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STUDIES OF RELIGON NOTES

NATURE OF THE RELIGION


WHAT IS RELIGION?
- Something beyond the ordinary, which helps people to map a course through
life’s obstacles and the limitations of human existence.
SUPERNATURAL (TRANSCENDENT) ELEMENT
- Religion has a supernatural dimension; and draws individuals towards the
‘transcendent’
- The word supernatural means ‘above or beyond what is natural or explicable in
terms of natural law or phenomena’.
- Draws us beyond everyday human or natural world
- Comes from the Latin word ‘Transcendere’ which means ‘to climb over or surpass.’
- Points us towards the divine world and beyond the earthly material world.  ◊C
- Enables humans to surpass the limits of their creaturely existence and earthly
concerns to focus on heavenly or spiritual concerns.
- Recognize that there is more to human then being natural or bodily.
- Religions help people find the transcendent.
- Catholic’s believe that human beings have a natural longing or desire for the
supernatural element, who is God.
- It may not be God for all, but all can agree that there is a human longing for
transcendence, for something supernatural and spiritual.
IMMANENT
- Emphasises the presence of God or God’s within human existence, in the day-to-
day, ordinary concerns of life, rather than above and beyond it.
- Healthy approach to religion is a balance between both.
- Christians speak of immanence when said “God is with us”.
WHAT IS A WORLDVIEW?
- Overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world
- Vision of life of life, a framework or set of fundamental beliefs through which we
view the world and our calling and future in it.
- System of understanding that gives a human sense or order and meaning.
SEMITIC RELIGIONS
- Three famous Semitic religions are Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
- ‘Semite’ refers to the offspring of Shem, the son of Noah.
- Same world view: holds belief in divine power
o Believe in one God who exists beyond the human and yet guides humanity
throughout its everyday existence.
- Abraham is the founding father and his God is the one true God.
MONOTHEISM
- Hebrew book of Genesis is accepted as a sacred text.
o Provides the foundation of cosmology
o The natural world is seen as a physical creation and a reality separate from
God, although dependent on God for its continued existence.
o Creation is regarded as good.
REVELATION
- Unique historical events God reveals his will and law to humanity.
- Given in writings in the form of the Hebrew Scriptures, Christian Bible and Islamic
Qur’an.
COMMON EMPHASES
- Regard human beings as capable of transcending the physical limits of the natural
world and so rank humanity as superior to nature.
- Believe individuals have a personal responsibility for their actions in life and are
therefore morally accountable to God for their thoughts and deeds/
- View the created world as a morally good order of existence in which the justice of
God calls for justice in human society.
- See the movement of history not as an endless cycle but rather as a linear
progression from original creation to final redemption.
INDIAN RELIGONS
- Second worldview maintains a belief in a divine being or powers dwelling within
the individual.
- Hinduism and Buddhism emphasise the discovery of spiritual truth from within the
human spirit
- Paul Tillichs definition of religion “the state of being grasped by an ultimate
concern” is relevant in the case of Buddhism, for example, it is important to look
for a Buddhist equivalent of ‘God’ but for an ultimate goal or principle such as
nirvana (state of full wisdom and knowledge).
WISDOM
- Major emphasis on spiritual salvation through wisdom.
o Familiarity with the ultimate truth of life, which include and transcends the
world itself
o Wisdom is direct personal experience of the eternal spiritual reality that
resides with and extends beyond the ordinary nature of things and lives
and minds.
- Emphasise that there is a deeper reality beneath the surface of everyday life.
DELIVERANCE AND THE WORLD
- When wisdom reveals eternal reality, then whoever has that wisdom becomes
united with that reality and they become eternal themselves.
- In that moment of wisdom an individual is change and elevated to become one
with the ultimate reality that transcends the temporariness and other misfortunes
of human existence.
- Reincarnation allows the spirit to gain that additional wisdom to take it to a higher
spiritual plane.
- Semitic is linear, they move through birth in a spiritual journey to the afterlife, but
Indian religions are more of a spiral; through birth, life, death and rebirth, one
ideally grows in wisdom in each life until one reaches the ultimate spiritual plane.
COMPARISON
Immanent:
- Existing within or inherent in something
- Describes God as existing and extending into all parts of the created universe
Transcendent:
- Existing outside the material universe and so not limited by it
- Exceeding the limits of experience and therefore unknowable except hypothetically
ON WHAT THERE IS AND DIVINE NATURE
INDIAN/EASTERN RELIGIONS SEMITIC/WESTERN RELIGIONS
Monism (one kind of reality) Dualism (two kinds of reality, material and
non-material)
All sentient (emotional) beings have value Sharp distinctions are made between
(since they might be reincarnated souls); humans and the rest of the natural world
but their “otherness” is nevertheless (things, animals); between humans and
illusory (false). other spirits (angels)
The Divine is immanent in creation (not The Divine is transcendent, essentially
separate). There are no words for the different from creation. “Father” imagery
Divine. common.
ON CREATION AND CHANGE
INDIAN/EASTERN RELIGIONS SEMITIC/WESTERN RELIGIONS
“Beginning” and “end” of the universe Eschatological outlook: part of theology
pose “questions that do not edify concerned with death, judgement, and the
(enlighten)” final destiny of the soul and of humankind.
(God created the universe and will end it
someday.)
Change is considered an integral part of As in Plato, change is associated with
creation, and does not indicate inferior or degradation and disintegration, especially
degraded being. of the body. Perfect things (e.g. God) are
changeless (“immutable”)
Karma- the universal law of cause and The human world is emphatically not the
effect- imposes forensic continuality; i.e. arena in which we play out our moral
people get what they deserve as part of destiny; we get rewarded or punished for
the very nature of reality. Every birth is the our earthly misdeeds only after we are
result of previous Karma. dead, in another realm of being.

ON HUMAN NATURE
INDIAN/EASTERN RELIGIONS SEMITIC/WESTERN RELIGIONS
The Individual is not really real: the Individual remains the same individual
separateness of humans from creation and through eternity. The ontological (nature
from one another is an illusion to be of being) separateness of the individual
overcome. from others and from creation is real and
permanent.
Human nature is essentially ignorant. We Human nature is essentially sinful. We
become better by becoming more become better by willing control of our
enlightened. sinful impulses.
The human body is an illusion and is The human body is seen as a major
morally a distraction, but is not inherently source of temptation, sin, change, decay.
bad. There is intense ambivalence towards the
body.
Well-developed traditions of bodily Few spiritual practices involve the body,
practices to attain enlightenment (e.g. aside from e.g. fasting and dietary rules.
yoga, breathing techniques). Asceticism Instead the believer is often urged to
(punishment and bodily deprivation) is chastise and discipline the body through
unusual in Eastern religions. ascetic practice.
The good life consists of following dharma The good life consists of obeying the laws
(personal duty which is believed to be one of God and reason (the natural ‘law’).
with universal order and harmony)
Hinduism is radically non-egalitarian: you The Western tradition is moderately
are born into a certain caste and must egalitarian for men. Women and children
adhere to the rule of your sex and caste. generally have lower status.
Buddhism is egalitarian for men, but
women are considered inferior.
ON ENLIGHTMENT
INDIAN/EASTERN RELIGIONS SEMITIC/WESTERN RELIGIONS
The source of enlightenment and Prophets, Popes, Mullahs, etc. conveys
liberation is within the individual. God’s word to ordinary people. Some
forms of Protestantism, however,
emphasize looking within.

Many paths to enlightenment exist. Much Spiritual practice is often aimed at


spiritual practice is aimed at quieting the developing and maintaining a personal
mind to allow enlightenment to happen. relationship with God.
ON LIFE AND DEATH
INDIAN/EASTERN RELIGIONS SEMITIC/WESTERN RELIGIONS
Reincarnation is a central belief. They Problem of evil. Sun us a much more
believe they’ll be coming back, and the serious matter, since you get only one
law of karma will automatically reward the chance at life. Heaven is for humans only,
good and punish the evil in the next animals don’t get saved, sentient
incarnation. Not a lot of worry about eventually gets released.
injustice and victimization.
The goal of the afterlife is release from The goal of the afterlife is released from
ignorance and ultimately, loss of self and the body; the self remains the same self
merger with the Divine. through eternity.
Afterlife traditions vary; moska (liberation Virtuous Mohammed, Jesus and saints as
from the cycle of reincarnation) nirvana role models.
(blowing out the flame of desire), or the
compassionate bodhisattva ideal.

CHARACTERISTICS OF RELIGION
BELIEFS
Beliefs about
- Gods, spirits, angels, demons, ancestors
- Human nature and the natural world. All religions have religious beliefs about what
human beings are, what their relationship is with the world of unseen spiritual
beings, with each other and with the world of nature. Specific beliefs about the
world of nature.
- The way the whole universe is structured. For some there is a world above (world
of God and spiritual beings), this world (world of human beings and nature) and a
world below (evil and dangerous spirits)
- About life. The meaning and purpose of human life and the proper morality that
should be attached to it.
- Very important or sacred people form the past of the religious tradition. Often
founders of the religion or people closely linked to the founders. In some religions
these people are seen as human beings who have specially inspired or reached
the highest human state. In others, they are gods who have taken human form.
- Beliefs about salvation and how human beings go about getting in tune whatever
they see as their centre of their belief system. Centre may be human being, own
true selves or nature.
SACRED STORIES
Religions express their beliefs in abstract statements or creeds. There are different types of
sacred stories
- Myths: stories which set a beginning, at the time when the world was no the way it
is now and deal with questions of origin and creation.
- Legends: stories about sacred or important persons in the history of a religious
tradition.
- Parables: stories have layers of meaning.
SACRED TEXTS
Sacred texts may include writings that are believed to be actual copies of the word of
God, or they may be considered as words written down on by people inspired by God.
Finally, they may simply be words considered to be holy, devout and wise. Most texts may
be other writings that are also very important in the tradition and almost the same
authority.
RITUALS
A ritual is a prescribed pattern of religious behaviour. They contain definite structures and
use symbols to make them work.
- Rites of passage are rituals which move people from one state to another (single
to married)
- Rites of communication are rituals which bring about communication between
people and their Gods, spirits or the other world
- Rites of demarcation are rituals which establish some space, person, animal or
object as holy.
- Rites of memorial are rituals which make present special moments of the past.
- Rites of cleansing are rituals which restore people to an original state of innocence
Behind any ritual lie a wealth of stories and beliefs.
SACRED SYMBOLS
- All religions have their symbols.
- Attempt to capture in visual form something that is important or central to the
tradition.
- Visual summary of the whole religion
SOCIAL STRUCTURES
They include:
- Sacred time: whenever a religious community gathers to participate in religious
activity.
- Sacred space: where a religious community gathers to participate in religious
activity.
- Sacred persons: past and present. Legendary heroes, founder and saints who are
instrumental to the religion’s history and tradition. E.g. Jesus, Buddha also priests
and ministers.
RELIGIOUS ETHICS
- All religions have some sort of code of approved moral conduct.
- May be derived through sacred, texts, doctrines or traditional leadership.
- What is regarded good and evil varies from religion to religion.
EXPERIENCE (BELIEVER)
- When a person participates in a ritual, knows the underlying story, holds to the
underpinning beliefs, is conscious of sacred time and space and relies on the
effectiveness of sacred persons, they are open to a religious experience.
CONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY
- Art: religious inspired artworks
- Architecture: Greek Church, Mosque, Shinto Shrine, Tori Gates, Churches, Temples.
- Meaning and Purpose: charities (St Vincent De Pau, Muslim Aid), looks at areas of
great need, refugee’s, medical assistance and homecare, reconciliation of
indigenous.
- Law: Australia secular country, Christian nation, Hallal: Islam, Kosher: Judaism, Prior
to 1986, Catholics did not eat red meat on ANY Friday, Good Friday, Ash
Wednesday no meat, Islamic state laws drive society.
ABORIGINAL SPIRITUALITY
THE NATURE OF THE DREAMING
- The dreaming is meta-temporal, that is it incorporates the past, present and future
into a complete and present reality.
- The dreamtime is not the preferred word, dreaming is more about land and
relationships than time.
The dreaming refers to:
- The period of creativity, the time of the earths formations
- The relationships that were a product of this period between the land the people
and other creatures.
- Central and foundational that links all others together
- Past, present and future meta-temporal.
The dreaming
- Explains how things came to be and how people are to interact
- Shows how the earth is life giving and how to continue this in the future
- Is inextricably linked to the land, as the land is the physical medium through which
the dreaming is communicated. It is from the land that the dreaming lows with
stories of ancestor spirits which explain different aspects of creation.
- Centre of Aboriginal religion and life.
- The past lives on in ceremonies and rituals that have passed down by word of
mouth from generation to generation
ORIGINS OF THE UNIVERSE
- The dreaming details the origins of the universe- world order comes from all those
events in which the Ancestral Beings travel and transformed themselves into sites.
- Stories, songs, art and ceremonies recall these journeys.
THE FOUNDATION OF ABORINIAL RELIGON IS IN THE DREAMING STORIES OF
CREATION
- Before time there was only formless mass of dark and featureless matter
- Then came the dreaming, when the spirit ancestors arose from their eternal sleep
and formed the landscape
- They created the natural world and living creatures including people
- After completing their creative tasks, the totem ancestors were once again
overcome by weariness and they returned to their original slumber.
- The spirit ancestors created the natural world and living creatures including people
- The dreaming is not considered a myth by the Aboriginals
BELIEFS ARISING FROM THE DREAMING
- Ancestral beings have the left the world full of sings
- Humans are valuable in themselves
- Religious rituals relate the conservation and renewal of life
- Material life is under a discipline of behaviour and action- this includes people.
- Life is to be celebrated- mixture of joy and happiness
- Rituals convey a sense of mystery

IMPORTANCE OF THE LAND


- Central to Dreaming
- Dreaming links person to the land and object of the land
- Connects people to their rights, responsibility- need to have respect for land
- Land and Dreaming interdependent/interconnected: people share the same
spiritual essence of the land. No land = dreaming becomes a series of stories,
hopes and values
DREAMING TELLS OF:
- Beginning= Aboriginal World View
- Spirit Beings and their activity over time
- Interconnection and interconnectedness of these beings: how they acted to shape
the physical world in order to affect creates and physical landscape.
- Influence of these beings on human relationships and their relationship with the
world around them.
THE DREAMING….
- Allows Aboriginals to understand themselves and their world
- Shows how the Spirit Beings are responsible for the shaping of the world, the land,
the plants.
- Spirits are present in sacred sites
- Relationships for the values of the people and set the law for mutual and respectful
cohabitation.
SACRED SITES
- Share inextricable connection to the environment
- Relationships are further strengthened through Totemism
o A plant, animal or natural object that has become the emblem of an
individual or group.
- The belief that an animal or feature of the natural world is an embodiment of the
individual in his or her primordial state, is known as totemism.
- The land is a physical medium through which the dreaming is lived and
communicated
- Sacred sites are those of great significance as they are connected with the events
of the dreaming.
- Other sacred sites are significant because of their various uses e.g. burial grounds
and ceremonial meeting places.
- Sacred sites are those of great significance as they are connected with the events
of the dreaming.
- Knowledge of Sacred sites is limited. This knowledge is rarely available to the wider
community unless sites are threatened with destruction.
STORIES OF THE DREAMING
- Embodiment of truth and are the basis of their connection with the land
- Authenticity of stories are never questioned.
- Stories aren’t written down, instead are found within the environment.

THE DREAMING IS ABOUT THE PRESENT:


- Gives meaning to relationships between people and the land in this present time
- Repetition of the stories ensures that culture and religion continue exist
- Loss of stories=loss of culture and values ad meaning established by these stories
THE DREAMING TODAY:
- Vital to preservation of Aboriginal culture, language and traditions
- Teaching the youth of today about traditional Aboriginal culture and ward off
Western Ways.
- Hard for urban Aboriginals who have separated from the land and culture for an
extended period of time.
o Victims of assimilation, segregation and the Stolen Generation
ABORIGINAL SYMBOLISM AND ART
- Expressed through sacred objects, paintings, sites, oral musical and dance
traditions
- Multiple layers of meaning found within Aboriginal art
o 1st layer: open and accessible to art
o 2nd and further layers: not so obvious and require experience.
o 3rd layers: secret/sacred- only available to elders. Includes stories with all
details, meanings and significance.
- Art provides knowledge or sites, food types, water, behaviour and beings, wrongs
and rights
- Provides survival skills and knowledge of plants and animals
- Is used during ceremonies and to strengthen kinship ties
- Forms include: body art, carved trees, rock art, bark painting, and funerary poles
DIVERSITY OF ABORIGINAL PEOPLE
- People, but diverse people, diversity of understanding -> the dreaming means
different things to different groups.
- Land is central to dreaming for all
INEXTRICABLE CONNECTION TO THE LAND
- Dreaming is inextricable connected to the land, as the land is the physical medium
through which the dreaming is communicated, since it is within the land that then
ancestral spirits of the dreaming continue to dwell.
- Dreaming is meta-temporal meaning it is a concept that incorporates the past,
present and the future reality as a complete and present reality.
- The influence of the Dreaming is embedded in all aspects of the Aboriginal life.
The different facets of Aboriginal life, from the ceremonial dimension of life, to the
ritualistic obligations owed to the land and people, as well as the intricate kinship
system are in intrinsically connected to and are derived from the dreaming.
- The dreaming is the foundation of Aboriginal spirituality, providing a basis upon
which kinship systems, traditions, rituals and ceremonies are built.

RELIGIONS OF THE WORD

JUDAISM
SYLLABUS- ORIGINS
- Abraham and the Covenant - Outline the life of Abraham
- Moses, the Exodus and the giving - Describe the Covenant with the
of the Torah Patriarchs, including the promises
- Modern Judaism of a people and a land
o Conservative Judaism - Outline the story of the Exodus and
o Orthodox Judaism the giving of the Law at Sinai,
o Progressive Judaism including the ten commandments
- Outline the unique features of:
o Conservative Judaism
o Orthodox Judaism
o Progressive Judaism

ABRAHAM AND THE COVENANT


- Origins of the religion are traced back to significant figures = patriarchs.
- Born into a polytheistic culture
- Came to believe that the entire universe was work of a single Creator
(monotheism) and he began to teach this belief to others
- Abraham (1’st ) received the promise of God: “they would be ancestors of
descendants that would number as many as the stars in the sky” Genesis 15:5
- This promise, known as Covenant, expresses the commitment of God to the
people known as the Hebrews or the people of Israel. It is from this people that
Judaism stems.
ABRAHAM’S BACKGROUND
- The Patriarch Abraham was originally known as Abram.
- He lived a semi nomadic life
- He was the shepherd son of Terah and brother of Nahor and Haran.
- In keeping with the customs of patriarchal societies of the ancient near east the
names of female family members were not recorded.
- Thus the names of Abraham’s mother and any sisters are not known.
ABRAHAM’S FIRST ENCOUNTER WITH GOD
- He will become the head of a great nation
- God will provide him with a land of his own, the Promised Land of Canaan.
- God then instructs him to leave his own territory in southern Mesopotamia
- Abraham experienced the call of God in which he received the promise of being
blessed and becoming a great nation
- Abram was subjected to ten tests of faith to prove his worthiness for this covenant.
Abraham’s encounters with God:
God’s promise of descendants
- Later, due to a famine Abraham and his family travelled to Egypt and then to
Hebron.
- Abraham again experienced an encounter with God in which he received the
promise of a great reward (Genesis 15:1).
- During this encounter with God Abraham laments that his marriage to Sarah has
not seen the birth of any children and that he had no heir to inherit all that God
had promised to him.
- It is here that God promises that Abraham's descendants would number as
many as the stars in the sky (Genesis 15:5).
Covenant of circumcision
- After the birth of Ishmael God appeared once again to Abraham.
- Led to the Covenant known as the Covenant of circumcision.
- Abraham once again experienced God’s promise that he would be the ancestor of
many and that his offspring would live in the land of Canaan.
Abraham’s covenantal obligations
- In this covenant Abraham is called to walk in the presence of God and be
blameless (Genesis 17:1).
- His name is also changed from Abram to Abraham and his wife's name is
changed from Sarai to Sarah.
- In Genesis verses 9-14 Abraham is commanded that he and his descendants must
keep the Covenant with God throughout the ages and that circumcision is to be
the sign of this Covenant.
Isaac
- In the context of this Covenant Abraham is told that he will indeed have his own
son with Sarah, this despite the fact that they are already of advanced years. The
Covenant made with Abraham is to be passed on through his son who is to be
named Isaac.
- Despite the promise of the Covenant, considerable time passes before Sarah
becomes pregnant and gives birth to the son who is named Isaac. In keeping with
the Covenant Isaac was circumcised when he was eight days old.
Sacrifice of Isaac
- Later God calls Abraham to take his son Isaac to the land of Moriah and offer him
as a holocaust.
- The tradition shows that Abraham is obedient to God’s call and takes his son to
the place where he is to be sacrificed.
- As they approach the designated place Isaac asks his father where the animal is for
the holocaust.
- Abraham replies saying “God will provide” (Genesis 22:8).
- Abraham continues with the preparations to sacrifice Isaac until at the last moment
an angel of God intervened and instructed Abraham not to sacrifice Isaac.
Renewal of the promise of land and descendants
- In response to Abraham’s obedience the angel declares that because of
Abraham’s fidelity in not withholding his son he would be blessed abundantly and
that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars of the sky and the sands
of the seashore, that he would possess the land promised to him and that through
his descendants all the nations of the earth would find blessing (Genesis 22:15-18).
COVENANT WITH THE PATRIARCHS, INCLUDING THE PROMISES OF A PEOPLE AND A
LAND
- Covenant: central to understanding the relationship between God and people of
Israel. Agreement or contract between 2 people.
- Importance of covenant – lies at heart of Jewish religion – expresses intimate
relationship between God and people of Israel
- Patriarchs = “the forefathers of Jews”
- Covenant with the patriarchs -> an act which welds together God and the chosen
people, the Hebrews
o if they do what God asks of them, they will be rewarded greatly.
- Principally the Covenant with the Patriarchs is an act which welds together God
and the chosen people, the Hebrews.
- The Covenant involves a relationship between God and the Hebrews where the
people are required to live according to the law prescribed by God and in return
they are assured of God’s blessing and protection.
ABRAHAM’S COVENANT
- Occurs in a series of encounters with God (Genesis 12-17)
- Begins with the call of Abraham (Genesis 12:1), where he is called by God to leave
his own territory and move to the land shown.
o by doing so, the call includes the promise of Abraham becoming a great
nation.
- Genesis 15 = a further encounter -> God ensures Abraham that his descendants
would number the stars in the sky.
- First Element: Abraham’s descendants would be numerous and would lead to
formation of a great nation
- Second Element: possession of a promised land. It is the biblical land of Canaan
which is the modern day state of Israel.
- This covenant is seen in turn with the birth of Isaac whose son Jacob is the father
of the 12 sons of Israel
- The third encounter, found in chapter 17, has Abraham being called to walk in the
presence of God and be blameless (Genesis 17:1).
- His name is also changed from Abram to Abraham and his wife’s name is changed
from Sarai to Sarah.
- In Genesis verses 9-14 Abraham is commanded that he and his descendants must
keep the Covenant with God throughout the ages and that circumcision is to be
the sign of this Covenant.
ISAAC’S COVENANT
- God establishes the covenant with Isaac because his father Abraham obeyed and
followed God.
- Found in Genesis 17:1 for Abraham being called to walk in the presence of God
and blameless.
- In Genesis verse 9-14 -> Abraham is commanded that his descendants and him
must keep the covenant with God and that circumcision is to be this sign of the
covenant.
- The elements of the covenant are later confirmed in response to Abraham’s
obedience in relation to the sacrifice of his Son Isaac.
- Isaac inherits what Abraham essentially lived, and passes this covenant on to his
Son, Jacob.
JACOBS COVENANT
- Third patriarch, whose story is told in the book of Genesis (25:19) to the end of the
book
- Jacob and his brother Esau were at war with each other even before birth, where
they struggled in Rebecca’s womb.
- Esau was Isaac’s favourite, yet had little regard for the spiritual heritage of his
forefathers.
- Sold his spiritual leadership to Jacob
- Jacobs covenant is seen through Abraham.
2 key elements of promise - descendants and land
- The Covenant with Abraham has two essential elements of promise.
- The first is that Abraham’s descendants would be numerous and would lead to the
formation of a great nation.
- This promise was made at a time when the marriage of Abraham and Sarah
remained childless and when they were both beyond childbearing age.
- The second element of the Covenant promise is the possession of a promised
land.
- This land is the biblical land of Canaan which is the modern day state of Israel and
the Palestinian territories.
- The Covenant with Abraham is seen in effect immediately with the birth of Isaac
whose son Jacob is the father of twelve sons who are identified with the twelve
tribes of Israel.
- These twelve tribes are the loose confederation which is ultimately united under
the monarchy of Saul, David and Solomon.
Fidelity to the Covenant
- In order to inherit the blessings of the Covenant, the people of Israel are required
to remain faithful to the requirements of the Covenant.
- These requirements are originally expressed in simple terms such as the call of
Abraham to “walk in the presence of God and be blameless” (Genesis 17:1).
- It is also from the time of Abraham that circumcision was required as a sign of the
Covenant.
- The requirements of Covenant fidelity were later expressed more fully at Sinai with
the giving of the Torah to Moses.
- The keeping of the Mitzvot of the Torah is now the fundamental measure of
fidelity to the Covenant.
MOSES, THE EXODUS AND GIVING OF THE TORAH
Historical Context
- Tradition of the exodus begins with Hebrews.
- Oppression of the Hebrews reached a high point with the decree of the Pharaoh
to execute any male Hebrew child (Exodus 1:15-22)
- Having killed an Egyptian who was beating one of the Hebrews, Moses was forced
to flee to save his life taking refuge in Midian.
Encounter with God
- In the course of his sojourn in Midian, Moses experienced and extraordinary
encounter with God in the story of the burning bush at Horeb (Exodus 3:1-22).
- This encounter comes in the form of God calling Moses for the mission of
liberating the Hebrew people from their captivity in Egypt.
- God is announced to Moses as “God of your father. the God of Abraham, the God
of Isaac, the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6).
Moses’ Mission
- God announces that Moses is to be the one to lead the people out of Egypt.
- Moses believes he isn’t capable
- God responds “I will be with you: and this shall be your proof that it is I who have
sent you: when you bring my people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this
very mountain” (Exodus 3:12)
- God is revealed to Moses.
- Name is regarded as sacred in Jewish tradition and is not spoken out of reverence.
Petitions to the Pharaoh
- Moses and brother Aron petitioned pharaoh to release Hebrews from slavery =
refused.
- God then sent Moses back to pharaoh with threat of catastrophe.
- Rejected again = plagues (Exodus 7:25-10:29).
Final Plague
- After 9th plague, god instructed Moses to prepare for 10 th - death of first born
- They were to sacrifice a lamb (common practice) and paint the blood on the door
posts of the house to show it belongs to a Hebrew.
- Night: angel of the Lord passed through land bringing about the death o the first
born to every house not marked with blood.
- The Passover ritual in Judaism = “Passing over” of Hebrew houses during death of
first born
- Passover ritual = most significant in jewish calendar.
- Following the death of the first born, Pharaoh relented and allowed the Hebrews
to go free.
- After the Hebrews had begun to escape, Pharaoh changed his mind and sent his
army in pursuit of the fleeing Hebrews.
Crossing the Red Sea
- Pursuit climaxed at red sea
- Moses was instructed by God, to stretch out his staff over the water
- Parted = allowing Hebrews to cross
- Egyptian army tried to take the same path, yet Moses extended out his hand and
closed the sea, drowning the Egyptians (Exodus 14:21-28)
The Exodus
- The process of the Hebrew people being liberated from their captivity in Egypt.
- Defining moment, and seen as the foundation of their tradition
- People experience the saving grace of God overcoming oppression and leading to
freedom
o They are God’s chosen people
Liberation in Jewish Ethics
- Defines the ethics of Judaism in rejecting oppression and working towards
liberation of all people
- After red sea, people were sustained in wilderness where God tested their faith
(Exodus 19)
- They continued journeying in the desert  until reached Mount Sinai
Sinai Covenant
- Exodus 19: begins climatic experience of Moses’ encounter with God
- Begins with the reiteration of the covenant made with Abraham
o “If you listen to my voice and keep my covenant you shall be my special
possession, dearer to me than all other people. You shall be to me a
kingdom of priests, a holy nation” (Exodus 19:5-6).
- Here, Moses receives the 10 commandments (Exodus 20:1-17)
- Commandments = beginning of Sinai law, which is the Torah, very heart of the
Jewish tradition
- Torah spells out the expected response of the Jewish people to the requirements
of the covenant.
613 Mitzvot
- 10 commandments are followed by numerous laws governing all aspects of life.
- Interspersed amongst these laws = statements ratifying the covenant (Exodus
24:1-11)
- There are 613 Mitzvot of the Torah which are required to be followed by
observant Jews.
- They are the basis of the actions of jewish people in relation to every aspect of life
o Govern religious ritual, relationships, dietary requirements and other
concerns.

MODERN JUDAISM
ORTHODOX JUDAISM
- Name given to what has been the mainstream rabbinic Judaism for centuries.
- Characterized by a strict observance of the commandments
- See the commandments/Mitzvot as the direct will of God.
- Two distinct groups:
Ultra-Orthodox Judaism
- Believes that the only way to ensure the survival of Jewish people and its religion is
to impose a strict separation on jews from participating with secular society.
- Has hardened in in response to the growing influence held by Progressive and
Conservative Judaism.
- Hassidic Jews: example of variant
- Recognisable by their distinctive dress.
Modern Orthodox Judaism
- While ultra-orthodox seek to keep themselves separate from influences of culture,
Modern Orthodox
- Judaism is immersed in the surrounding culture, while maintain observance of the
Torah.
- Among modern communities, Jews are involved in a range of professions.
- Involved in most aspects of modern community life.
- They seek to maintain observance of the Torah through carefully attending to the
dietary, ritual and ethical requirements of the tradition.
CONSERVATIVE JUDAISM
- Began in Germany in the mid to late nineteenth century as a reaction towards
reform Judaism and its rejection of halakhic practice.
- Radical Reform Jews broke away from Reform Judaism in the belief that they were
still bound to follow the ritual law, that is, that they were still bound to follow the
halakhah.
- As a consequence, Conservative Judaism still holds the Oral Law as the
authoritative source for halakhah.
Comparison with Orthodox Judaism
- The core belief of Conservative Judaism is the belief that the ritual law whilst
binding is open to interpretation and it is up to each new generation to make the
halakhic law applicable to the age.
- That is not to suggest that the application of the halakhic laws is purely arbitrary.
- In fact, Torah study involves a rigorous study of the socio-cultural conditions in
which it was written and consequently, how it can be applied to the modern times.
- both acknowledge the importance of the halakhah in regulating the day to day life
of a Jew, yet
- Conservative Jews believe that the interpretation of these laws are ever-evolving
and capable of being adjusted to contemporary needs.
- This is based on the understanding that the halakhah itself is a product of the
socio-cultural conditions of the time and not set in concrete.
- Thus, Conservative Judaism has joined with the Reform and Reconstructionist
groups within Judaism in some of its reforms such as ordaining women as rabbis
and cantors.
Other notable features
- Other distinguishing features of Conservative Judaism include the fact that it holds
services in the vernacular and includes prayers in the vernacular at other times
when most of the service is in Hebrew.
- Like Reform groups, Conservative synagogues use the organ in services.
- Conservative Judaism also emphasises the importance of the land of Israel and the
continuation of the Jewish tradition.
PROGRESSIVE JUDAISM
- Moreover, Reform Judaism developed in the nineteenth century, Germany, as a
result of the experience of the Haskalah, also known as the Jewish enlightenment.
- It is characterised by its rejection of the concept of divine revelation as a direct
dictation of the tanach by God.
- Reform Judaism holds the core belief that the Torah was written by divinely
inspired human beings, but not binded in a literal sense, since its not the literal
word of God.
- This amounted in the movement away from strict halakhic observance, such as
laws regulating dietary requirements.
- Reform Judaism throughout its history, has also established reforms in terms of
ritual practice.
- The introduction of religious service in the vernacular of the community, instead of
Hebrew, as well as allowing men and women sitting together during worship.
- In more recent times, Reform Judaism has also pioneered and pushed for the
ordination of women, the use of the organ in services, the Bat Mitzvah and the
confirmation ceremony.
- Reform Judaism in modern times is also recognised for its active involvement in
social justice issues.
SYLLABUS- PRINCIPAL BELEIFS
- Belief in a single God who is the - Discuss the belief in the one God
creator and ruler of the universe and the attributes of God
- The concept of a moral law - Outline the concept of a divinely
prescribed by God inspired moral law
- The idea of the Covenant - Identify the importance of the
Covenant to Jewish people
BELIEF IN A SINGLE GOD
GOD IS ONE
- There is only one God
- God is indivisible
- God is unique
SHEMA PRAYER
- The centrality of this belief is reflected in the prayer the Shema,
o “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one” Deuteronomy 6:4
- May be described as Israel’s declaration of faith reflecting Judaism’s monotheistic
nature.
- God is all powerful and the source of all creation.
GOD IS ETERNAL
- God has always existed and will always exist
- God is the source of all creation
- Human beings are being created by God
- God will exist even after creation ceases to exist
- The ultimate destiny of human beings lies with God in eternity.
GOD IS OMNIPRESENT
- God is everywhere and is intimately involved with humankind
o Highlights that God is intimately concerned with humankind and human
concerns. While he is understood as transcendent, he is also known as one
who intervenes in human history and acts on behalf of the oppressed
- God’s intervention in history is most evident in the account of the Exodus
o The liberation from slavery in Egypt is regarded as the foundational and
defining moment in Jewish history.
GOD IS OMNIPOTENT
- God is all powerful and all-knowing
o There is nothing that God cannot achieve and nothing that God cannot
prevent. Since this, God therefore must also know and be able to change
what may happen in the future.
o God can change future events
- Exodus is an affirmation of Gods power
o The events of Exodus demonstrate that no obstacle is too great for God to
overcome.
- Free will and God’s knowledge
o Difficult to reconcile the notion that Gods knows and can control the future
with the concept that human beings have free will
o Maimonides said that we cannot sufficiently answer this question because
human knowledge is finite, whereas God’s knowledge is infinite.
o Rabbi Moses Maimonides: attempted to summarise the fundamental beliefs
of Judaism, these were later written down in the form of the ‘Thirteen
Articles of Faith’ this if often used as a summary of common Jewish beliefs.
o Four key areas
 God: humanity’s relationship with God, the creation of purpose
 Communication: prophecy, written
 Accountability: reward and punishment
 Messianic Era: coming of the Messiah, revival of the dead
o If all these areas of belief are addressed and adhered to then Jews will have
managed: achievement of purpose, that is God’s Will will be done and the
world will be a better place.

GOD IS PURE OF SPIRIT


- God is manifested throughout the universe
- The anthropomorphic depictions of God (hand of God, eye of God) are rationally
unsound because the finite limit of human knowledge is unable to comprehend
the full nature of God.
- Human beings cannot know God through direct means
- Human beings come to understand the nature of God as being pure spirit through
mediate knowledge such as witnessing his intervention in human history, creation
and the sacred texts.
MORAL LAW
- God gave Jews a code of ethics which is intended to guide them in relation to
ethical decision making in keeping with their dignity as God’s creation.
- Since theological understanding is secondary to practice in Judaism, the primary
responsibility of Jews is to study the Torah, which the principal source of God’s
revelation, in order to behave appropriately in response to moral questions.
PRACTICAL OBSERVANCE
Judaism is essentially a practical religion lived through the observance of God’s law
- Orthodox Judaism: the moral code laid down by God is complete and non-
evolving in its application to all situations for the past, present and future
- Main role of Talmudic scholars and halakhic lawyers is to find the exact authority
within the text to justify behaviour for the case at hand.
FINDING MEANING FOR NEW SITUATIONS
- Progressive Judaism: the Written Torah is open to some re-interpretation in light of
changing circumstances as the text does not represent the literal word of God.
MORAL CODE AND THE TORAH
- Progressive Judaism: place greater emphasis on the broad principles established in
the moral to guide ethical decision making in new situations
- Orthodox Judaism: all solutions are contained in the sacred text
CORE PRINCIPLES
- Progressive Judaism: distil the core principles and apply to new and changing
situations
UNIVERSAL ACCEPTANCE OF THE MORAL CODE
- Strong consensus among Jewish groups is that the purpose of this divinely inspire
moral law is to ensure human beings live in such a manner so as to enhance and
not diminish their own God given dignity or the dignity of another.
TEN COMMANDEMENTS
- Most basic formulation of moral law
- Aim is to lay down a path for humans to follow, so that they can relate to another
in a way that is in accordance with their creation as God’s creatures.
OBLIGATION TO INTERVENE ON BEHALF OF OTHERS
- The theme of liberation from oppression, as drawn from the events of the exodus
underpins the moral code provided by God.
- Message from Exodus: people should live in freedom and nothing should deny it.
THE IDEA OF THE COVENANT
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE COVENANT
- The covenant, which lies at the heart of Jewish religion, is a series of agreements recorded in the
Hebrew bible between God and the people of Israel.
- Importance: cannot be overestimates because the Covenant, which is the cornerstone of Judaism, is
the living expression of the relationship between God and the people of Israel
Four main expressions of the Covenant made between God and the people of Israel:
INDIVIDUAL GODS PROMISE OBLIGATION BLESSINGS/CURSES SIGN OF THE
COVENANT
Noah God saves Noah Noah and his family are God will exact Rainbow
and his family from called to live in God’s vengeance for wrongful
the flood image and to walk in acts. However, if Noah is
God’s path by caring faithful to his covenantal
for the earth, obligations, then a
humankind and all of disaster (flood) will
creation. happen again.
Abraham Abraham’s Abraham is obliged to Brit Milah
descendants will be walk in God’s way, by (circumcision)
as numerous as the living a righteous and
stars; he will be just way.
head of great
nation. Will be
given a land of
their own, the land
of Canaan
(Promise land)
Moses and the Liberates the Hebrews were obliged IMPORTANCE Animal
People of Hebrews from to accept the Ten This covenant is the sacrifice to
Israel slavery in Egypt Commandments foundational even in the God
history of Judaism.
Essentially a reflection of
the Israelites discovering
a God who is interested
in their welfare and gave
them an identity by
intervening in their fate
Implication of belief: the
people of Israel discover
they are the Chosen
people. Shows God’s
care for the people in
granting them freedom.
David God chooses the David has to walk in
humble shepherd God’s way by being a
David to become a just and fair ruler
powerful and
victorious king.
KEY THEMES DERIVED
- Notion of exile and restoration
- Reflected where the people are blessed when they are faithful, and suffer when they’re not.
FOUR MAIN EXPRESSIONS:
- God is always faithful even when the people turn their backs to God and the Covenant
- The observance of the Mitzvot is important as it is the primary means to keep the requirements of the
Sinai Covenant.
SYLLABUS- SACRED TEXTS AND WRITING
- The Hebrew Scriptures - Identify importance of the:
o The Hebrew Bible o The Hebrew Bible
o The Talmud o The Talmud
- Examine extracts from the Hebrew
Scriptures which demonstrate the
principle beliefs of Judaism
SACRED TEXTS AND WRITINGS
- In Judaism it is through the sacred Texts that the clarity of the meaning of the
covenantal relationship between God and Jewish people is explained
- The principal beliefs of Judaism is repeated throughout the sacred texts and
writings
- Foremost importance of Judaism: recounts history and literature of the Jewish for
over 2000 years.
Mishah
TALMU
TENAKH
D
Gemara
TENAKH
- Hebrew Bible, made up of three sections
o First section: Jewish law
o Second section: books of the prophets
o Third section: collection of other writings (Wisdom literature)
TORAH
- Most important part of Jewish scripture
- Another name is Pentateuch
- Made up of first five books of the bible
o Genesis
o Exodus
o Leviticus
o Numbers
o Deuteronomy
- The Torah is the first most important source of Jewish teachings. The Torah gives a
detailed set of practical guidelines and ideals for Jewish everyday life.
- Orthodox Jews believe the five books are the literal word of God as heard and
recorded by Moses
- In Judaism, Moses is the law giver (Halachah)
- It is through the teachings of the Torah that a Jew is guided on the path of
righteousness in life and drawn to God.
- Reading and studying the Torah is important is an integral part of Jewish religion
and way of life.
IMPORTANCE OF THE TORAH
- Includes the Covenant between God and the people of Israel
- Sets the laws that Jewish people must follow to keep the Covenant
- Includes the 613 mitzvot (commandments) which when followed a Jew is guided
on the path of righteousness to life, relationship with God and others.
BOOKS OF THE TORAH
- Genesis
o Tells of creation of the world and the Covenant between God, Abraham
and his decedents
- Exodus
o Moses leading the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt and the 10
commandments
- Leviticus
o Rules of conduct for an ethical and religious life
- Numbers
o Difficult journey of the Israelites in the desert
- Deuteronomy
o Repeats the 10 commandments, story of death of Moses, promise land
NEVI’IM
- Second section of the Tenakh contains the books of Nevi’im or the prophets
- Longest section of the Hebrew bible which is broken up into 2:
o First prophets: Generally, spoke to the people as a whole community as
they were committed to following the Covenant with God (Joshua, judges,
1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings)
o Last prophets: show a stronger sense of the individual within the
community. A persons fat was determined by their actions (Isiah, Jeremiah,
Ezekiel, Twelve minor prophets)
- The word prophet means ‘one who speaks on behalf of another; namely God in
religious terms
- The prophets gave instructions to the Hebrews on conduct, goals and warnings
about certain outcomes. They often pleaded Israel to remain faithful to God and
the Covenant
- The first and greatest prophet was Moses

IMPORTANCE
- Supports the Torah
- It stands as a reminder of staying faithful to the Covenant and its obligations
KETUVIM
- The third section of the Torah
- Divided into three categories:
o Group A: Psalms, Proverbs, Jobs
o Group B: Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 and 2 Chronicles
o The Five Scrolls: Song of songs, Ruth, Esther, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes
- Contain a variety of styles of writing found nowhere else in the Tenakh
- Consists poems, songs, prose, spiritual yearnings and truths about God
- Addresses question of ‘why bad things happen to good people’
- Each of the five scrolls is read on a particular feast day e.g. Ruth at Shavout, story
about harvest time
IMPORTANCE OF KETUVIM
- Expresses practical wisdom and supports the Torah
- Important in the role of wisdom and prayer
TALMUD
- Second most important source of Jewish law and lore
- It’s a compendium of faith, which includes stories, traditions, customs and laws that
is used to interpret the Torah by applying it to everyday life situations
- The Talmud takes into account the contemporary situations
- Rabbi’s inform adherents how to cope with problems

MISHNA
TALMUD
GEMARA

MISHNAH
- First part of the Talmud completed around 200 CE
- Means ‘to explain through repetition and discussion’
- After the destruction of the Second Temple, the rabbis feared that some traditional
practices might be forgotten, they interpreted the Torah and came up with the
Mishnah so it would be applied to temporary law.
- Divided into six sections
o Laws of prayer and agriculture
o Laws of Sabbath and Holy days
o Laws of marriage and divorce and the status of women
o Civil and criminal laws
o Laws about the temple
o Laws about ritual cleanliness
GEMARA
- Completed around 400-500 CE
- Means ‘to summarise and complete issues raised by the Mishnah’
- Although the Mishnah addressed most traditional Jewish practices, some aspects
needed further explanation as a way of clarifying the oral law. Therefore the
Gemara was developed.
HALAKHAH
- Legal component of the Talmud
- Comprised of the rules and laws for living
- Means ‘going or walking’
- Detailed interpretation and application of the 613 mitzvot which enables them to
know the appropriate response to situations in life.
HAGGADAH
- Includes all stories, narrations and legends etc.
- Provides wisdom and insight into principles of Jewish life, does not have
prescriptive of legal requirements like the Halakhah

APPLICATION TO PRINCIPLE BELIEFS


BELIEF WHERE APPLICATION
God is one Shema- Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Empathetic reminder of centrality
“hear O Israel, the Lord our God, of the notion of the monotheism
the Lord is One.” of Judaism. There is to be no
doubt or confusion concerning
the oneness of God. Shema is
the declaration of faith
God is eternal God as a creator- Isiah 45:12 Reminds the Jewish people of
“It was I who made the earth and the eternal character of God
created mankind upon..” during when they were suffering
in exile. It is an example of
important element in the Jewish
belief which refuses to let go of a
belief in the everlasting
goodness of God despite the
worst of circumstances
God is omnipresent God as an ever-present Conveys the idea that God is
companion- Psalm 139:4 ever-present and all knowing. It
“Even before a word is on my explores various ways of
tongue, behold, o Lord, you acknowledging God’s presence
know the whole of it” and omniscience

God is all powerful Song of Moses Exodus 15:1-18 Events following the parting of
the red sea. Ability to manipulate
nature is a classic sign of power
and the witness of this event was
a confirmation for the Hebrew
people of the awesome power of
God.
God is pure spirit Creation stories Genesis 1:1-2:4 In this period before the first act
of creation there is no form and
yet God exists. This accounts for
the beginning of creation attests
to the existence of God without
form and provides an initial basis
for the belief that God is pure
spirit.
The Moral Law Moral requirements are clear Clear understanding in the
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 Jewish tradition that God has set
down a way of living which is
giving and sustaining. It is clear
and and unequivocal in its
requirements. This is the moral
law set down the Torah which
expresses the Covenant.
The Covenant Land and descendants Genesis The belief of the covenant is
17:4 & 17:8 fundamental for understanding
Judaism as it underpins all beliefs
regarding the expectations of
Jewish life.
SYLLABUS- CORE ETHICAL TEACHINGS
- The Commandments of the Torah - Outline the principal ethical
- The prophetic vision teachings of Judaism
- The book of proverbs- wisdom, o The Commandments of the
righteousness, purity and Torah
generosity of spirit. o The prophetic Vision,
including social justice and
Tikkun Olam- the repair of
the world
o The Book of Proverbs-
wisdom, righteousness,
purity and generosity of
spirit.
o Describe the importance of
ethical teachings in the life
of adherents

THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE TORAH


- 613 commandments (mitzvoth) in the Hebrew Bible
- In modern society it has become hard to obey all as most are in regards to the
land of Israel and/or when a temple in Jerusalem is standing.
- These commandments were believed to be handed down from Jesus on Mount
Sinai, to Moses, who then spread the news to the adherents.
- “honour your mother and father” most well-known.
o Not only respect parents but teachers and others who are providing an
individual with knowledge and wisdom.
- Most important remember the Sabbath day
- Ten most famous are divided between those concerning people’s relationships
with God and with each other. The first four or five concern human relationships
with God, while the others how humans should behave towards one another.
- The remaining 306 commandments are rules for how Jews should live, touch on
every aspect of life. Most interesting
o Do not embarrass another
o Do not bear a grudge
o Do not mate with animals or different species
o Do not wear clothes from a mixture of wool and linen
o Do not eat the fruit of a tree during its first three years
o Do not cook a kid in the milk of its mother.
- Are of great importance to Jewish people, providing a way that society can keep
itself in order.
- Ensure that people behave ethically towards each other and that Jews remain
mindful of God in every part of their day.

THE PROPHETIC VISION


- Prophet is someone who is regarded as an inspired teacher of the will of God.
- People which God has chosen to speak to people on God’s behalf and deliver a
message.
- From prophets Jews believe in a monotheistic faith, God love for all, unity of God
and the covenant between God and man.
- Believe that the biblical prophet Isiah dreamed of world peace, starting from the
simplest things such as the wolf dwelling with a sheep.
- While prophets were vital in revealing God’s word to the Hebrew people, they
frequently reminded the people that by forgetting the Covenant they were
disobeying God.
- Importance of maintain what would be called ‘social justice’ is evidence of correct
ethical behaviour.
- Care for the powerless, honesty in business and avoidance of wealthy over
indulgence were all aspects of life to be emulated by the people of God.
- Prophets suggested social justice was more important than ritual.
TIKKUN OLAM
- Literally means ‘repairing of the world’
- Translated from Hebrew meaning ‘world repair’
- Said to remind Jewish adherents that the world must be kept perfect, and that if
one person saves another person from harm, then that person has saved the
world.
- Avot 2:21 says “it is not your task to complete the work but you are not free to
desist it’ meaning that they don’t need to do all the work alone, nor to discontinue
their process.
- Teaches adherents that human beings are what make up the world, and to keep it
perfect, they must all work together to keep it unspoiled and to not give up.
- Full phrase ‘to repair the world under the sovereignty of God’
o Concept is based on the belief that the cosmos which God created was too
unstable to contain his brilliance and it shattered like glass.
- Some Hews understand it as an attempt to right the wrongs of the world by
behaving responsibly towards other people.
- Improving the worlds social relationships
- Manifested through charity, supporting social-justice issues and behaving with
compassion.
- Orthodox: hasten the coming of the messianic age
- Non-orthodox: political term to describe social justice.
GEMILUT HASIDIM
- The giving of loving kindness. More important than charity.
- Based on concept of unconditional love
TZEDAKAH
- Charity, the giving, obligation

THE BOOK OF PROVERBS


- Written by Solomon, son of David and King of Israel.
- Written in 900’s BCE
- Example of wisdom literature
- Book is not a series of laws, but a series of short statements that encourage moral
and upright behaviour.
- Collection of ethical instructions related to practical living and everyday concerns.
WISDOM
- Proverbs 1:7 it says: the fear of the Lord is beginning of knowledge; foolish ones
scorn wisdom and discipline.
- Here wisdom is equated with reverence for the message of God.
- Also encourages children to listen carefully to their mothers and fathers- this
suggests that wisdom is to also be found in respect for the natural system of status
and relationships.
RIGHTEOUSNESS
- In Proverbs Chapter 9, book suggests that wise righteous men will only add to
their learning. 10:20 states: the tongue of the just is as choice silver; the heart of
the wicked is little worth.
- Righteousness, the book suggests, leads to wealth and a long life, whereas the
wicked will die from lacking an understanding heart.
PURITY
- Discussed in Book of Proverbs from the perspective of a man speaking to another
man.
- Chapter 5 is concerned with the temptation of women and warns that being lured
astray by women will lead to a bitter death.
- Chapters 7 and 11 advise men to keep away from female prostitutes and wives of
other men.
GENEROUSITY OF SPIRIT
- A fool is one who is not generous in consideration of others and people are
encouraged to consider the needs of others.
IMPORTANCE OF PRINCIPAL ETHICAL TEACHINGS IN JEWISH LIFE
- Proverbs divides it’s a message between the good actions required of a king and
those required of a good Jew.
- At times, the concepts of king and good Jew reverence of God, wisdom that is
focused on his words and the teachings of his prophets.
- Goodwill towards others promoted by the ethical teachings of Judaism, as
contained in the Torah, tikkun olam, and the book of proverbs, ensures a safe and
protective Jewish community and a place in the world where commo laws and
ideals encourage close bonds between individuals.

SYLLABUS- OBSERVANCE
- Shabbat - Describe the importance of
Shabbat
SHABBAT
- Practice derives from the Biblical story where God rested on the seventh day after
creating the world and hence people are called to imitate God.
- Sabbath is a day of rest and rejuvenation, a day of family and community and a
time to study the Torah and attend the synagogue for Jewish people.
- Reminds the Jewish people of the greatness of God in creating the world and
humankind and the importance of the Covenant between God and the people of
Israel, forged following the exodus from slavery
COVENANTAL OBLIGATIONS
- Exodus 31:16 reminds the people to “observe the Sabbath day throughout the
generations as an everlasting covenant”
- Queen of Days
2 PRIMARY SHABBAT COMMANDMENTS
- Zachor: “remember the Sabbath day” (Exodus 20:8)
o Refraining from all forms of work
- Shamor: “keep the Sabbath day” (Deuteronomy 5:12)
o Reciting Kiddush over a cup of wine.
- Emphasis on ritual highlights the fact that Judaism is largely concerned with
carrying out halakhic requirements as a reflection of faith rather than being a
religion that is focused on a derailed theological exploration of the concepts which
underpin the religion
ALL FORMS OF WORK ARE PROHIBITED
- By ceasing all forms of work, Jews are acknowledging God as the ultimate creator
and that whilst human beings are partners with God in this creation, the act of
creation is a gift from God, not an automatic right.
- Four categories of work that are prohibited
- Certain utensils and tools cannot be used.
SABBATH DELIGHT AND HONOUR
- Genuine delight in honouring and keeping the Sabbath.
SABBATH CANDLES
- Two candles:
o First: meant to represent the injunction to keep the Sabbath
o Second: represents the commandment to remember the Sabbath
- Wife prayers for the welfare of her husband and children over the lit candles
- Short synagogue service takes place at sunset to mark the beginning of the
Sabbath
KIDDUSH
- Most important celebration takes place on the Friday of the Sabbath is the
Shabbat dinner
- With family and friends
- Table is laid with two loaves (known as “hallot”) which like the candles represent
the dual Shabbat commandments and cups over which Kiddush is recited.
- Father blesses children in order of age which “gladdens the heart”
SYNAGOUGE ATTENDANCE
- On the following day two meals are eaten
o One following morning synagogue service
o Second is eaten in the afternoon, generally with coffee and cake.
- Saturday morning is usually spent in Torah study at the synagogue
HAVDALAH
- Appearance of the three stars in the darkened sky at sunset marks the end of
Shabbat.
- Havdalah is recited.
o Means “division is a recitation which praises God for creating distinctions,
between what is considered sacred and what is not and between light and
darkness’s.
- Braided Havdalah candle is now lit, as a sign that Shabbat has ended, lighting of
fire is permissible again.

CHRISTIANITY
SYLLABUS- ORIGINS
- The historical and cultural context - Outline the historical and cultural
in which Christianity began context in which Christianity began
- Jesus Christ - Examine the principal events of
- The development of Early Christian Jesus’ life
Communities - Explain why Jesus is the model for
- Christianity Christian life
o Anglicanism - Describe the early development of
o Catholicism Christian communities after the
o Orthodoxy death of Jesus
o Pentecostalism - Outline the unique features of:
o Protestantism o Anglicanism
o Catholicism
o Orthodoxy
o Pentecostalism
o Protestantism

HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXT IN WHICH CHRISTIANITY BEGAN


JUDAISM IN THE FIRST CENTURY
- Power and organisation of Judaism was largely centred in Jerusalem
- Authority was divided amongst a number of groups who sought to control the
direction of the religion.
- Lack of unity was, in part, the result of centuries of political domination by the
Greeks and then the Romans in Palestine.
- Influential groups at the time:
GROUP DESCRIPTION
Zealots - Group of political activist seeking to overthrow the Romans
through military methods in favour of a Jewish theocracy
Pharisees - Devout lay people seeking a more pure expression of Judaism
Scribes - Professional class of copyists and teachers of the law
- Addressed as Rabbi
Sadducees - Had majority representation on the Sanhedrin
Messiah - Person who was anointed by a prophet of God
Essenes - Live apart from fellow Jews in a type of religious monastic
community
Sanhedrin - Type of council or senate, political and judicial body with
authority of Jews outside Palestine as well as within
- Destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70CE

MESSIANIC EXPECTATION
- Jews expected God to intervene in their history by sending the Messiah to Earth.
- Particularly heightened during the time of Jesus partly because Jews suffered
economic deprivation and great hardships under Roman rule.
o Eagerly waited for Messiah to free them from oppression
- Many believed the Messiah would be a political figure who would overthrow the
Roman rulers and liberate the oppressed Jews.
- Jesus was born a Jew in this context and lived in Palestine at the beginning of the
first century.
- Sought to renew Jewish religion in the spirit of the prophets of Israel but did not
intend to lead a breakaway
JESUS CHRIST
JESUS DID NOT INTEND TO FOUND A NEW RELIGION
- Known as founder of Christianity, however, he was born a Jew, lived and died as a
Jew.
- Sought to renew Judaism by opposing the legalism of it during his time and calling
people to return to the demands of the Covenant.
REIGN OF GOD
- Main focus was the reign of God: understood as God’s vision for humankind
- Envisages a world where God’s values (love, peace, cooperation, tolerance and
justice) are realised.
- By announcing the reign of God Jesus was inaugurating it and inviting others to
join in its development.
- The reign of God will reach completion at the end of time when God’s dream for
humankind becomes a reality.
PRINCIPAL EVENTS OF JESUS
- Believed to be born of a virgin in Bethlehem and raised in Nazareth.
- Baptised by John the Baptist
- Preached around the region of Galilee and attracted disciples some of whom were
women
o Women who he would relate to (role models)
- Jesus taught in parables mostly concerning the reign of God
- Gospels depict Jesus as a healer or miracle worker as a way of highlighting the
power of God in action.
- Jesus’ preaching brought him into conflict with the Jewish authorities
PHARISEES
- Clash between Jews and the Pharisees however, reflects the situation at the time
the Gospels were written rather than the situation at the time of Jesus
- Scholars didn’t understand the Kingdom of God.
DEATH AND RESSURECTION
- Arrested and sentenced to death by crucifixion (common criminal punishment)
- Placed in a tomb on the eve of the Passover and appeared to his disciples after
being raised on the third day (led to establishment of Christianity)
GOSPELS WRITTEN SO THAT PEOPLE BELIEVE
- Gospels were not written with the intent of providing an accurate historical
explanation of the life of Jesus.
MODERN BIBLE HERMENEUTICS
- Gospels were written for different target audiences
- Differences between the different gospels
TABLE???
JESUS INAGURATES THE REIGN OF GOD
Jesus is the embodiment of the reign of God
- Jesus’ preaching of the reign of God points to a future yet already present reality
where the values of love, justice and peace prevail in a world living in accordance
with God’s plan.
- Jesus was recognised as the embodiment of the reign and those who seeks to
bring about the reign of God are encouragement to model their lives on the
example of Jesus.
JESUS LIVES A LIFE OF PRAYER
Christian’s model Jesus’ attitude to prayer
- Bible portrays Jesus to be a man of prayer, frequently communing with God.
- Withdraws from the pressures of daily life to pray in a quiet place
- Jesus’ prayer includes traditions of Jewish liturgy and often draws on the tradition
of the Hebrew Scriptures.
- He teaches his disciples some important principles of prayer and famously he
teaches them how to pray.
JESUS LIVES A LIFE OF SERVICE TO OTHERS
Ministry of Jesus is characterised by service to others
- Healing miracles: where Jesus seeks to bring the healing power of God into
contact with the needs of others (Mark 1:23-45)
- Initially saw his ministry as directed solely to the needs of the people of Israel, an
encounter with a determined Gentile woman seems to have transformed his
understanding (Mark 7: 24-30)
- A number of sayings attributed to Jesus including the famous beatitudes and the
Golden rule
- The last supper Jesus washes the feet of his disciples as an example of service to
one another
- Christians have always embraced ethos of service to others and have done so as
direct consequence of the example provided in the life and ministry of Jesus.
JESUS ACTS AS AN ADVOCATE FOR THE POOR
Ministry of Jesus is characterised by advocacy for the needy
- Ethical dimension which calls upon people to stand up for the needs of the poor
and disadvantaged.
- Gospels provide many examples of Jesus taking the side of the poor and
oppressed (John 9:1-41)

JESUS LOVES AND FORGIVES OTHERS


Jesus’ attitude of love and forgiveness is a model for Christian life
- Numerous examples in the gospels where Jesus’ love for others is shown (John
8:2-11)
- Shown as being ever willing to forgive the failings of others
o Seen in the post resurrection appearances with the disciples who had
abandoned him (John 2:1-14) and in the famous prayer for the forgiveness
of his own executioners (Luke 23:34)
- Lord’s prayer incorporates the petition asking for forgiveness as we also forgive
others (Luke 11:4)
Ways Jesus is a model Scripture or tradition that supports this What does this mean?
Servanthood especially in Jesus’ actions show concern for the needs of Jesus shows Christians
leadership others. He serves many who are marginalised in how to live by leading by
the gospels. John’s gospel narrative of the foot example
washing (13:13-14) is the strongest text
Exemplary love Jesus teaches that the law can be summarised Teaches us about love of
by “love of God and love of neighbour” neighbour and love of
Jesus shows great love for many who are God
marginalised. The woman caught in adultery
(John 8)
Jesus is fully human and By his incarnation, the Son of god has united Reflects the principal
like us in all things but sin himself in some fashion with every human belief in the divinity and
being. Second Vatican Council humanity of Jesus
Jesus models a life of Jesus prays regularly, at times of temptation Taught us how to pray
prayer and faithfulness to e.g. Garden of Gethsemane. At times of
God decision, Jesus removes himself to a ‘quiet
place to pray/

CHRISTIANITY
PROTESTANTISM
ORIGINS AND HISTORY
- Between the 14th and 17th centuries there was a series of Northern European reforms,
or protest movements, which led to the separation from Rome of what would become
known as Protestant churches.
- Reformers wished to reclaim the spiritual authority of the Christian religion, arguing
that the true church was not defined in terms of a continuous tradition of ministry.
- Defined a true church as one where the Word of God rules, and where only the
sacraments administered would be those which Christ administered- Baptism and
Eucharist.
- Founder of German reformation: Martin Luther (1483-1546)
o Translated the bible into the vernacular and developed the doctrine of
justification by faith alone, where salvation occurs only through faith and not
through individual good works or the intercession of the church
- French theologian: John Calvin (1509-1564)
o Emphasised justification by faith and argued for the sole authority of the Bible.
o Calvinist tradition continues strongly in Presbyterian and reformed churches.
- Some protestant churches established state churches e.g. Church of England
IN AUSTRALIA
- First fleet in Australia in 1788, with church affiliation commonly reflecting country of
origin.
- Protestant people and ideas figured prominently in the early years of nation building
- Important development 1977: Methodist church and majorities of the Presbyterian
Church of Australia amalgamated to form a new denomination, the Uniting Church in
Australia.
KEY MOVEMENTS
- Lutheran
- Reformed/ Presbyterian
- Anglican/ Episcopal
- Free churches: Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostal Churches
- The Uniting Church in Australia (merging of Presbyterian, Methodist and
Congregational Churches 1977)
ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE
- Episcopal: advocates church government by bishops
- Presbyterian: local churches grouped together under the government of a regional
synod of ordained presbyters and lay elders
- Congregational: advocates the authority and independence of each local church
KEY BELIEFS
- Doctrine should not be based upon church tradition. Base religious authority solely on
the 66 books of the Old/New Testament
- Justification by faith alone: salvation achieved through merit of faith, and not faith plus
efforts of oneself and others
- Baptism and Eucharist are the central sacraments

ROMAN CATHOLICISM
ORIGINS AND HISTORY
- Beginning in the New Testament
- Popes are considered to be the direct successors of St Peter, the first leader of the
apostles.
- “Western” church
- East (Orthodox) and west officially separated at the time of the Great Schism of 1054
over doctrinal agreements.
o Orthodox churches rejected the primacy of the Pope
- Middle ages: Catholic church held a virtual monopoly of faith in Western Europe and
the increasing power of the clergy led to a series of abuses of church power. In
particular system of papal indulgences (Pope granted spiritual merit in exchange for
financial reward or political favour)
- 16th century: found expression in a cluster of vigorous reform movements which
fragmented Catholicism and created new stress of Christian churches outside the
Pope’s jurisdictions.
- Most significant event of the 20th century: Second Vatican Council met from 1962-
1965. Reforms included: More open relationship with non-Catholic churches,
simplification of liturgy, admission of the vernacular into worship, changes in the dress
and structure of holy orders and increased lay participation in church life.
IN AUSTRALIA
- Arrived with first fleet, however NSW authorities did not permit official celebration of
the mass until 1803. Catholics encountered severe prejudice in Australia.
- 1833: 10 catholic schools were in operation in the colony
- State aid becoming available in 1963.
- 1836: first catholic church was completed in Sydney
- 1843: Australia became a separate diocese.
- Heavily influenced by Irish Catholicism
- Over 100 religious orders in Australia
- 1875: first indigenous order of nuns: Sisters of St Joseph
KEY MOVEMENTS
- Great diversity reflects ethnicity e.g. Italians place much greater emphasis on the sains
than the Irish.
- Diversity of Catholic belief and practice finds expression in the variety of lay
associations
- Ethically defined rites: Maronite’s, Ukrainian Rite and the Melkites.
ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE
- Episcopal structure.
- First Vatican Council (1869-1870) established the primacy and infallibility of the Pope:
speaking in his official capacity on matters of faith and morals, preserved from error
by the Holy Spirit.
- Under the pope is a college of cardinals who serve as advisors to the Pope and
supervisors of church administration
- Under cardinals are bishops, who run dioceses (AUS has 32)
- Each diocese is made up of a number of parishes led by priests
- Laity has no voting power; they act in advisory capacities to the parish priest
KEY BELIEFS
- 7 sacraments: baptism, confirmation, penance, communion, holy orders, marriage,
and the sacraments of the sick
- Mass is the centre of the sacramental system, Catholics obliged to attend every
week
- Sacrament of communion at Mass, bread and wine are changed into the body and
blood of Christ (transubstantiation)
- Affirm that Mary was a virgin and that Jesus was conceived miraculously through
the power of the Holy Spirit
- Mary remained a virgin, Jesus was her only child
- Her own conception being the “mother of God”, was conceived without original sin
(Immaculate Conception)
- Feast of the Assumption: Mary was taken directly to heaven at the end of her life
and enthroned as Queen of heaven
- Great emphasis on the tradition of church interpretation of the bible
- Believe that saints, created through process of canonisation, can interceded with
God on behalf of people
- Acknowledge the primacy and authority of the Bishop of Rome, called the Pope
KEY FESTIVALS
- Follow principal dates of Western Church Calendar
- Also has a tradition of celebrating Saint Days
PENTECOSTALISM
- Discovered their origins from the 16th century Schism (reformation)
- Refers to a group of Christian Churches which are identified through their worship
and emphasis on the gift of the Holy Spirit
- Clearly states from the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit rises above the
disciples after the death and resurrection of Jesus.
- Emerged within Protestant congregations resulting in a worldwide phenomenon in
America and is one of the fastest growing Christian groups.
- Independent congregations: generally characterized by worshipping and the
significance on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, feature emphatic preaching based on
biblical texts.
- The Parousia, is another belief that they live on their final days before the second
coming of Christ. Since many Pentecostal congregations come in small groups
allowing a closer and more personal sense of community.
- Pastors have authority in their own congregation there is little authority or
established doctrine outside of individual congregation.

ORTHODOX
ORIGINS AND HISTORY
- Understands itself to preserve the faith of the original apostolic Christian Church
- Orthodox- “correct teaching or worship”
- Older Orthodox churches usually known as patriarchates and afforded special
status, trace their foundation to one of the 12 apostles, four ancient patriarchates
being Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem.
- Developed from the church’s spread across Eastern Roman or Byzantine empire in
the first few centuries after Jesus.
- Influenced by Greek culture and language
- 1054 Great Schism: resulting from disagreements over the Roman’s Pope claim to
supremacy and the doctrine of the Holy Spirit: led to the split between the Eastern
and Western Church
- Eastern Church spread northwards into Russia and Slavic countries
- Conversion of Prince Vladimir in 988 CE, the Russian Orthodox Church was
created, was official faith of Russia for over 900 years until the Russian revolution in
1917
- 200 million adherents of Eastern Orthodoxy worldwide
IN AUSTRALIA
- Immigrant churches
- No listed orthodox Christians in Australia during the early colonial period
- First Orthodox service took place at Easter 1820 in Sydney
- Orthodox Church in Australia was established in 1898 in Sydney
- 1924: Greek Orthodox diocese was established by the Patriarch of Constantinople
- Immigration Post WW2, a significant of increase in the numbers of Greek Orthodox
Australians
- First permanent Russian Orthodox priest arrived in 1922, first church built in
Brisbane in 1926.
- 1979: standing conference of Canonical Orthodox Churches in Australia
established formal links between the orthodox faiths, creating an official body that
could speak with a common Orthodox voice.
KEY MOVEMENTS
- Divide into independent national and ethnic groupings.
o Greek, Russia, Albanian, Antiochian, Macedonian, Macedonian, Romanian,
Serbian and Ukrainian Churches
- United theologically, doctrinally and sacramentally
ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE
- Heads of the church are known as Patriarchs.
- Patriarch of Constantinople is a figurehead for all Orthodox Christians
- Each of the national churches is episcopal in Church Governance.

KEY BELIEFS
- Holy tradition is an important and distinct source of faith. It describes how the Holy
Spirit infuses the life of the church. Holy tradition consists of:
o The bible
o Full liturgical life of the church
o Full sacramental life of the church. Seven sacraments are: baptism,
confirmation, communion, penance, holy orders, marriage and holy unction
(anointing of the sick) the first four are essential for salvation.
o Dogmatic decisions and acts of the councils, including the creeds, the
writing of the church fathers, the lives of the saints and iconographic
traditions.
- Holy icons are important elements in both public and private devotion.
- Believe that saints, can intercede with God on behalf of people who are alive and
petition for their memory
- Do not believe in the Catholic teaching of the Eucharist or of the immaculate
conception of Mary
- The Virgin Mary is honoured as theotokos (Mother of God)
KEY FESTIVALS
- Follow the principal festivals of the Western Church, but many use the Julian
calendar rather than the Gregorian, so that their commemorations are 13 days
behind those of the west.
- Every day in the calendar of the Orthodox Church is assigned remembrance of a
saint or feast.
ANGLICANISM
ORIGINS AND HISTORY
- Historically operated as the church of England
- Claims to be both Catholic and reformed
- Roots in Celtic Christianity
- The Norman Conquest of 1066 opened up English churches to European, and
more specifically French influence
- Pressure for church reform, growing English dissatisfaction with papal authority
and Henry VIII’s desire for divorce from Catherine of Aragon were some of the
factors contributing to England’s eventual break with the church in Rome.
- 1536-1539, Henry VIII renounced papal jurisdiction in England and dissolved
Catholic monasteries.
- Two traditions: evangelical and Anglo-Catholic
- 70 million Anglicans in the world, predominantly English speaking
IN AUSTRALIA
- First Anglican worship took place in Australia in 1788, and the First Bishop of
Australia was appointed in 1836
- Attempt to give Anglicanism “established church” status in Australia never came to
fruitarian, but there was a strong growth in the colonial period.
- 1845: the first Anglican theological college was set up in Sydney
- 1850: began a process of general synod government that has continued to the
present day
- 1872: the first synod of Australian dioceses agreed upon a constitution of church
government which lasted until 1961.
- 1962: Church of England in Australia began to function under its own constitution,
ending all legal ties with the Church of England in England.
- 1978: Australian Prayer Book was produced and in 1981, the Anglican Church of
Australia was formed as an independent body within the world-wide Anglican
community
KEY MOVEMENTS
- Evangelical Anglicans (Low Church Anglicanism): developed in tandem with a
general growth of UK evangelism from the early 18 th century. It is individualistic in
conception, emphasising Anglicanism’s Protestant heritage, and stressing simplicity
of worship with a minimum ritual and ceremony. Adopted idea of missionary work.
- High Church and Anglo Catholic: developed in Oxford, and sought to revive a
more Catholic emphasis in Anglicanism, stressing sacramental grace and the
tradition of episcopacy.
- Broad or Middle Church Anglicans: groups characterised by acceptance of new
theological views e.g. liberalism and evolutionary theory.
- Issue of ordination of women in the Australian church has been diverse, and in
1992 the matter was given to individual dioceses to decide. Most dioceses now
ordain women.
ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE
- Consists of the world-wide grouping of churches which operate autonomously in
different locales but recognise the primacy among equals of the Archbishop of
Canterbury.
- Which means the Anglican church of Australia can change order and ritual, but
retains the ordinal of the Church in England.
- Ordination is a sacrament in which the priest is affirmed as a representative of God
to humankind, in other traditions the priest functions more as a trained leader of
the congregations.
KEY BELEIFS
- Addition to key beliefs common to all Christians
o Baptism and Eucharist are two central sacraments
o Parish life centres on weekly celebration of Holy Communion
o Book of common prayer (1662): a compilation of the Church’s liturgical
forms, along with the thirty-nine articles, remain the hallmark of Anglican
identity.
KEY FESTIVALS
- Follow the principal dates of the Western Church Calendar
- The saint’s days and Feasts Days, as set out in the book of Common Prayer

SYLLABUS- PRINCIPAL BELIEFS


- The divinity and humanity of Jesus - Outline the principal beliefs
Christ regarding the divinity and
- The death and resurrection of Jesus humanity of Jesus Christ
Christ - Explain the importance of the
- The nature of God and the Trinity death and resurrection of Jesus
- Revelation Christ for Christians
- Salvation - Outline the beliefs\l about the
nature of God and of the Trinity
- Examine the Christian
understanding of revelation
- Describe the Christian
understanding of Salvation.

THE NATURE OF GOD AND THE TRINITY


- The belief that God has interacted with the world in three different ways:
o God the Father is the creation of the universe
o God the Son, Jesus Christ, redeemer and Sustainer of life
o God the Holy Spirit, the sanctifier.
- Christians believe in a monotheistic, transcendent God that is the creator of all things.
- This same God is known as three distinct persons
- God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
- It is the deepest mystery and central dogma
- All three person act together as the one God, each person is distinct but never
separate.
THE DIVINITY AND HUMANITY OF JESUS CHRIST
- This teaching defines the nature of Jesus as a historical, tangible human person AND
‘of the same substance’ as God, the father, thus divine.
- Human: Jesus was born, ate, drank, slept, knew joy, suffering, uncertainty and loss.
Could be tortured and killed.
- Divinity: Jesus’ role on earth was to be the Saviour of Humanity and defeater o death.
He was capable of miracles, defeating death via the resurrection and ascended into
heaven (body and soul).
- Disputed throughout early Christianity, the argument over whether Jesus was human
or divine was decided at the Council of Nicaea 325 CE.
- It was accepted that Jesus was both human and divine and the doctrine of the Holy
Trinity was formulated.
- Therefore, Jesus was a human person that lived in a particular time and place with the
normal human experiences and limitations, yet he was divine, capable of miracles and
the resurrection from the dead.

SALVATION
- Belief that human beings require deliverance by God from the power of Sin.
- The belief that Jesus’ death was important to destroy sin and give humanity the
opportunity for eternal life.
- The belief that the resurrection of the body will occur for all at Final Judgement.
- The Gospels record the trial, crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection and ascension of
Jesus. Referred to as his PASSION.
- AS HUMAN, Jesus was capable of suffering and dying.
- In Jesus’ death, Christians believe that SALVATION had been made available to ALL
PEOPLE and SINS are forgiven.
- AS DIVINE, a part of GOD, Jesus was capable of defeating death. He returned in a
glorified state.
- Jesus’ resurrection is the proof of the future resurrection of all people
- The heart and foundation of Christianity:
o Human and divinity + death and resurrection + salvation.
- Can be experience now but is fully revealed in heaven, in the presence of God.
- There are obstacles in life, as human
REVELATION
- The transmission of knowledge from the divine to human
- Gods interaction with humanity
o Jesus
o Annunciation (of Mary)
o Prophets
o Biblical revelation
o Exodus event
- Interaction between God and humanity; of God actually interfering with human history
- Reveals truths previously hidden or partly known
THE DEATH AND RESSURECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
- Jesus was crucified for being a political threat
- Died for our sins, he was sent by God to save all of humankind
- Belief that death itself is an integral part of the human condition and one which is
shared by Jesus.
- Seeing the death of Jesus as an example of the unconditional love of God.
- Importance of the death of Jesus is by seeing his selflessness even unto death as a
clear model for discipleship
- Resurrection of Christ is exemplified in the Nicene Creed which testifies not only to the
resurrection of Jesus but also to the resurrection of the dead as a fundamental
Christian belief.
- Resurrection carries the meaning of eternal life which overcomes the limitations of
human morality.
SYLLABUS- SACRED TEXTS AND WRITINGS
- Bible - Identify the importance of the bible
in Christianity
- Examine extracts from the Bible
which demonstrate the principal
beliefs of Christianity.

SACRED WRITINGS
- The bible is made up of 66 books and is divided into two parts:
o The first part, the Old Testament, made up of 39 books written before the
time of Jesus
o The second part, the New Testament, made up of 27 books that were
written after the life of Jesus and before the end of the 2 nd century CE.
- It is important to Christians because it is a source of Christian beliefs, is a guide to
life and contains the word of God, especially as many Christians believe it is the
inspired word of God and it is literally true
WHY IS THE OLD TESTAMENT IMPORTANT TO CHRISTIANS?
- History of Jewish people and their religious development
- Creation stories: tell Christians what the first beliefs were about the way God
created the universe.
- God’s developing relationship with humankind is recorded in OT: his covenant with
Abraham. His first rules and commandments etc.
- The Christian faith has grown out of the Jewish faith, gradually developing its own
identity and organisation (including its own rules and structure)
- For many Christians, these scriptures gained added importance as they seemed to
show that a figure like Jesus was actually predicted by some of the most important
Jewish prophets, like Isiah.
WHY IS THE NEW TESTAMENT IMPORTANT TO CHRISTIANS?
GOSPELS
- Tell everything about life, teachings and person of Jesus.
- Everything about Jesus’ birth and resurrection come from the gospels.
- Gospel writers:
o Matthew: wrote specifically for Jewish Christians and makes a special point
of demonstrating the fulfilment of OT prophecies
o Mark: concerned with Jesus’ teaching. Emphasises his miracles and the idea
that he was the Messiah misunderstood and rejected by the people
o Luke: emphasises Christ’s loving kindness and gives prominence to the Holy
Spirit.
o John: emphasises the presence of Jesus in the world since the start of
creation.
ACTS
- Book that tells after the ascension of Jesus
- It tells us when the Holy Spirit first appeared to Jesus’ remaining disciples, and
about how the Jewish persecutor of Christians
- Important because it is a record of what the disciples went through after Jesus
finally left them. Helps Christians connect to the lives of the first Christians, to share
in some of their energy, the gifts of the holy spirit that can come to them on
Pentecost, and follow the very beginnings of the Christian faith.
EPISTLES
- After Paul’s conversion he became central to developing the Christian faith.
- How Christian communities began
- Some of the first official ‘Christian’ teachings come from these letters
- Important as they contain the first Christian teachings that are distinct from the OT
teachings. Through the epistles we can see how the first Churches gradually
formed ideas and expectations of how they should live and practice their new faith.
REVELATION
- Tries to encourage Christians who were suffering persecution from the Roman
Empire.
- Seems to be about end of the world and judgement day
- Important as Christians believe it tells them eschatological truths about an ideal
world when all humans are judged by God/Jesus and allowed to live with him,
when the Kingdom of Heaven comes down to Earth.
WHY IS THE BIBLE IMPORTANT TO CHRISTIANS?
- Important as it is regarded as the Word of God, divinely inspired, provides deep
spiritual insights for Christians into their religion
- Explores the key beliefs and provides ethical guidance
- Guidelines for prayer, ritual and worship
- Important as it contains salvation history and an account of Jesus’ ministry and
God’s power key message which can be passed on through the Bible
- Protestant groups such as Lutherans Bible is only source of authority
- Fundamentalists interpret in a literal sense and base decisions and beliefs on this
EXAMINE EXTRACTS FROM THE BIBLE WHICH DEMONSTRATE THE PRINCIPAL BELIEFS
OF CHRISTIANITY.
Divinity and Humanity  “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling amongst us” (John
of Christ 1:14) → shows that God took a complete human nature

Death and  “He is not here, he has risen!” (Luke 24:6)


Resurrection of Christ
Nature of God and the  “Baptising them in the name of the father and of the Son and of the
Trinity Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19) → all parts of the Trinity act as one

Revelation  “Sarah your wife will have a son” (Genesis 18:10) → God reveals his
message through the three visitors

Salvation  "We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans
5:1)
SYLLABUS- CORE ETHICAL TEACHINGS
- The Ten Commandments - Outline the principle ethical
- New Testament Ethics teachings in:
o The Beatitudes o The Ten Commandments
o Jesus’ commandment of o The Beatitudes
love o Jesus’ commandment of
love
- Describe the importance of ethical
teachings in the life of adherents.

CORE ETHICAL TEACHINGS


The Ten - Decalogue, contained in Old Testament (Mt Sinai), critical source of ethical
Commandments guidance
- Framework for key principles of Christian ethics, summary of ethics
- Phrased in terms of what is not permissible
- Way to guide people – basis for structuring and living the Christian life
- Emphasize the importance of human life and the need to respect family and
personal integrity
- Appear to be rules, but each commandment highlights key values which
should be part of Christian life, motivated by love for humanity
o E.g. Thou shalt not kill – reflects honesty, truth, justice and reverence
for human life
- First three commandments – the worship of God – invite Christians to love God
and believe in God and his goodness
- Last 6 – obligations to neighbour and society – guidelines for how to love each
other, call Christians to create communities based on love of neighbor

The Beatitudes - 8 blessings Jesus gives during the Sermon of the Mount in the Gospel of
Matthew
- Consists of two phrases – the condition and the result. All begin with “blessed
are…” and praises virtues
- Model for Christian life → warns against and approach which values only
material strength and power, by pointing to an inversion of values whereby
things regarded as not having value according to the dominant culture are
celebrated in the reign of God
o E.g. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
- Teach that all have a responsibility to care for others in society
o E.g. social justice agenda of Christian groups such as Anglicare
emerges from this text

Jesus’ - A summative statement which draws together all prior ethical teaching
commandment of - About God’s love for human beings and their opportunity for salvation through
love love of God and neighbor
- Underpins Christians relationship with God and with each other, two categories
– love of God and love of neighbor
- Love is seen as a fulfilment of the law as love is the essential quality which gives
meaning to all other virtues
- Love of neighbor taken to a new level – Christians called to model their lives
on the love of Jesus which in itself fulfils the requirement of love
- To love one another, as God sees each person → love as the identifying
characteristic of Christian life, commandment conveys the requirement to love

IMPORTANCE OF ETHICAL TEACHINGS ON ADHERENTS


- Christians place considerable value on the ethical teaching in determining their
response to a wide range of issues – Teachings provide guidance which enable
adherents to make informed moral choices according to the principles of the
tradition
- Core ethical teachings provide general direction in the life of adherents, these texts
are foundational principles underpinning the Christian ethical system, expected
that Christians strive to live their lives in line with these principles

- The example of the life and ministry of Jesus. Christians seek to model their lives
on the life and ministry of Jesus and as such the ethical standards practiced by
Jesus in the course of his life become guides for the actions of Christians.
- Guidance in relation to contemporary ethical issues
o Generally, Christian ethical teaching in areas such as sexual morality and
bioethics have been in line with conservative forces in society
o Ethical teaching on issues of economic, ecological and military significance
are more in line with progressive elements in society

10 - Guidelines for living, clarify what is right and wrong


Commandments - Help with ethical decisions, upheld in decision making
- E.g. “Thou shall not kill” – reflected on current Christian
views on murder, war and abortion
- Calls Christians to love God and maintain good
relationship with others

Beatitudes - Emphasize a life of holiness, rather than valuing material


power, encouraging adherents to incorporate these values
into their lives
- Allows Christians to consider social justice issues, inspires
charities e.g. Anglicare

Commandment of - Christians encouraged to express love for God through


Love love for others, and to love in order to become closer to
God
- Christians channel their love of neighbor through social
justice activities
SYLLABUS- PERSONAL DEVOTION
- Prayer - Describe the different types of
personal prayer

- Prayer was at the heart of the ministry of Jesus and those who follow Jesus seek to
also live a life of prayer.
- Sabbath or Sunday service which is the focal point for the life of the community.
TRADITIONAL AND FORMAL PRAYERS
- Throughout Christian history, various people have composed prayers which have
become widely used.
- Many of these prayers recite or adapt biblical texts.
- Such traditional prayers cover a wide range of occasions and needs.
- Personal prayer refers to a religious practice that occurs privately and is, by
definition, non-liturgical (put can also occur during public worship e.g. silent prayer
during Mass, or praying at home)
THE LORDS PRAYER
Importance
- Also known as the Our Father.
- This prayer is taken from the occasion in the gospel where the disciples ask Jesus
to teach them to pray.
- It is used throughout all Christian denominations and is commonly included in
liturgy as well as personal prayer.
- For example, the word “hallowed be thy name” can be seen to represent praise.
- “Give us this day our daily bread” can be seen to stand for prayers of petition.
- “Forgive us our trespasses” can be seen to indicate a prayer of repentance.
THE ROSARY
- Prayer which draws heavily on biblical texts.
- The Rosary is organised into 5 decades each containing 10 recitations of the
prayer known as the “Hail Mary”
- Each decade is begun with the Lord’s prayer and concludes with a short prayer of
praise known as the “Glory Be”
- In the course of each decade of the Rosary, the person praying is encouraged
to meditate on one of the “mysteries”
- These are organised into four groups and are based on events in the life of Jesus.
Intention of the Rosary
- The intention of the Rosary is that a person can meditate on the events of the life
of Jesus from the perspective of Mary the mother of Jesus. This approach takes its
inspiration from the biblical text where Mary is described as pondering events in
her heart (Luke 3:51)
INFORMAL AND SPONTANEOUS PRAYER
- Christians across a range of denominations use a variety of informal and
spontaneous forms of pray for different occasions and times.
MORNING AND EVENING PRAYER
Purpose of Morning and Evening Prayer
- Christians have been traditionally taught to begin and end each day with
prayer and accordingly the pattern of morning and evening prayer is widely
followed.
- Typically, a morning prayer is one of dedication to God.
- It often also includes petitions relating to events in the coming day or pressing
matters of concern.
- Evening prayer or night prayer is typical a prayer of thanksgiving for God’s
providence during the day.
- It also often includes prayers of blessing for family and other loved ones.
GRACE AT MEALS
Purpose
- A prayer before and/or after eating meals
- Usually takes the form of expressing gratitude to God for the provisions of the
necessities of life.
- Provides an occasion to pray for a blessing on those who have provided and
prepared the food.
- Occasion to pray for the needs of those who suffer through the lack of provisions
for the necessities of life.
QUIET TIMES
- Many Christians will find that prayer at the beginning and/or end of the day is the
best opportunity for such quiet time.
- However, others find it important to deliberately set aside a time during the day to
pray.
- The timing of this is dependent upon other commitments.
- For example, a person who works at home may take time out when the rest of
their family have left for the day.
Purpose
- The choice of prayer will often change depending on circumstances.
- For example, a person with a seriously ill relative or friend is likely to have that
need as a major part of their prayer.
- The type of prayer may also depend on the individual’s disposition at the time and
also the type of spirituality they prefer.
- For example, a person who follows Pentecostal and Charismatic spirituality is likely
to be inclined more towards prayer of praise.
- Likewise, a person who feels particularly blessed by God through life’s
circumstances is also likely to be inclined to pray prayers of praise and
thanksgiving.

OTHER TYPES OF PRAYER:


PRAYERS OF REFLECTION AND MEDITATION
- Finding a time and place free from distraction and centring one’s thoughts on
God.
- Some methods involve a process of relaxation, some involve controlled breathing,
still other music or other sensory aids.
Purpose
- The main purpose of prayers of reflection and meditation is to create an inner
stillness which allows a person to deeply contemplate the nature of God.
- Another purpose of reflective prayer is to contemplate the meaning of events and
circumstances of life.
- In this context the person praying will meditate on certain aspects of life in order to
more clearly see and understand their meaning in the light of God’s love.
BIBLE READING AND REFLECTION
- The strongest traditions of bible reading are found among the Protestant
denominations of Christianity.
- These denominations, drawing on Martin Luther’s doctrine of “sola scriptura”
meaning scripture alone, have a strong tradition of reading scripture.
Purpose of Bible reading and reflection
- When using the bible as an aid to prayer Christians seek to find inspiration and
guidance through the words of scripture.
- In this way they pray seeking to gain greater insight into the meaning of the
passage and deepen their understanding of the Christian way of life.
PRAYERS OF PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING
Pentecostal and Charismatic movements emphasise praise of prayer
- In these movements praise is an integral element of prayer and is seen as a way
into a prayerful state.
- Most gatherings of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians would include
a sustained period of praise and thanksgiving, usually at the beginning of the
gathering.
- Personal prayer for Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians would also normally
involve a strong emphasis on praise.
Purpose of prayers of praise and thanksgiving
- The purpose of praise in Christian prayer is to allow the person the opportunity
to acknowledge the person of God.
- This acknowledgement includes an expression of the greatness of God which takes
the form of praise.
- Thanksgiving prayer which is often closely related to prayers of praise has the
function of acknowledging God’s actions in human history and in particular
in providing for the needs of the person offering the prayer.

ISLAM
SYLLABUS- ORIGINS
- Pre-Islamic Arabia as the cultural - Outline the social conditions and
and historical context for the religious practices that existed pre-
development of Islam Islamic Arabia.
- The Prophet Muhammed - Examine the principal events in
- The development of Islam under Muhammad’s life
the leadership of the 4 rightly - Explain why the Prophet
guided Caliphs Muhammad as the final messenger
is the model for Muslim life
- Describe the development of Islam
after the death of Muhammad
under the Four Rightly Guided
Caliphs, accounting for the
emergence of the Sunni and the
Shi’ia

PRE-ISLAMIC ARABIA AS THE CULTURAL AND HSTORICAL CONTEXT FOR THE


DEVELOPMENT OF ISLAM
BEGINNINGS OF ISLAM
- Began during 7th century CE on the Arabian Peninsula in the modern day Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia
- Dominated by sandy dunes.
SHEPHARDS AND MERCHANTS
- Local tribes lived semi-nomadic lives and were predominantly engaged as
shepherds or in servicing the well-established trade routes.
- Shepard tribes were small and scattered, moving livestock between the desert
oases where they could find feed for their animals.
MAKKAH AND MADINAH
- Makkah is about 80km from the Red Sea and lies between the Mediterranean city
of Gaza to the north and the city of Aden on the Indian Ocean to the south
- Madinah is more than 300km further to the north.
- Makkah was a city founded on the trade routes between the Indian ocean coastal
towns and the great cities of Syria and Egypt.
POLYTHEISM JUDAISM CHRISTIANITY
- There were also devotees of the monotheistic religions of Judaism and Christianity
(minority groups, however, they were established)
- Local religions were mostly polytheistic and often associated with an element of
nature
SACRED CITY OF MAKKAH
- Had significant status in religious terms due to the presence of the Ka’ba which
had become a significant centre for religious devotion.
WORSHIP AT THE KA’BA
- Most powerful tribe were the merchants known as the ‘Quarish’
o Wealth and power allowed them to control much of the economy in
Makkah
o Regulated the activities of traders who came to Makkah and had control of
the Ka’ba which enabled them to make enormous profits from the religious
pilgrims coming to the shrines.
HANIFS
- Influence and control of the Quarish was often unpopular and in particular their
exploitation of religious pilgrims was the source of some resentment.
- Among the opponents of the Quaraish were groups of devout Arabs known as
hanifs
o Sought to find purity of heart through long periods of reclusive reflection
and mediation in the many desert caves surrounding Makkah.
CREATOR GOD
- Hanifs had an abiding belief that among the many God’s there was one of
supreme power and authority, a creator God which existed separately from the
rest of creation and had been revealed in the past through messengers such as
Musa and Isa.
- It was from among the hanifs that the Prophet Muhammad was born in 570CE.
THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD
KEY EVENTS IN MUHAMMADS LIFE
 Early life as an ordinary person – 571-610 CE
o Born in 571 CE – orphaned at a young age
o Young adult → gains a reputation for trustworthiness
 People call him ‘al-amin’ (the Trustworthy)
o 25-years-old → marries Khadijah (40-year-old widow)
 Married for 25 years
 Polygamous society – men can marry more than once
o Late 30’s → became increasingly spiritual → withdraws himself to
meditation and solitude on a mountain-top cave
o 40 → receives his first revelation
 Mission in Mecca as a religious minority – 610-622 CE
o Meccan establishment first ignore the Prophet, then they ridicule him, then
they violently abuse
o The prophet is stoned out of the town on Taif
There is an economic and social boycott of Muslims
o
o 621 → 6 people from Medina become Muslim → grows rapidly because of
the attractive message of peace and equality
o 622 → Muslims migrate to Medina (marks the first year in the Islamic
calendar)
 Independent community and polity in Medina – 622-632 CE
o Early Medina (622-628 CE)
 Muhammad by defines Muslims, Jews and Polytheists in Medina as
one Ummah (nation)
 First mosque is built → first Friday prayer conducted
 623 → first military encounter (313 unprepared Muslim men against
1000 Meccan warriors) → Muslims win
 624 → Meccans march on to Medina with an army of 3000 → many
people wounded and martyred (The Prophet was injured)
 627 → another battle between Mecca and Muslims in Medina
o Peace with Mecca (628-630 CE)
 628 → Muhammad and 1500 Muslims visited Mecca on a
pilgrimage (the first Hajj)
 10 year peace treaty is signed (Mecca breaks it 2 years later)
 Thousands convert to Islam
 630 → Muhammad leads an army of 10000 to Mecca → city
surrenders → Muhammad declares general amnesty to all Meccans
o Mass conversions (630-632 CE)
 Arab tribes convert to Islam in mass
 632 the Prophet dies of natural causes
MUHAMMAD AS A MODEL FOR MUSLIM LIFE
- Muslims place great significance on the prophet’s actions and wisdom
- Devoted to prayer and spiritual searching throughout his life and even before the night of power →
example for Muslims who make prayer a central part of their lives (reflected in the pillar of Salat)
- Showed his trust in Allah, for example through his migration with his followers from Mecca to
Medina → example of Muslim life
- Values of wisdom, faith, patience and social justice (given the title of ‘Al-Amin’ the trusted one) →
example to Muslims of how to maintain relationship with Allah
Proved himself a capable leader → under his leadership the Muslim community had many strong
characteristics such as integrity, sexual morality, just and fair dealings and care for the poor
- Last Prophet of God
o Transmitter of God’s revelation (Qur’an)
o Representative and teacher of God’s revelation
- Servant of God
o Represents ultimate example of spiritual and devotional servant hood to God
o Perfect human being in moral behavior and wisdom

Example of surrender - The world “Islam” means surrender and its meaning reflects the
to the will of Allah disposition sought after by all devout Muslims, namely surrender to the
will of Allah.
- Sublime example of surrender to the will of Allah
- Human Being – not worshipped

Tradition of the - Final messenger – reflects understanding in Islam that he is part of a


prophets long tradition
- Others: Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus)
- Process of revelation has culminated – last prophet

Hadith and Sunna - Aspects of his life which give witness to his total submission to the will
of Allah
- Traditions of the actions – recorded in the Sunna
- Muhammad’s teachings – Hadith
- Important guides for Muslims to follow

Wise and capable - Quickly earned the trust and respect of his uncle Abu Talib and widow
leader Khadija
- Before receiving the revelation from the angel Jibril (Gabrielle) –
already living a life characterized by prayer and spiritual search

Faith, trust and - Showed faith and was prepared to place trust in the word of Allah
patience - Showed patience in waiting for the time to begin preaching

Fearless preacher - Preached tirelessly and fearlessly when encountering great opposition,
he was ridiculed ad persecuted
- Message created great hostility

Trust in Allah - Required to trust in Allah in the decision to travel to Medina


- Put his life at risk – recognized the importance of commitment to these
people – Allah before all

Prudent and just - Showed himself to be prudent and just – practical wisdom such as the
leader importance of forgiveness and overcoming anger
- Avoidance of corruption and fair dealing

Care for the poor - Community – clear responsibility for its most vulnerable members
- Ensured community followed practices – offerings of all Muslims

THE FOUR RIGHTLY GUIDED CALIPHS


Caliph - men who followed in Muhammad’s footsteps and oversaw the consolidation and expansion of his
empire

Abu Bakr (632-634) Umar (634-644) Uthman (644-656) Ali (656-661)


- Long-time  Friend and  Son in law of  Son in law and
friend of father in law of Muhammad cousin of
Muhammad Muhammad  Conditions Muhammad
and father of  Military leader, placed on rule  Rejected
his wife Aisha oversaw of Caliphate conditions of the
- Restoration of extension of after death of caliphate → Shi’ia
the stability of Muslim empire Umar – believe that he
Islam after the into Palestine, Uthman should’ve had
death of Syria, Egypt, accepted initial leadership,
Muhammad – North Africa –  Compiled the leadership should
through battles many coverted Qur’an with all stay within
unified Arabia to Islam inspired available Muhammad’s
for the first time by tolerance and materials family
as a Muslim fairness  Further  Marked by a
State  Contributed expanded struggle for
- Began process through capture Islam into political power
of developing a of Jerusalem Eastern which resulted in
written version and restoration Europe a civil war and
of the Qur’an of temple site  Rebellions and major Schism in
assassination Islam
due to rule
and
distribution of
land to
relatives

SUNNI AND SHI’IA


FEATURES SUNNI SHI’IA
NAME - Derives from Sunnat al- - Known as Shi’at ali or
nabi (the custom of the ‘partisans of Ali’
prophet) - Seceded from the main
- Means ‘traditionalist’ body of Islam
HISTORY - Accept authority and - Reject the authority of the
leadership of the Four first three for the Four
rightly guided caliphs rightly caliphs
and their community
appointed successors
LEADERSHIP - All necessary guidance - Ali was ‘vice regent’ of
given by God in the Allah and Ali’s successors
Qur’an and Sunnah are infallible interpreters of
the Qur’an and sinless.
- Authority resides in the
divinely ordained leader of
Imam
SIZE AND COUNTRIES - Over 85% of Muslims - 15% of the Umma (world
and it is regarded as the Muslim community)
normal pattern of Islamic - Prominent in Iraq, Iran,
belief Lebanon, Syria, Eastern
- Found predominantly in parts of Saudi Arabia
the Middle East, Turkey, (majority in Iraq and Iran)
Africa, Indian
Subcontinent, Malaysia
and Indonesia.
OTHER - Believe Muhammad was - Non Shi’ite regards these
the last Prophet and the principles are extremely
Qur’an was the final controversial
revelation of Allah
believe Shi’ites have
significantly departed
from the original Islam

SYLLABUS- PRINCIPAL BELIEFS


- The articles of faith explained in the - Outline the implications of Tawhid
Aqida as: for Muslim belief
o Tawhid - Examine the role of the Books of
o Angels Allah and prophecy in Islam
o Books of Allah - Outline the principle beliefs about
o Rusul Angels, life after death and
o Akhira fate/predestination
o Fate/predestination

- Aqida is an Arabic word meaning creed, refers to the five basic articles of belief in
the Qur’an
IMPLICATIONS OF THE TAWHID
- Refers to the belief about Allah
o Nothing can rival Allah, nor can there exist anything that is even remotely
like Allah
- It affirms there is one true God
o Separate from creation in a transcendent way
o All knowing and all powerful
o Beyond human understanding
- Allah remains close to the heart of every person
- All gifts and talents are attributed to the gift of Allah
- Tawhid affirms all things happen for a purpose
- Allah knows everything, is not fooled by appearances
- Any belief that diminishes this faith in the oneness and absoluteness of Allah is
referred to as shirk.
- Expressed in 1st Pillar Shahada – “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his
prophet” – devout Muslims recite daily
- Those who believe in Allah are united in the Umma (worldwide Muslim
community)
- Adherents are dedicated to the will of Allah through Tawhid, can more easily
access their search for meaning. Surrendering to the will of Allah provides purpose
and determination
THE ROLE OF THE BOOKS OF ALLAH AND PROPHECY (RUSUL) IN ISLAM
Books of - Role in revealing God’s intentions and truths
Allah - Muslims believe that initially each of the revealed books contained the complete
revelation of Allah, however, overtime were not properly preserved and some such
as the Sahifa given to Ibrahim have been completely lost
- These Holy books include
o Torah of Moses
o Psalms of David
o Gospels of Jesus
o Qur’an – the most complete and true, not distorted overtime unlike other
texts
- Muslims accept the truths of the Qur’an intellectually and practice obedience to
the law in their daily lives
- The Qur’an: 604pgs, 114chs, 6200+ vs, not in chronological order
- Written and memorized by many during the life of Muhammad, process of
compiling began after his death

Rusul - - Way in which Allah became revealed to human kind (greatest and last messenger)
Prophets - Adam first messenger, Muhammad is the last
- Nabi: an inspired prophet who has not been commissioned for a particular
purpose, whereas RUSUL is used to describe a messenger who has been given a
particular mission
- Role in revealing the truths and messages of Allah, all taught messages contained
in the Qur’an
- Qur’an refers to 25 prophets – Adam (1st), Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus,
Muhammad – the seal
- All teachings before Muhammad were blemished by falsification, to rectify Allah
sent the Qur’an to the seal of the prophets, thus becomes the final and complete
revelation of Allah

THE PRINCPLE BELIEFS OF ANGELS, LIFE AFTER DEATH AND FATE/PREDESINTATION


Mala’ika – - Beings not of physical or material form, cannot be depicted
Angels - Understood to be the messengers of Allah, and speak on behalf of Allah +
provide guidance
- Muslims believe they are creatures of light which exist everywhere throughout
the universe and are constantly interacting with human beings
- Iblis
- 2 angels designated to each person, recording good and bad deeds
- Acknowledged during daily Salat (symbolic movement of looking side to side)
- Qur’an names a number of angels and their purpose
- Angel Jibril reveals the word of Allah to chosen ones (appeared in human form)
- Angel Israfil has the role of calling all souls to the day of judgement
- Angel Mika’il had the special role of guarding places of worship

Akhira – - Belief in a life after death where all will be judged for their actions and inactions
Afterlife - Muslims are responsible for their own actions
- Every action and thought is recorded and will be revealed at time of judgement
- Human life on earth is a test and the outcome determines the persons eternal
faith
- First part of life is mortal and temporary, second part following death is eternal
- Human mind not fully capable of comprehending nature of afterlife
- Those who die before Day of Judgement → souls taken by angel to “Barzakh”
waiting place
- Paradise – reward, described by Qur’an as oasis in desert
- Those who fail – Jahannam, described by Qur’an as place of fire and torment
- Muslims believe that Allah has sent witnesses to each generation to show them
clearly what is right and wrong and what is expected of them.
- Forgiveness is available for all people

Fate/ pre - Allah is all knowing, believe that nothing happens by chance or randomly
destination - Muslims believe that while destiny is already known to Allah, it is their free will
and their choice which determines it
- Each person is given the freedom to choose and Allah respects this free will
absolutely.
- Grand plan and sequence of events observed in the universe that are beyond
human control (Allah has control over the actions in a person’s life)
- In Islam, evil is created as a consequence of a person’s misuse of free will, “the
absence of good”
- Events determined by Allah, man chooses to respond in a particular way – Allah
does not choose evil, people do, Allah allows it as he gives free will
- Responsibility and accountability comes with freedom of choice

SYLLABUS- SACRED TEXTS AND WRITINGS


- The Qur’an and Hadith - Identify the importance of:
o The Qur’an
o The Hadith
- Examine the extracts from the
Qur’an and Hadith which
demonstrate the principal beliefs of
Islam

THE QUR’AN
- Written record of the revelation of Allah through the angel Gabriel
- Revered by Muslims
- Considered to be written without error and is not questioned
- Consist of 114 suras (chapters)
- Speaks in a powerful, moving language about:
o The reality and attributes of God
o The spiritual world
o Gods purpose for mankind
o Mans relationship and responsibility to Allah
o The coming day of judgement
o Life hereafter
- It contains
o Rules for living
o Stories of earlier prophets and their communities.
o Vital insights and understandings concerning the meaning of existence and
human life
IMPORTANCE
- Final revelation of God to Muhammad through angel Jibrial, historical legacy of
Muhammad
- Foundation text of Islam, supreme authority: emphasizes that a Muslim’s whole life
must be one of submission to Allah (guides life)
- Memorised, recited in Arabic, treated with respect
- Details beliefs – e.g. Second surah, the longest, outlines the articles and pillars of
faith
THE HADITH (SUNNAH/SUNNA)
- Arabic term meaning ‘habitual practice’
- Customary practice of the prophet Muhammad
- Second source of Islamic Jurespudence
- Both Qur’an and the Sunnah are indispensable- once cannot practice Islam
without both being consulted.
- Hadith is the narration about the life of the Prophet Muhammad.
o Eyewitness records of his actions, words and approbations and is taken as a
model of behaviour by Muslims.
- Two types
o Sacred Hadith: regarded as words from Allah which were communicated to
Muhammad, however, unlike the Qur’an, these messages were passed on
in the words of the prophet rather than exactly as they were received from
Allah.
o Prophetic Hadith
IMPORTANCE
- Importance is complementary to the Qur’an – not regarded as sacred as is the
Qur’an
- Messages from Allah in the words of Muhammad
- Proved invaluable to Muslim communities in addressing issues not explicitly
covered by Qur’an
- Underwent lengthy authentication process
EXTRACTS FROM QUR’AN AND HADITH WHICH DISPLAY PRINCIPLE BELIEFS
Tawhid “He is Allah, the One, Allah is eternal and absolute.” (surah 112)
Angels “He sends forth guardians to watch over you and when death overtakes
you, the messengers will carry away your soul.” (surah 6:61)
Books of Allah “Believe in what has been sent down to thee Muhammad and what has
been sent down before thee” (surah 2:4)
Rusul “Allah chooses for Himself whoever he pleases, and guides to Himself
those who turn to him” (surah 42:13)
Akhira “Your good actions will only benefit you, while evil harms only the person
who does it” (surah 41:46)
Fate/Predestinatio “Whatever Allah grants to humanity out of His mercy, no one can
n withhold and what He withholds no one can grant apart from Him. He is
the source of Power, the All-Knowing” (surah 35:2)
“On the Day of Judgement no step of a servant of Allah shall slip until he
has answered concerning four things:
His body and how he used it
His life and how he spent it
His wealth and how he earned
His knowledge and what he did with it” (Hadith)

SYLLABUS- CORE ETHICAL TEACHINGS


- Islamic jurisprudence - Outline the principal ethical
o The Qur’an teachings within Islam
o The Sunna and Hadith - Outline the process of Islamic
o Ijma’- consensus among jurisprudence
religious leaders - Describe the important of ethical
o Qiyas- comparison with teachings in determining that
teachings of the Qur’an or which is:
Hadith o Halal
o Haraam
THE QUR’AN
- Principle source to guide them in ethical matters.
- Foundational source for all teaching in Islam and provides clear guidance in many
areas.
- Underlying principles are able to be applied in most situations
THE SUNNA AND HADITH
- Additional guidance found in the collections of the traditions of the Prophet
Muhammad
IJMA
- Judgement of recognised scholars
QIYAS
- Process of applying the principles of Islam by analogy to make appropriate
judgements.
PROCESS OF ISLAMIC JURISPRUDENCE
- The Shari’a is the divine law of Islam. It is a set of regulations, principles and values.
In it Muslims find a code of conduct, ways of worship, standards of ethics, laws and
judgements of what are right and wrong.
- The sources from which the Shari’a is developed are the sacred texts (Qur’an and
Sunna) as well as authority from within the religious structure (Ijima and Qiya)
- The Qur’an, which is the most important ethical source for Muslims contain
teachings about the oneness and nature of Allah, stories of the prophets and the
consequences of good and evil.
- The hadith is a record of traditions and practices of the prophet Muhammad.
- The Ijima is the collective judgements of educated scholars. This approach reaches
an greed position (consensus) on a question, having applied reason to a problem
at hand, keeping in mind the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
- New situations and issue may arise which are not dealt with either in the Qur’an,
Sunna or Ijima.
- These are dealt with using qiya. An example of this could be, using alcohol is
forbidden, but no mention is made of other drugs.
- The interpretation of the Shari’a is not the same for all Muslims. There are four
orthodox schools of Sunni thought. They are Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’I and Hanbali.
- Most Muslims live in countries in which the civil law does not follow the full
prescription of Shari’a in commercial and criminal matters. On the other hand,
Islam’s birthplace Saudi Arabia, is rule by Shari’a and nations such as Iran, Libya
and Pakistan have restored Muslim laws.
HALAL AND HARAM
- Halal: permitted
- Haraam: forbidden
o E.g. adultery which is never regarded as permissible action regardless of the
circumstances
- First aspect: consider the views of respected people, if the consensus of these
people is against doing something, then it should be avoided.
- Second aspect: precedent of previous decisions
- Third aspect: common or public good. The welfare of others and an overall
concern for justice
REQUIRED ACTIONS - Required actions or behaviour
- E.g. the five pillars of faith
DESIREABLE ACTIONS - Mandub- desirable or recommended
- E.g. charitable activities or prayer, gestures of hospitality,
forgiving wrongdoing.
UNCLEAR ACTIONS - Mubah: require prudent exercise of personal judgement.
- Situations where there is no clear guidance in the Qur’an or in
judgement of authorities of Islam.

HATEFUL ACTIONS - Not recommended or are not approved.


- Known as Makruh and are officially regarded as hateful, yet are
not absolutely forbidden
- E.g. divorce

SYLLABUS- EXPRESSION OF FAITH


- The five pillars as the expression of - Outline each of the five pillars
the faith of Islam
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SHINTO
SYLLABUS-NATURE OF SHINTO
- Origins of the universe - Outline the principal beliefs
- Principal beliefs concerning the origins of the
- Supernatural powers and deities universe
- Rituals - Identify the principal beliefs of the
- Influence in the society religion
- Human search for meaning - Identify and describe the role of
the supernatural powers and
deities in the religion
- Discuss the relationship between
sacred spaces and the beliefs of
the religion
- Identify the principal rituals and
examine their significance for the
individual and community
- Explain the relationship between
the religion and its society
- Explain how the religion provides a
distinctive response to the search
for meaning

ORIGINS OF THE UNIVERSE


- Contained in Shinto text – the Kojiki
- Heaven and earth made up of In and Yo undivided, an egg-shaped mass, defied
limits
o Heaven formed by drawing out purest part, rose to the top
o Rest settled to bottom and became earth, took longer to develop due to
impurities
- Following this 8 deities, male/female kami, born spontaneously  → their
relationships gave rise to brother and sister kami Izanagi and Izanami (he/she who
invites)
- I + I thrust a spear into the ocean, forming the main island of Japan
- Upon their marriage and discovery of sexual intercourse they bore children,
including the other islands of Japan and other kami
- Daughter Amaterasu Omikami, the sun goddess, became the dominant deity,
thought to give birth to the first emperor and therefore is the ancestor of the
imperial family, her descendants unified Japan
PRINCIPAL BELEIFS
- KAMI – polytheistic, imminent, divine spirits/deities e.g. Amaterasu – the sun
goddess
- Believers revere ‘musuhi,’ the Kami’s creating and harmonising power, pray to
them for protection and guidance
- Kami are not perfect and capable of mistakes
- All natural objects inhabited by spirits and are thus revered (animism)
- Everyone in Japan is connected, human life and nature is sacred as humanity is
regarded as ‘Kami’s child’
- Aim for the way of the kami → ‘makoto’ = sincerity of true heart, morality
- A desire for peace, suppressed in WWII, which has been restored
- Four affirmations
o Tradition and the family → family preserves tradition, deep respect for
births and marriages
o Love of nature → close to nature = close to kami
o Physical cleanliness → clean for the kami, adherents bathe, wash hands
often
o Matsuri → festival worship and honour given to kami and ancestral spirits

SUPERNATURAL POWERS AND DEITIES


 Kami role as gods, spirits, powerful natural objects and Japanese emperors
 Mostly peaceful and protect the community, however could
o Be the spirits of living nature → role in creation and natural elements e.g.
Susano-o the storm god
o Be the spirits of an ancestor → honouring the kami has a role in keeping
alive family tradition
o Be working through a gifted or outstanding person → role in providing
guidance and leadership
o Manifest themselves in evil things → acknowledging that suffering is part of
human experience
 Hence, through the role of the kami, there is an acknowledgement that
nature is both constructive and destructive, and contains both sorrow and
joy

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SACRED SPACES AND THE BELIEFS OF THE RELIGION


 Shinto worship primarily in jinja (shrines), sacred objects in honden represent the
specified kami → belief that the kami dwell here, must be woken up with noise and
revered with prayers and offerings
 Shrines quite beautiful, often made of wood, torii gates to mark separation of kami
from outside world → relate to belief of revering the kami and showing respect
 Purification at shrines, place to wash hands and mouth + until recently women
unable to enter certain sacred spaces as they may be polluted by childbirth or
menstruation → reflects belief that physical cleanliness is associated with moral
purity, modelled on purification ritual performed by Izanagi after he was polluted
with contact of corpse of Izanami

PRINCIPAL RITUALS AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE FOR THE INDIVIDUAL AND COMMUNITY
 Rituals integral to transmit religious thought and feeling as there is no creed or scripture

Ritual Significance
Offerings made to the kami on a regular basis, Individual: Maintain spiritual relationship and access
and prayers consisting of praise, requests and life giving powers of the kami → communicate with,
words of respect honour and praise to earn favour
Purification rituals e.g. rinsing of hands and Individual: moral purification through physical
mouth prior to entering a shrine purification, removes unrighteousness which hinders
communication with kami
Shrines in adherents homes where they perform Individual: communication with ancestor kami and a
morning and evening rituals relationship with the kami in a personal space
Presentation of newborn boys and girls at the Community: a highly important way of presenting a
shrine at 32 and 33 days old respectively, rite of passage to the local kami and the community
wedding vows taken at shrines
Matsuri, large scale rituals e.g. major New Year Community: allows the community to come together
festival Oshogatsu where large crowds attend to in the way of the kami, important in allowing for a
thank the kami and make resolutions for the balance between humans, the natural world and the
New Year kami

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RELIGION AND ITS SOCIETY


- The kami were believed to create Japan and their descendants rule over it as the emperor
→ Shinto religion has historically been used to express Japanese nationalism and identity
e.g. justification for military action in WWII, after which prestige was lost
- Shinto beliefs and rituals instilled etiquette standards and in Japanese culture, for example
when Izanagi, the male, insists that he must speak before female Izanami
- Shinto beliefs and rituals emphasize ancestor kami → family values and respect for elders
in Japanese culture
- Since Shinto is a spirituality and accepts other religions, it has allowed for the spread of
Buddhism in Japan
- Shinto emphasizes the idea of cleanliness and respect to the environment, evident in
Japanese society
- Japanese entertainment and sport which are a key part of the culture - Sumo wrestling,
has origins as a Shinto ritual which paid honour to the kami

HOW THE RELIGION PROVIDES A DISTINCTIVE RESPONSE TO THE SEARCH FOR


MEANING
- A way of life rather than a way to explain the world
- Provides purpose and meaning as adherents strive to live in the way of the kami and
achieve ‘makoto’ sincerity of heart → provides meaning to life and aim to live a simple,
sensible, peaceful life
- Humanity is part of the sacred natural realm, “children of the kami” → hence a sense of
meaning is provided and humanity feels a strong connection to the earth
- Kami occupy natural objects such as mountains (animism) → hence life, nature and the
world are revered
- Emphasis on purification and the belief that the kami are capable of mistakes, people seen
as basically good → suffering is not regarded as a punishment for human behaviour but
rather a natural element of human existence, human are able to maintain a pure state of
existence through purification
RELIGION IN AUSTRALIA PRE 1945
SYLLABUS-RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS IN AUSTRALIA PRE-1945
- Arrival and establishment of - Outline the arrival and
Christianity and TWO other establishment of Christianity and
religious traditions in Australia TWO other religious traditions in
- Issues related to the development Australia
of Christianity in Australia in pre- - Examine the impact of sectarianism
1945 of the relationship among Christian
o Sectarianism denominations in Australia pre
o Social welfare 1945
- The contribution of ONE religious - Examine the contribution of
tradition in Australia to each of the Christianity to social welfare in
following pre-1945 Australia in pre-1945
o Rural and outback - Discuss the role of ONE religious
communities tradition in rural and outback
o Education communities pre-1945
o Public morality - Outline the contribution of ONE
religious tradition to the provision
of education in pre-1945
- Examine the initiatives taken by
ONE religious tradition in Australia
in the area of public morality in
pre-1945

THE ARRIVAL AND ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS IN AUSTRALIA


Christianity - Arrived in 1788 through colonisation
- Church of England
o Most dominant, tied closely to colonial government – first chaplains acted
as magistrates
o First Chaplain: Rev. Richard Johnson
o All required to attend Divine Service, much friction between
denominations
- Catholicism
o Arrived through Irish on the first fleet, members constantly in dispute with
English authorities
o First mass 1803 by Fr James Dixon (lost his right to practice 1804)
o Not permitted to operate formally until late 1820’s when priests were
authorised to settle and conduct services
o Fr Joseph Therry petitioned for government support of Catholic
institutions → COE did not become state religion
- Protestant – Samuel Marsden (second chaplain) encouraged arrival
o Presbyterian (1809) – not a wealthy class, mostly Scottish, Thomas Muir
was a Scottish elder and held the first service, John Dunmore Lang was
first leader who encouraged establishment of schools and more settlers
o Methodist (1815) – First congregation minister arrived 1830, active voice in
early 19th cent Aus

Judaism - Few arrived on the First Fleet (as convicts), and on every ship onwards
- First free settlers: 1809
- 1817: Formal beginnings of a functioning Jewish community – Jewish burial society
and minyan formed
- 1828: Philip Cohen, first marriage celebrant
- 1830: Aaron Levi, first rabbi
- Jewish groups increasing in society, 1832: Sydney Hebrew Congregation formally
established
- Jewish population more than doubled in the Gold Rush
- Jewish communities developed and synagogues opened in Sydney, VIC, SA

Islam - Pre 1788 – Muslim fishermen and traders from Makassar peacefully interacted with
Aborigines
- Large scale immigration began in the 1850’s to be employed as camel drivers
- Camel drivers lived in rural ‘ghantowns’ (every state except Vic), role in developing
rural communities
- Implementation of Immigration Act 1901 resulted in many returning home
- 1911 – Approx 300 Turkish Muslims in Aus, decreased post WWI
- Various mosques built e.g. Maree SA, Broken Hill, Alice Springs, Perth Adelaide

IMPACT OF SECTARIANISM AMONG CHRISTIAN DENOMINATIONS


- Sectarianism refers to rivalry/division among religious lines, due to social/political
reasons → discrimination, persecution
- 1788 – bitterness between Church of England and Irish Catholics stemming from
Protestant reformation (16th century, created rivalry and mistrust among Catholics
and Protestants) and English occupation of Ireland (political issue, but religion
became a part of national identity)
- CoE set up as established religion, Catholic minority harshly treated and forced to
attend divine service, Catholics not permitted to have a Priest minister within
community for 30 years
- Castle Hill Rebellion 1804 (year after James Dixon had been given permission to
minister Catholics) – Irish Catholics seen as ‘scum’, refused to send children to CoE
schools or marry in CoE
- Impacted employment practices up until early 1900’s – Protestant businesses
would not trust Catholics, “Catholics need not apply” → Catholics worked in public
sector, schools focus on passing Public Service examination
- Conscription referendum in WWI fuelled sectarianism → CoE and Protestant urged
support for Britain, Catholic leaders opposed as well as other protestants, did not
pass → escalation of hostility towards Catholics, considered traitors

THE CONTRIBUTION OF CHRISTIANITY TO SOCIAL WELFARE


- Large Christian contribution to social welfare as assisting the needy is part of the Christian
ethos
- Provided education for the needy by establishing Christian education system e.g. 1886
Order of St Joseph founded by Mother Mary MacKillop and Father Julian Tennyson
Woods to teach children of the poor
- Role in assisting the marginalised e.g. 1888 Mother Esther established first CoE religious
order to work for poor women and prostitutes
- Assisted migrants, many female, in providing shelter and employment e.g. Caroline
Chisolm home for female immigrants
- Social activism during the Great Depression e.g. Lobbying Christian churches → gov
introduced unemployment benefits, provided relief and tackled poverty

CONTRIBUTION OF CHRISTIANITY TO EACH OF THE FOLLOWING


Role of Christianity - Role was not an ecumenical effort (sectarian in nature) but various
in rural and Christian groups assisted rural communities to help create equality
outback - 1897 – CoE Nathaniel Dawes established the Bush Brotherhood –
communities preachers on horseback → role in providing ministry, sacraments and
social support to those living in rural and remote areas
- 1920’s – Australian Inland Mission of the Presbyterian Church developed
the Flying Doctor service → role in providing medical assistance in
outback areas, and the School of the Air → role in providing education to
those in the outback

Contribution of - Education highly important to Christian denominations, various


Christianity to the legislations impacted the provision of it, Catholics felt disadvantaged and
provision of were keen to set up their own education system
education - School Estates Corporation Charter 1825 – allowed 1/7 of colonial land
for CoE schools and churches, helped the maintenance of their schools →
opposed by all other denominations as it did not benefit them
- Church Act 1836 – “pound for pound” subsidy for all religious groups
allowing development of schools and churches → Benefitted CoE with
largest capacity to raise money, Catholics took advantage of it and raised
money for Catholic school → Other denominations disliked that the
Catholics were receiving money
- Public Instruction Act 1880 – formalised free, compulsory, secular public
education and abolished funding to all denominational schools →
Presbyterians agreed with this view; CoE generally supportive and
continued private schooling for those who could afford it; Catholic
education greatly struggled but survived due to dedication of those in
religious orders

Initiatives taken by - Public morality – attempts made by more conservative groups to enforce
Christianity in moral values through legislation
Australia to the - Sabbatarianism – necessity of the observance of the Sabbath
area of public o Protestants believed it was vital, rejected Sunday work, sale of
morality goods, playing of sport, opening of hotels and theatres and
running of public transport
o Roman Catholics opposed, obliged to attend mass but not to
refrain from leisure
- Temperance movement aimed at reducing alcohol consumption → WWI
significant majority voted for the 6pm closing of hotels, influenced by
Protestants
- Banning of gambling – Christian denominations (not Catholic) influential
in banning of gambling in Aus, denounced gain by methods other than
honest labour
- Broader society viewed these attempts negatively, referred to them as
wowserism and gradually rejected social control by religious authority