Making Connections Study of Religion & Religion and Ethics Professor PetaGoldburgrsm
Distinction • Theology – faith seeking understanding • History of religion – sometimes one-sided superficial treatment • Comparative Religion - explaining religion in scientific manner • Phenomenology
Underpinning philosophies • Where have we come from? • Religion Studies • 1980s – Phenomenology • Smart’s Dimensions • 1982 – Moore & Habel – Typology • 1990s – Interpretative approach (Jackson) • Outsider/insider • 2001 – Multiple approaches • 2008 – Inquiry based approach • critical religious literacy stresses multiplicity and views difference as a springboard for creative, political and pedagogical change
Emerging ideas • Dialogical models • Exchange of information for mutual understanding and tolerance • Accumulation of facts about other religions • Possibility of learning from other religion • Serious engagement with sacred texts and teachings of another religion • Includes questions of doctrine, practice, organisation • BUT
Presupposes some level of identification with a particular religious tradition • Identification with particular denomination, school or sect within larger religion • Catherine Cornille – ‘comparative theology’
Comparative Theology • person reaches out from their own faith tradition ... in order to intentionally and sympathetically interact and exchange with other systems of theological belief in a comparative way • comparative theology opens up the possibility for a richer appreciation of self and Other in their respective journeys of faith
Comparative theological approach does not see key differences in religious belief and practice as something to be forced into an evolutionary theory or to be subsumed beneath an all encompassing universalism, but as unique examples of living theology, which we all stand to learn from and be challenged by
Essential Conditions • Doctrinal or epistemic humility • Doctrinal humility entails certain degree of admission of the finite and limited ways in which the ultimate truth has been grasped and expressed within one’s own religious teachings, practices and/or institutional forms • Commitment to a particular religious tradition • People grounded in particular religious community from which they speak • Too many ‘seekers’ not enough ‘dwellers’ • True dialogue requires people to know, share and bring back fruits of dialogue to their own religious traditions
Essential Conditions • Interconnection • Belief that the teaching and practices of other religion are in some related to or relevant for one’s own religious tradition • Could be shared commitment to certain social or political causes, shared reaction to external challenges • Empathy • Knowledge of facts and concepts; • grasp of religious meaning of teachings and impact on life of believers
Hermeneutical-communicative model • respects learners • promotes critical thinking • “The starting and end point of religious education for students is that they learn to take a personal critical and well-informed position so as to arrive at one’s own well-considered conclusion with respect to belief and learning” (Pollefeyt)
Core Components • ‘core’ = significant ideas and concepts that are central to the study of religion. • core components should span and inform all four semesters • core components are to be integrated throughout all topics and units of work • core components may also be taught as a discrete area of inquiry to contextualise, introduce or link to a topic
Core Components • Australian religious perspectives • Aboriginal spiritualities and Torres Strait Islander religions • Religion in the local community • Religious diversity in Australia. • World religions A minimum of four of the following religions is to be studied over the course: • Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam • other religions may be included in units of work. • The nature and significance of religion
Topics • Religion-State Relationships • Ritual • Sacred Texts • Ultimate Questions • Religion, Values & Ethics • School based topic
Topics: Who many? How long? • A minimum of four (4) topics must be studied over the two-year course. • Time: • Minimum - half a semester • Maximum - whole semester • Only one school-based topic may be studied in the course.
Program of Study • Study area core (personal, relational, spiritual) • Elective topics
4.3.1 Guidelines for developing a course of study • select no fewer than four and no more than eight electives • study each elective for no more than one semester but no less than four weeks to ensure adequate depth • use the study-area core (the personal, relational and spiritual dimensions) to organise the integration of the concepts into each elective • vary the emphases on the three dimensions in different electives depending on the elective topic
Study Area Core • The study-area core is designed to allow students to become familiar with the nature of religion and ethics. • It should be integrated throughout the course for a minimum of ten hours. • The study-area core is a conceptual base and binding principle for each elective topic and includes the personal, relational and spiritual dimensions of human experience.
Elective Topics • The Australian Scene • Ethics and Morality • Exploring Meaning of Life • Gender and Spirituality • Good and Evil • Heroes and Role Models • Life Choices • Origins, Purpose, Destiny • Peace Studies • Religious Citizenship • Religions of the World Indigenous Australian Spirituality; Buddhism; Christianity; Hinduism; Islam; Judaism • Sacred Stories • Social Justice • Spirituality and Ritual • One school-based elective
Archdiocesan P-12 RE • The Archdiocesan P-12 Religion Curriculum details the essential minimum theological content to be taught in all Archdiocesan Catholic and ecumenical schools
4 Strands • Sacred Texts • Old Testament • New Testament • Christian Spiritual Writings and Wisdom • Beliefs • Trinity: God, Jesus the Christ, spirit • Human Existence • Religions of the World
4 Strands • Church • Liturgy and Sacraments • People of God • Church History • Christian Life • Moral Formation • Mission and Justice • Prayer and Spirituality
Church • Liturgy and Sacraments • People of God • Church History
Cross check… • Where are 4 strands and specific topics covered in your SoR program? • Where are 4 strands and specific topics covered in your R & E program?
Sacred Texts: OT knowledge & understanding • Old Testament texts • recurring themes in the texts (e.g. covenant, liberation, preferential option for the poor, restoration, eschatology, parousia, judgement, hope and redemption) • nature of the truth revealed in the text (e.g. historical truth, factual truth, religious truth). • Old Testament texts are used by the Church to form and inform individuals, communities and traditions; assist personal and communal prayer; and provide insights into life and guidance for living
Sacred texts: OTSkills • Apply biblical criticism to explore the particular political, cultural, literary, social and geographical contexts of Old Testament texts. • Examine recurring themes in Old Testament texts in order to evaluate their capacity to impact on Australian culture and lifestyle.
Sacred Texts: NTknowledge & understanding • New Testament texts need to be understood in historical and cultural contexts. • Application of Biblical criticism (exegesis) • The intention of the human author is important in determining the nature of the truth revealed in the text • New Testament texts are used by the Church to form and inform individuals, communities and traditions; assist personal and communal prayer; and provide insights into life and guidance for living
Sacred texts: NTSkills • Use biblical criticism to analyse and draw conclusions about similarities, differences and contradictions in the Synoptic Gospels • Examine stories about Jesus and his teachings and actions in New Testament texts
Sacred Texts: Contemporary spiritual writings • Contemporary Christian spiritual writings reflect the signs of the times in the light of the Gospel and use a variety of mediums and modes of communication to reveal the mystery of God and of life.
Sacred Texts: Contemporary spiritual writings - skills • Identify and describe how the mystery of God and of life is revealed through the message, mediums and modes of contemporary Christian spiritual writers.
Study of Religion • Readings and interpretations of texts • Religion and texts • Texts in context • Visual sacred texts • Social, cultural and political influences on text • Translations of texts • Sacred texts in Australia • Scriptures and strictures • Sacred text as foundation for belief and doctrine • Primary and secondary texts
Liturgy & SacramentsSkills • Analyse some Christian rituals (e.g. marriage, Holy Orders, funerals) using models of ritual analysis, to draw conclusions about the beliefs being expressed and how they meet the spiritual and emotional needs of believers. • Investigate examples of Christian liturgy in order to identify some formal principles and rubrics applied. • Critique examples of Christian liturgy for their capacity toexpress the cultural diversity of believers and encourage their active participation.
People of God • Investigate how and why Christians (individuals or groups, past or present) have used their gifts in the service of God and for the sake of the common good (e.g. social, political or ethical reform; defence of human rights; action for social justice; ecological stewardship).
Church History • Investigate patterns of belief and religious traditions and the ways in which these contribute to shaping and interpreting people’s lives and experiences, past and present. • Examine and account for significant continuity and change in religions in a variety of historical and cultural contexts.