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Religious Education: VCE Religion and Society Unit 1

Resources to support senior religious education curriculum.

RE Unit 1 Course Description

In this unit students explore the origins of religion and its role in the development of society, identifying the nature and purpose of religion over time. They investigate the contribution of religion generally to the development of human society. They also focus on the role of religious traditions over time in shaping personal and group identity. Students examine how individuals, groups and new ideas have affected and continue to affect religious traditions.

The unit provides an opportunity for students to understand the often complex relationships that exist between individuals, groups, new ideas and religious traditions broadly and in the Australian society in which they live. A range of examples are studied throughout the unit. For all areas of study, students explore detailed examples from more than one religion. These may be from one or more than one of the groups below. In addition, for Areas of Study 1 and 2 further shorter illustrative examples should be selected for study from across all the groups below.

  • Spiritual and religious ideas in Prehistory (associated with, for example, Lascaux, Gobekli Tepe, Stonehenge, Jericho)
  • Religious traditions of ancient civilisations (for example, Sumerian, Mesopotamian, Babylonian, Egyptian, Canaanite, Roman, Greek)
  • Asian religious and philosophical traditions (for example, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism)
  • Abrahamic religions (for example, Judaism, Christianity and Islam).

Students consider the aspects of religion when investigating selected religious traditions and religion in general.

Aspects of Religion

For the purposes of this study, religion can be understood to have particular interrelated aspects. These provide a useful framework to assist students in their study of religion throughout Units 1 to 4.

Students consider the following interrelated aspects when investigating a selected religious tradition or denomination and religion in general:

  • Beliefs
  • Sacred stories
  • Spaces, places, times and artifacts
  • Texts
  • Rituals
  • Symbols
  • Social structures
  • Ethics
  • Spiritual experiences