About Me

John Baxter

This site is written mainly with friends in mind with whom I enjoy exchanging views and as a way of setting out my ideas. This makes it more of an anthology of articles than a blog and they are most easily accessed by clicking on the Table of Contents which describes what you will find on the “pages” listed along the top.

Often I start writing simply to try and sort out my own thoughts, but if this leads you to comment – for or against – I am delighted to make the site more a base for discussion rather than just an expression of my own opinions, so please send me an email to johnbaxter@nullgetshot.co.uk  I will reply and add your comments to the site. ( preserving your anonymity if you wish)                

As well as enjoying writing I have a seperate site concentrating on my visual world – my drawing, painting and photography. (www.getshot.co.uk  I hope you will visit that too.

C.V. For seventeen years (until 2010) I worked as a  professional photographer,  qualifying in 96 with a Licentiate from the British Institute of Professional Photography.  I am now semi-retired and remain available for portrait sittings and local photo journalism.

For 25 years I taught about religion and ethical issues in schools. (RE) and I studied Theology, Religious Studies, Education and Philosophy at Rhodes University (SA), Oxford and Bristol Universities.  I  have also studied Art and Art History,  and have held photographic and painting exhibitions of my work in North Devon, Somerset and as a member of the Bruton Art Society whose website I run.

I have also written and photographed for local papers and some specialist journals.  I started up and edited our local community web magazine the Wincanton Window for two years until October 2011.  As a trustee I remain involved in promoting it, encouraging writers and contributing to it.

I was born in South Africa  (11-9-41) and went to Bishop’s in Cape Town. Attracted to the liberal High Anglican tradition,  I found the Church’s witness against apartheid inspiring.  However in the end I found belief in God increasingly problematic. Then, after a period of doubt and some confusion I was drawn to the Buddhist tradition in1985. Today I would describe myself as a post-theist, non-supernaturalist or secular Buddhist who is open to secular experiences of transendence – if that does not sound too pretentious – or even if it does. As regards religion and the religions I think they often embody valuable insights into the human condition which deserve examination and respect.

As a specialist teacher of Religious Education I was for some years on the National RE Teachers Commitee and then became a member of the Devon SACRE which developed the RE curriculum for Devon schools.  I am committed to an open approach to Religious Education which includes providing accurate understanding and respect for all the main religions and secular humanism and the opportunity to examine and discuss important religious and ethical issues.

Personally I find I am unable to stop constantly re-examining the views I am inclined to hold.  If you wish to label me you will need to read what I have written. Politically I remain a Liberal and continue to to be an active supporter of the Liberal Democrats.

Degrees and Qualifications: BA Rhodes University SA, Church Hist Cl 1, MA Theol. Trinity College, Oxford, MEd Bristol. Philosophy of Education. Licentiate,British Institute of Professional Photography.