the World Religions through Routledge in 2015.[1] In this he outlines his approach to teaching RE. This includes a pedagogy he describes as a 'Kaleidoscopic' approach which draws on existing pedagogies of RE.[2]

He serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Mormon Studies. In March 2010, Holt was among the presenters at the BYU Studies 50th anniversary symposium. Holt has also done a study specifically considering the LDS experience in Britain's religious education curriculum.[3]

Holt and his wife Ruth, who married in 1995, are the parents of four children.

Holt served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in the Scotland Edinburgh Mission (1991–93). During this time, his mission presidents were Joseph Fielding McConkie and Ian D. Swanney.

Returning from his mission, Holt completed a BA in theology and history at Chester College, then part of the University of Liverpool. On conclusion of those studies, he trained as a secondary school teacher in history and religious studies at Manchester Metropolitan University. Holt then taught religious studies in two Manchester schools for 12 years before taking up his current role at the University of Chester.

His service in the LDS Church includes five years as bishop of the Hyde Ward,[4] and service on the presidency of the Manchester England Stake from 2004 to 2011. Holt has also served on the National Public Affairs Committee for the church, and was Stake Director of Public Affairs in Manchester.[5] He was also Director of Communications for the British Pageant of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and also served on the Curriculum Writing Committee of the Church.[6] He is currently serving as Bishop of the Hyde Ward for a second time, a role he has held since October 2014.[7]

In addition to his professional and church responsibilities, Holt completed a PhD in Mormon theology at the University of Chester (the degree being awarded by the University of Liverpool). His PhD focussed around an LDS theology of religions and its implications for interfaith dialogue.[8] Arising out of this work he has presented papers at the BYU Studies symposium outlined earlier, and a Mormon Scholars in the Humanities conference at Southern Virginia University.[9] Holt has also presented papers and written articles ranging from an exploration of Tolkien's religious imagery, aspects of Mormon theology to the teaching of religious education. He identifies these three strands as his major research interests.[10]

Holt has served on the National Council of the Professional Council for Religious Education (now NATRE); delivered training courses on religious education around the United Kingdom and also published a chapter of a book entitled Beyond the big six: New Religious Movements in the RE Classroom; a teachers' resource guide for the Edexcel GCSE about Buddhism (Pearson, 2010); and various other works. He is currently a principal examiner for a traditional and an International GCSE for one of the examination boards in England.

Publications[edit]

Books

Religious Education in the Secondary School: An Introduction to teaching, learning and the world religions Routledge, 2015

Chapters in Books
“Religion in the Ender’s Saga?” in D. Wikktower, ed., Ender’s Game and Philosophy, (Chicago: Open Court, 2013)
“Faith based practice? The impact of a teacher’s beliefs on the classroom” in D. Morris, ed., Re-Imagining Christian Education for the 21st Century chapter 17 (Chelmsford: Matthew James, 2013).
“Beyond the Big Six: Minority Religions in the Secondary RE Classroom” in Schmack et al., ed Engaging RE Cambridge Scholars, 2010

School Resources IGCSE Religious Studies: Christianity and Islam ICS, 2011
Buddhism for Edexcel GCSE Teacher’s and Pupil Guide Pearson, 2010
Muslims in Britain: A Scheme of Work and Teaching Resources Muslim Youth Foundation, 2009
Key Stage 4 Islam Interactive Activities Boardworks, 2009
With Gordon Reid and Sarah Tyler Religion and Life: Edexcel GCSE Religion and Life CD Rom, Pearson, 2009

Articles “A Latter-day Saint approach to addiction, its aetiology and treatment” in Religions (2015), 6, 1–13 http://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/6/1/1 “Teaching and a Teacher’s Faith and Beliefs” in REsource 35: 2 (Spring 2013) pp7–9
2012 “The Dichotomy of Latter-day Saint Interfaith Commentary” in BYU Studies
“Interfaith Dialogue: A Way Forward in Setting Ground Rules” in Sacred Tribes Journal Volume 7 Number 1 (2012): 70-79 [11]
2011 “My Experience of Teaching Islam” in Muslim Youth Foundation Educational Supplement Issue 1 pp10–11 [12]
2007 “Guided imagination as a basis for understanding the importance of special places” [13]
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the R.E. Classroom” in REsource. The Journal of the Professional Council of Religious Education Summer 2002
"Jehovah’s Witnesses and the R.E. Classroom” in REsource. Spring 2004
“The frontiers of Christianity” in RE Today 22:2 Spring 2005 p34

Notes[edit]

References[edit]