Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
- Develop knowledge and understanding about the nature of and connections between religion and belief systems in local and global contexts, the influence and expression of these belief systems in Australia, and about religious traditions and their adherents
- Demonstrate skills relating to effective gathering, analysing, researching and synthesising of information about various aspects of religion and religious traditions
- Communicate complex religious information, ideas and issues in appropriate forms to different audiences and in different contexts for the purposes of mutual understanding and interfaith connectedness.
- Value and appreciate ethical and socially responsible behaviours which are brought about through empathy for, and acceptance of, religious diversity of beliefs and practices
- Recognise the fundamental rights and responsibilities of religious believers, rules and laws that promote fairness, justice, compassion, wisdom, interfaith relations, and equality in society.
Themes will include a selection of the following:
The nature of religion and beliefs, its worldview, current global contexts, chief characteristics and contributions; Connections between the Indian and Abrahamic traditions; Primal religions, including Australian Aboriginal Beliefs and Spiritualities – The Dreaming, and Contemporary Aboriginal spiritualities; The five major religious traditions of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism, in relation to their – origins, principal beliefs, sacred texts and writings, core ethical teachings, personal devotions, observances, expressions of faith, and current global contexts; Selected religions of ancient origin such as Aztec, Celtic, Shinto, Taoism, or an indigenous religion from outside Australia; Other religious traditions such as Bahai; Religious traditions in Australia pre- and post-1945; Depth studies of the five major religious traditions listed above in terms of their – significant people and ideas, ethics, and significant practices in the life of adherents; The distinctive response of selected traditions to Religion and Peace; The human search for meaning through religion and non-religion; a brief treatment of strategies and ways of knowing to assist teaching of the Syllabus; examination of the potential for each treated tradition to promote mutual understanding, wisdom and personal/communal flourishing; and finally the course requirements for SOR I and II, their assessment and reporting; and preparation of students for their respective HSC exams.