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Religious Education: Unit 4 Area of Study 2: Contemporary challenges and their impact

Resources to support senior religious education curriculum.

RE Unit 4 AOS2

Interaction of religion and society

Students study one or more than one religious tradition or denomination. For each tradition or denomination selected, they examine in detail one significant challenge that has engaged the religious tradition or denomination and society. Religious traditions and denominations are in a continual interactive process of engagement and negotiation with their members and with the trends, ideas, events, and innovations found in wider society that can affect one or more aspects of religion and form the broader context of a challenge. Specific people or groups in a religious tradition or denomination, and/or in wider society, may advocate for change or resistance. These sources influence religious traditions and denominations to adopt stances for change, against change or of indifference to the challenge. Stances and supporting responses to the challenge may vary as interactions continue throughout the challenge and the results may or may not produce the desired effects.

The selected challenge can be related to a particular time in the past or present of the religious tradition or denomination, or be a challenge that has recurred and is then studied over a period of time. The selected challenge may have occurred in the past but the responses may be ongoing and the resolution may not yet have been achieved in the present day. Responses may involve advocacy and/or reaction by the religious tradition or denomination at various times.

The challenge should be at a stage where a range of analyses of the impacts of the responses have been made by commentators. The challenge should be different to the challenges identified in the overview in Area of Study 1. Students investigate the broader context leading to the challenge, the sources of the challenge, and the stances and supporting responses adopted by the religious tradition or denomination to the challenge. They also examine the impact of the responses. [source]

RE Unit 4 AOS2 Outcome 2

On completion of this unit the student should be able to discuss the interactions within a religious tradition or denomination and between a religious tradition or denomination and wider society in relation to a significant challenge, and examine the effects of these interactions.

To achieve this outcome the student will draw on key knowledge and key skills outlined in Area of Study 2.

RE Unit 4 AOS2: Interaction of religion and society

U4 AOS2: Key knowledge

  • for one or more than one religious tradition or denomination:
     – a significant challenge involving at least one of the categories of theology, ethics and continued existence
    – the broader context of the particular challenge
    – when and where the challenge occurred or is occurring
    – the sources of the significant challenge coming from within the religious tradition or denomination and from interactions with society
  • how specific aspects of religion were or are involved
  • the stances and supporting responses adopted by the religious tradition or denomination, in relation to the challenge
  • the reasons and intended outcomes for the stances and supporting responses
  • the influence of the religious tradition’s or denomination’s stances and supporting responses on the challenge itself
  • the influence of the responses on the religious tradition or denomination and on wider society.

U4 AOS2: Key skills

  • analyse a significant challenge faced by a religious tradition or denomination
  • explain stances and supporting responses adopted by a religious tradition or denomination in relation to a challenge
  • analyse the influence of stances and supporting responses on a challenge itself and on wider society
  • interpret, synthesise and apply primary and secondary source material.