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A comprehensive exploration of religion starting with answers given by 5 year-old children, moving through an exploration of our unique identity as a human being, body,mind and spirit - to an …

A comprehensive exploration of religion starting with answers given by 5 year-old children, moving through an exploration of our unique identity as a human being, body,mind and spirit - to an exploration of the forces behind religious experiences to a detailed analysis of our Religious Identity. Concludes with a reflective exercise or meditation on goodness and well-being.

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  • 1. Blue Lotus Enterprises Exploring Religion A Conversation
  • 2. Exploring Religion A Conversation by Durga-Mata Chaudhuri 137 slides
  • 3. What is Religion? What do you think ? How would you answer this question?
  • 4. Religion is about me Religion is a subject that you have to think about. Everyone has a point of view on this subject. And in the subject of religion, your views are important. So are mine. We may not agree but all our views matter . Religion is about you. Religion is about me. Religion is about thinking and our views. Religion is about everyone.
  • 5. girls
  • 6. and boys
  • 7. Old
  • 8. and young
  • 9. We asked all the Reception Children (in Linton Church School) this question.
    • They gave lots of answers - They did not all agree - but their answers followed a pattern. The answers could be grouped by the ideas they expressed.
    • There were four main ideas.
    • The children said that
    • Religion is about belief.
    • Religion is about doing things
    • About actions that are related to what we believe
    • Religion is about Jesus and Christianity –
    • About sources of Wisdom - the great World Religions
    • Religion is about God
    • About the mystery of life - our relationship with the universe
  • 10. awareness The unexamined life is not worth living.” Socrates 
  • 11. Activity 1
    • Work with a partner or the people next to you to create a mind map about religion . Include all the words and ideas you can think of.
    • Write a definition of religion.
    • Join with another pair or group and compare your mind-maps and definitions.
    • How are they similar. How are they different ?
    • Do you think it's important to agree?
    • The following slides show some of the answers to the question 'what is religion?' given by the children -
  • 12. Religion is about Belief?
    • Your own opinion
    • A belief in different countries
    • A person that believes
    • Believing in everyone
    • Believe to do something
    • A lot of different beliefs
    • you believe in something
  • 13.  
  • 14. Religion is about doing things?
    • A thing you do at least once a week
    • A religion is if you pray to God and other people.
    • Believe to do something
    • Believe to help another person
    • Vegetarian
    • Someone who helps people
    • Something you've forgotten to do!
  • 15.  
  • 16. Religion is about Jesus (Christianity)
    • Believe in Jesus and God and their friends
    • Something to do with Easter
    • … if you read the B ible
    • Lots of people who pray to God or Jesus
    • Something left over from a long time ago!
  • 17.  
  • 18. Religion is about God?
    • I believe in God
    • Someone who believes in God
    • Religion is someone who loves God
    • Believing in God and his friends
    • If you think that God is real
    • A religion is if you pray to God and other people.
    • When you believe in God and angels
  • 19.  
  • 20. Did anyone get the right answer? If so, Which answer is right? Religion is not a simple subject like maths where you learn a rule and use it to get the right answer. Religion is about us, who we are and what we think. We are all different. We have different parents, we belong to different communities and have different histories, we have different experiences - and as a result we all have different ways of seeing the world and living our lives. Our thoughts and beliefs are different and we make sense of life in different ways.
  • 21. What does that mean?
    • Does that mean none of the answers are right?
    • No.
    • Does that mean all of the answers are right?
    • Perhaps.
    • Does that mean that all of the answers are right but only in part -
    • each one only gives part of the answer?
    • Many people would say that this is true. But not everybody.
    • There are many different views.
  • 22. the reception children gave lots of answers - We asked a question. Religion is about questions. Everyone had an answer, Religion is about answers. We all have different ways of understanding things and we answer in different ways. All our different views are important. So religion is about us, you, me and everyone. who we are and what our views are . Religion is also about our Beliefs and Actions -what we do, It is about Wisdom - the great World Religions such as Christianity, and the Mystery of life – which is where God comes in.
  • 23. You me and everyone
  • 24. Activity 2 'Religion is about you me and everyone. It is something you believe in, something you do, something that gives answers and direction and a way of understanding the great mystery of life.’ Just for one minute think about what it is to be a human being. Who are you? and ' What is life? What do you find most mysterious or amazing about life and the world we live in? Now share your thoughts with the person sitting next to you. Did you think about the things that the children mentioned – Being human, Actions, Beliefs, Wisdom and Mystery
  • 25. The Jigsaw of Religion
    • OK, Miss, since you are so clever, how would you answer the religion-question?
    • How would I explain what religion means?
    • That is an excellent question .
    • I would start by saying that Religion is like a jigsaw made up of millions of pieces. It is not something simple and easy to understand. Religion is about how each person understands and makes sense of the mysterious experience that we call life.
    • Each person is a piece of the Religion-Jigsaw.
  • 26. If this red piece represents me. What colour would you choose to represent you?
  • 27.  
  • 28. No Religion
    • “ But I don’t believe in anything. I’m not Christian or any other religion. I don’t have any religion. I’m a ‘none’ so I’m not part of the jigsaw of religion, am I Miss?”
    • Well, the different religions in the world are only part of the religion-picture.
    • Everyone’s views, ideas, beliefs, thoughts and experiences are important in religion.
    • The picture is only complete when it includes everyone. There is no such thing as a 'none.'
    • Your views are just as important as anyone else’s
    • So there is definitely a piece of the jigsaw for you. What colour would you like to choose to represent your views?
  • 29. Difference is natural .
    • You see difference everywhere. No two leaves on a tree are the same. No two snowflakes in a snowstorm are the same.
    • It is natural that we all have different views, ideas and beliefs. The religion-picture includes them all.
    • If we want to see the complete picture we need everyone’s views .
    • We will explore different views about God a bit later in this ‘Conversation.’ But whether or not you believe in God, you are still part of the picture.
  • 30. No two leaves are the same
  • 31.  
  • 32.  
  • 33. I am unique
    • Unique is a very important word in religion. It means absolutely special and different from anything else that exists. Just like everything else in nature, each human being is unique.
    • I am unique. You are unique. We are absolutely special and completely different from anyone else who has ever lived before. Also we are completely different from anyone else who will ever come to live on earth.
    • Even identical twins are different. They may look similar but they have their own thoughts and experiences, their own ways of understanding, their own dreams.
  • 34. Activity 3 – part 1 Like all models which represent something different, the jigsaw model has difficulties. We are not like a ‘jar of paint,’ the same ‘colour’ all the way through. Human beings are complicated. There is a lot to who and what we are. Shut your eyes for a minute. Ask yourself - 'What it’s like to be 'me.' Feel how solid and warm your body is. Listen and see how many things you can hear. Are these sounds outside the room or within it? Can you hear any sounds from within your own body? Watch your thoughts. Are your thoughts in the past, the present, the future or in the world of pure imagination?
  • 35. Activity 3 – part 2
    • Talk to the people near to you about the experience of listening . Did you hear the same things?
    • What about watching your thoughts? Did you find it easy? If your mind is thinking, 'who' is watching your thoughts?
    • Think about some simple things you have views on, such as your favourite colour or food, football team, television programme, computer game, hobby or sto ry .
    • See if you can discover some things that you agree about and some that you have different views on.
    • Who is right and who is wrong –
    • there are many different views and opinions?-
    • Is it OK do disagree?
  • 36. I am complicated Religion is about how we understand the world we live in but it is also about how we understand ourselves. I have a strong body which is solid and warm. I have five senses – sight, hearing, feeling, smell and taste. I have clever hands that can hold things. I have a mind that can think and dream. But is this all???
  • 37. mystery There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Hamlet Act 1 scene 5
  • 38. Science and Religion Science explores the physical or material world. Scientists have worked out how atoms build into molecules, how the different chemical elements build up this amazing planet. Some people think that science can explain everything. It is like their ‘religion’ – even their God. But in reality science does not hold all the answers. Science and Religion are both important. There is an outer world that science explores. But there is also an inner world. If you want to know about that, science is the wrong discipline, the wrong tool to use. Science can calculate the age of the earth and show that life has evolved - but it can not tell us what life is or how to live a good life. We need two eyes to see clearly. In a similar way we need the insights of both science and religion to understand our lives. Science and religion are sometimes viewed as opposites, competing with or contradicting each other. But actually they are just different ways of examining the same world. How would you ‘define’ life, love, beauty, truth, peace, happiness or the colour blue? Can you look at love under a microscope or write a formula for it?
  • 39. Poetry and Symbolism There is an aspect of life which is invisible, subtle and elusive. You can not define it or explain it. But it is just as important as the outer physical world. It is the world of our inner experience, sometimes called the ‘Inner World.’ Spirituality and religion are two related subjects that explore this 'inner' aspect of life. Spirituality is impossible to define, but it includes the sense of being connected to everyone and everything. It includes emotions of wonder and awe, when the mind stops thinking of anything and we just ‘live in the moment.’ When people want to describe or communicate experiences and insights relating to the inner life, they have to use familiar words to represent something else, to ‘paint pictures’ with the words. In religion we often use poetry and symbolism as well as non-verbal tools such as art and music to express spiritual truth. A flame is a widely used symbol for inner or spiritual light.
  • 40.  
  • 41. 'sixth sense' Some people claim to see 'beyond' the physical. They speak of a 'sixth sense' and may know things or see things that most people are not aware of. Most people have surprising experiences from time to time, experiences which are outside the 'normal pattern' of life, when they see things in a new way. Many great spiritual leaders speak of revelation – knowledge and insight which comes from a 'supernatural' source and gives us new insight and understanding. Some such visionaries have taught that we are more than just the body and the mind. They may speak of our 'spiritual heart' – the part of us which experiences deep emotions – the emotions which connect us to others, emotions like love and happiness. They may speak of our spirit or soul. Most religions teach that we are spiritual beings, that death is not the end of our existence and our body is just what we live in here on earth. They teach that who we really are is something within the body, but not limited by it - and call this our spirit or soul.
  • 42. The spirit or soul . Unless we have special vision, we do not know, from personal observation, whether or not we have or are the soul. So this comes down to faith or belief. Many religions teach that the spirit or soul is the 'in-dweller’ - the real part of us that lives inside our body and uses our mind as a tool, like a computer, for thinking and working things out. They say that who we really are is the soul or ‘Observer,’ the 'Aware,' the 'One' who 'tastes' or experiences life, learning from all these experiences. Then, when we die, the soul continues to exist after our physical time on earth has come to an end. Some religions teach that the soul is part of God and part of each and every other person. At the deepest level we are all one. - The following poem is about spirituality. It is all about this sense of oneness:
  • 43. Spirituality? My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme! My true spirituality is the love of Your Breath In every heart, My Supreme, my Supreme, my Supreme! --------- by Sri Chinmoy This poet uses the name Supreme for God. What does ‘Supreme’ mean ? Do you know any other names for God? How would you explain what spirituality means? Which prayers, poems, quotations and authors inspire you?
  • 44. Activity 4 – part 1 Shut your eyes and breathe gently. Just feel what it’s like to be who you are. Be aware of your physical body. Be aware of your mind and thoughts. With your eyes still closed, point to yourself. Now open your eyes and look. Where are you pointing? Are you pointing at your feet? Are you pointing at your head? Are you pointing at your tummy? Most people point at the centre of their chest when they think of who they are. This is where the sages of religion say our spiritual heart is located, and where we can best feel the presence of our spirit or soul.
  • 45. Activity 4 – part 2 Because you can't see or touch or even think about who you really are, you have to use your imagination. Imagine that your soul – or who you really are – is a flower deep inside your 'spiritual heart' or inside the centre of your chest. Think of this as the 'essence' of who you really are. It is very beautiful and infinitely precious, much more precious than anything that money can buy. Try to bring forward all the qualities that you consider to be best, all the good qualities that you have and feel them here at the centre of your chest. This 'flower' represents who you really are. Start by thinking of the flower as a small bud and then watch it open, petal by petal until it is fully blossomed. Feel that the beauty and fragrance of this flower spread right through your whole body and out into the world. Give this flower a beautiful smile. Some of the Sages of religion speak of our eyes as the 'Windows of the soul.' When you go home tonight you can look in the mirror. Give yourself a most beautiful smile and try to see your soul shining in your eyes .
  • 46.  
  • 47. Activity 4 – part 3 All the religions speak of the importance of love and compassion. In Christianity Jesus gave us a 'golden rule' which is a good guide. It is about love, forgiveness and patience: 'Do to others as you would have them do unto you.' Jesus also quoted the law which is central to Judaism: (Jesus was Jewish.) 'Love God with all your heart and mind and soul – and love your neighbour as yourself.' We will explore the 'God Question' a little later, but now I would like you to think about the other part of this command – 'Love your neighbour as yourself.' The starting point is to love yourself. Only then can you love other people. Think of your 'soul flower' from the previous exercise. When you can imagine it quite clearly, offer it not just your smile, but also your love. If you do not value, treasure and love yourself, then it is not possible to love others properly. Can you see how religion is about actions and not just beliefs?
  • 48. Love “ If you don't love yourself, you cannot love others. You will not be able to love others. If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not able to develop compassion for others.” Dalai Lama
  • 49. The Garden of Religion
    • If a flower can be used as a symbol of each person – (the soul?) then the way that beautiful gardens are full of many different flowers can symbolise the way that this world is full of different people.
    • The beauty is in the diversity.
    • It is said that
    • 'There are only two constants in life
    • Diversity and Change.'
    • Do you agree?
    • Which flower would you choose to represent your soul?
  • 50.  
  • 51.  
  • 52.  
  • 53.  
  • 54.  
  • 55. outside and inside
    • I am a human being. Human beings are complicated.
    • I am part of the jigsaw of religion and the picture of religion is not complete without me, my life and my views.
    • On the outside there are all the features that I can see: the colour of my skin, my hair, my eyes, the shape of my nose, how tall I am, what I see when I look in the mirror....
    • But then there is also who I am on the inside , all the things that I think and feel. I have a mind – but am I also more than that? Am I the spirit or soul, the One who experiences, observes, learns and is Aware? What do you think – and why?
    • There are also all the relationships that matter to me – family, friends and pets. They are part of who I am, too.
    • I am also part of a community, a neighbourhood, a nation – a ‘human race,’ the world of nature and Planet Earth.
    • I need a model for my life which recognises all the different things that go into making me who I am.
    • A flower is made up of many petals. I can use this as a model to understand the complexity of my own life .
  • 56. A flower is made up of many petals
  • 57. A human being is like a jigsaw or a flower with many petals. What ‘petals’ would you include in a flower-diagram of your life?
  • 58. Activity 5 – part 1 Talk to the people sitting near to you about some of the people (and pets if you have them who are important in your life.) Where else do you get direction and guidance? Have you any direct experience of worship, prayer or meditation? Worship is often quite a private experience, so don't think you have to talk about it in school. Worship is about the relationship between our soul and God, so it is not something to share with everyone. People sometimes make fun of things that they don’t understand and that can harm your experience. Our family and community has a big part in shaping who we are and how we understand the world. For many young children their mother and father are like God. They really adore them. Their views and actions are the strongest influence in their lives.
  • 59. Activity 5 – part 2 As we grow older, friends and 'our peer group' may become the main influence in shaping what we believe and where we look for guidance. But this can get us into all kinds of trouble. We need to have a clear sense of what is right and wrong rooted deeply in our own heart and mind. This sense is often called the conscience – and some people call our conscience the light or voice of the soul. Belonging to a religion extends this 'inner guidance' by giving a practical framework of rules to follow. The teachings of any religion offer guidance and direction to its members. Talk with the people sitting near you about the people who influence them most strongly. What do you all understand by right and wrong? Have any of you ever heard ‘the voice of your conscience?' Do any of you know of any religious teachings about right and wrong, Or of any rules that members of a religion might try to follow?
  • 60. Conscience I feel within me a peace above all earthly dignities, a still and quiet conscience. "Wolsey" in Henry VIII (1613) by William Shakespeare
  • 61. The religion-bird
    • We have been thinking a lot about what it is to be a human being – and seen how this is part of religion, but what about the great world religions - Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism etc. Where do they fit in?
    • When we think about religion, there are two ways
    • of approaching the subject.
    • You can think of religion as being like a bird with two wings.
    • One wing is called IMPLICIT RELIGION . Implicit religion is about the whole experience of life. It includes everyone. It's about life and who what it is to be a human being.
    • EXPLICIT RELIGION is the way that each person responds to the experience of life, how each person makes sense of life. And that will be quite different for each individual. But there are patterns of belief in Explicit Religion. The great world religions such as Christianity, Islam and Hinduism, come into this 'second wing' of the Religion-Bird.
  • 62. Two wings of religion Implicit words include: life, reality, truth, birth, death, questions, experiences, thoughts, feelings, love, peace, joy, good, bad, happiness, loneliness, fear, anger, sadness, meaning, goals.... Explicit words include: God, The Brahman, Yahweh, Allah, Wahaguru, Christianity Hinduism Judaism Buddhism Islam Sikhism, Jesus, Krishna, Abraham, Buddha, Moses, Mohammed (pbuh) Guru Nanak Bible.. .
  • 63.  
  • 64. Implicit religion includes everyone. It is about all our shared experiences of life. For example everyone is born into the world, has thoughts and feelings, experiences a relationship with others and with the world around them. Everyone asks questions about life, makes choices and eventually leaves the world again. That is all part of Implicit Religion. Explicit religion is different for each individual. The detail of how you (as a unique individual) choose to live your life, the particular community you belong to, the way you answer the great Eternal Questions (including the 'God Question') all comes into Explicit Religion. The details of any religion that you may practise, such as the names of important people (like Jesus) – and much more - all this is Explicit Religion. Implicit and Explicit
  • 65. The Religion-Tree One way to think about Implicit and Explicit religion is that implicit religion is the soil that Explicit religion-seeds grow in. The 'soil' means all the different experiences that everyone shares, like life and death, looking around at the beautiful world we live in and wondering what life is all about, asking philosophical and thoughtful questions - all our thoughts and the emotions we feel (such as love, hope and happiness, fear, anger and sadness) – are found here. Implicit religion is all about being a human being. Into this 'soil', from time to time, new light appears, new ways of understanding come to the world. This is called 'revelation.' Revelation is like a 'seed' which grows into a new 'Religion-Tree.' There are about 15 great World Religions. The main ones, in order of age, are Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Sikhism.
  • 66.  
  • 67. Activity 6 You can see that religion is a complicated subject. It is not something easy to describe. Talk to the people near to you and see how many words you can think of that are connected with religion. Are they about the Implicit or Explicit 'wing,' Are they about the 'soil' of life or the great 'Religion-Trees.' How many different 'Religion-Trees' can you think of? How many words can you think of that belong on the branches and leaves of the Christianity-tree? Here is a clue. Jesus and the Bible are two of them. The religions we find in our world today are so complicated. How did all this 'religion business ' start?
  • 68. The dawn of religion. We do not know how religion began, but we can combine what we can find out about our ancient ancestors with what we imagine. Archaeologists study the way that ancient peoples lived. They go to the places where our ancestors were and look for evidence to see how they lived and what they believed in. Even the ancient stone-age people, over 50,000 years ago buried their dead with respect, often putting food, weapons and flowers into their graves. This shows that they had religious practises and believed that death is not the end. Cave paintings are probably related to ancient religion.
  • 69.  
  • 70.  
  • 71.  
  • 72. Awe and Wonder We can imagine that back in time, before the dawn of history, our ancient stone-age ancestors looked around at the amazing world of nature with wonder and awe, just as we do today - but with more intensity because they lived closer to nature and had no 'science' to explain anything. We can imagine that they gazed at the symphony of colour as the sun rose each morning and set again at night, recognising that without its warmth no life could exist. Perhaps they saw the sun as a symbol of life, warmth, goodness and power and sang to the sun as it rose at dawn, offering their gratitude and love. Many religions include sun-worship. We can imagine those ancient people gazing in wonder at the sparkling stars shining in the velvet darkness of space. Perhaps as they watched the moon rise and shed her soft radiance over the land, they took this as a symbol of wisdom and beauty and worshipped the moon.
  • 73. The Seeds of Religion We can imagine that when great storms broke across the sky our ancient ancestors would have trembled in fear at the power and destructiveness as thunder crashed around them and lightening split the sky. Perhaps they interpreted this as the anger of the Gods. We can imagine that our ancient ancestors grieved over the death of those they loved, just as we still do today, and rejoiced at birth and new life – just as we still do today. Did they link this birth and death with the changing seasons and worship Mother Earth, offering Her their gratitude and surrender? Did our ancient ancestors cry out to the Great Spirit beyond all shape or symbolism, with love and helplessness, begging 'Her' or 'Him' or 'It' for guidance, direction, meaning and truth? And did they receive any reply? These are the seeds of religion.
  • 74.  
  • 75. Activity 7 – part 1 Wonder is a powerful emotion. We feel a sense of wonder when we see or encounter something so fantastic, so beautiful or amazing, that all we can do is stand and stare. All our thoughts and actions stop when we feel wonder. We may stare open-mouthed or just breathe the sound 'OOOOH'. We may run to tell our friends to come and share the experience. A beautiful sunset or moon-rise, a rainbow, a starry sky, the tiny, perfict crystals of a snow-flake, a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, any birth, puppies, kittens or a new born child – all these can give rise to a sense of wonder. What amazes you most about our world. Think of times when you have experienced wonder and share them with a friend. Awe, like Wonder, is a powerful emotion which stops you in your tracks, but it is the response not to something amazing and 'wonderful' but something terrifying. It makes you feel small and insignificant in the face of infinity. It could be a close shave with death – or even the loss of a loved-one. When have you felt Awe?
  • 76. Activity 7 – part 2 Imagine you have a time machine. Go back in time 50,000 years and meet up with your ancient stone-age ancestors. How do they live? What do they have that you wouldn't find in your house? What things do you miss most that they do not have? What do they believe about life, death, God and the soul? Imagine there is a great storm. The houses are not made of brick or concrete. There is no central heating. The wind howls like a demon. Thunder and lightening make the very earth tremble. At the height of the storm your house is smashed and you barely escape with your lives. Where do you take shelter? What is it like to be exposed to the wind and rain all night. In the morning, as the pale sun peers through the broken clouds, the wind drops and you gather with the other villagers and start to repair the damage. You find that a neighbour’s child was crushed when their house was blown down. She is badly injured and dies. There is a great sadness. How do you prepare to ‘lay the child’s body to rest.’ How do you support each other in the grief you share? You ask the Wise Elder why the storm came and how you can prevent it happening again? Is death the end? If not, what happens when people die? How does the Wise Elder answer your questions?
  • 77.  
  • 78. Oral Tradition
    • In ancient times, people lived in small tribal communities. All the history of the tribe was woven into story and song - along with the wisdom and beliefs of the tribe. This was long before the time when writing was invented.
    • This knowledge and way of understanding life was passed down for thousands of years by the Wise Elders of the tribe, from one generation to the next, by word of mouth or Oral Tradition .
    • Oral Tradition is full of wisdom and truth but it is a different genre, a different kind of writing from science. It is about how to live, the meaning of life, what is right and wrong and our relationship with everything. Science does not explore these questions.
    • There is no conflict between religion and science.
  • 79. New Light or Revelation From time to time, especially over the past 5000 years, 'new light' or knowledge has bee n revealed in various ways. Great visionaries with exceptional wisdom and insight have lived who have inspired people by their example and what they have taught. They have shown their people new ways of living and understanding what life is and what our relationship with 'God' can be like. Their lives have ‘shone.’ with an ‘inner light.’ Many people have been inspired to followed them and share their teachings. Such people have been given titles such as - Prophet, Rishi, Avatar, Enlightened One, Messiah (or Christ), Guru, Sage, Savant, Teacher or Spiritual Master. Sometimes their society has welcomed and embraced them but often their new light has threatened the comfortable traditional ways and they have met with hostility. Which religions can you think of? How did people respond to the new ‘light’ that they revealed?
  • 80. If this red piece represents Christianity, then all the other world religions and different ways of understanding and making sense of life might be represented by the other pieces.
  • 81.  
  • 82. Different religions How many different religions can you think of? Can you think of words that belong to these religions. In Christianity, Jesus is important. Do you know the names of any important people from other religions? What about holy books or festivals? In Christianity there is the Bible, Christmas and Easter. Do you know the name of the holy books or festivals from other religions? A Church is a place where many Christians worship. Can you think of the name of any other religious buildings? How many of the following religion-words do you know?
  • 83. A Religion-Flower How many Different Religions, Special People, Special Festivals and Special Buildings can you find in this 'Religion-Flower?
  • 84. What religions all share If you study all the different religions you find that, like people, they are all different and there are some things that they view in completely different ways. But you will also find that they share many features. All the religions meet the same human needs and they have grown up in similar ways. All religions offer some special wisdom and revelation which comes from a source that ordinary people can not find for themselves. All religions include special people who have offered new wisdom to their people. All religions have special writings and books which record the wisdom revealed by the special people. The actions and teachings of those special people are also recorded .
  • 85. Special features All religions have special rules set out in their teachings to guide members of the religion in what is right and wrong. All religions have special goals to aim for and offer those who follow them a sense of meaning and purpose in life. All religions have practises and forms of worship. When worshipping, they and/or those who lead the worship may wear special clothes and sing or play special music. All religions have special times which are important to their members. These may be times of day, times of week or times of year. All religions have special events (called festivals) which are celebrated at certain times in the year. Special food is often eaten at this time. All religions have special places associated with their history. These may be places where members go on pilgrimage. All religions have special buildings where their members meet regularly to worship together.
  • 86.  
  • 87. Activity 8 - part 1 Talk to the people sitting near to you about all these religion-words. Which of them do you know, which are completely new to you and which are you not sure about? How many more religion-words can you think of? What religious tradition do they belong to? Do you know what they mean? Have you seen any films or TV programmes about religion? What were they about? Did you learn anything new from them? Talk to each other about your own experiences of religion and, if you feel comfortable about it, share your own beliefs. Remember that everyone is different and respecting each others different experiences and beliefs is a very important starting place when it comes to any exploration of religion. And there is no proof for or against the existence of God. In RE many questions do not have a clear ‘right or wrong’ answer. In RE, we learn about, appreciate and learn from the differences. Thinking, Reflecting and Discussing are the life-blood of RE
  • 88. Activity 8 – part 2
    • Talk to a partner about all the religious buildings you have ever seen.
    • - around your neighbourhood,
    • - in the towns and villages you know well,
    • - seen when you have been travelling or on holiday,
    • - in other countries,
    • - on films or on television...
    • In what ways are they similar to or different from other buildings?
    • Religious buildings are often called places of worship.
    • What is worship?
    • Have you ever been inside a place of worship?
    • What takes place inside a place of worship?
    • Have you ever taken part in religious worship?
    • Which religion do the following places of worship belong to?
  • 89.  
  • 90.  
  • 91.  
  • 92.  
  • 93.  
  • 94.  
  • 95.  
  • 96. These slides show a Buddhist Temple Buddhist Temple and Pagoda at Bagan, Myanmar (once called Burma)   a Bah’ai Temple The Bahá'í House of Worship in New Delhi, India a Muslim Mosque A This is the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey a Jewish Synagogue a service called Bar Mitzvah when a boy is accepted as an adult. a Christian Cathedral (a special Church ) This is Salisbury Cathedral in England a Hindu Temple (sometimes called a Mandir ) Swaminarayan Akshardham Hindu Temple in New Delhi, India Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. A Sikh place of worship is called a Gurdwara What features do many of them share – and why do you think this is?
  • 97. The God-Question. Many religions teach that the universe is the creation of God. They speak of God as being beyond human understanding. If you think of yourself and a little ant, for example, the ant can't understand what it is to be a human being, but that does not mean that you don't exist. The ant just doesn't have the right kind of eyes. People who believe in God are looking at the same world as people who don't believe in God, but they have a different relationship with it. They practise exercises such as prayer (speaking to God) and meditation (stilling the mind to listen to God) and other forms of worship according to the teaching of their religion. This relationship with God and their spiritual or religious practise may be the most important thing in their life – and they may enjoy a living relationship with God, but it is not something that they can prove to anyone else. Unless you are a great spiritual Master or have special vision which most people do not have, you will not know from personal observation whether or not we have or are the soul – or whether or not God exists. And because you can't show anyone else in a direct way, that God is real, even if you do ‘know’ God exists, you can never prove it to someone else. So your view about God is just that – your own view.
  • 98. What is God like? Different religions have different ways of describing God. That can seem very confusing. Some people even think that the different religions are worshipping different Gods. But if you think of relationship then it is easy to understand. One person can be known in different ways. A woman may be called ‘my daughter’ by her mother, ‘Mum’ by her children, ‘Darling’ by her husband, ‘The Boss’ by her employees, ‘my client’ by her bank manager and ‘idiot’ by someone whose foot she steps on – and so on. Many names, many relationships – but the same person. In the same way, different religions have different names for God and different ways of approaching or being in relationship with God – but most people consider these just different aspects of the one Divine Force or Being. Some Sages say that God can be approached in many ways but the easiest is through love and devotion, just as if He was another person. Hindus say God appears in the way you love most.
  • 99.  
  • 100. Hindu, Buddhist and Sikh The name Hindu comes from the river Indus. The real name for this religion is Sanatana Dharma – or The Code of Life. Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism all began in India. Hinduism teaches that there is One God. They call it The Brahman - unknowable, beyond all human conception. But as The Brahman is everywhere, you can worship any aspect of creation and find God there. Hindus have three main deities, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Vishnu can be born as a human being – an Avatar – and the best known Avatars are Sri Rama and Sri Krishna. Hindus also have many deities, gods and goddesses, God is female as well as male - but all these are ‘faces’ or -‘ways of being in relationship with -’ The Brahman, the one Absolute, Transcendent and Unknowable Divinity. Hindus sometimes describe God – or the underlying reality – as Existence-Consciousness, Bliss. Buddhism began in India and Buddha grew up as a prince called Siddhartha Gautama. He achieved enlightenment and taught a way of ending all suffering. His teaching is practical, to end sorrow and find infinite peace and bliss. God doesn’t come into the picture in Buddhism. The Buddha means ‘ The Enlightened One. Sikhism began with Guru Nanak who was Hindu but at a time when the Muslim empire was in power. He had a revelation that there is no Hindu and no Muslim, only God and the Glory of His Name. Sikhs call god Wahaguru which means ‘The great Guru. The word Guru means, ‘From darkness to light’.
  • 101. J Judaism, Christianity and Islam These three religions all began in the Middle East and trace their history back to Abraham. Judaism began when the Prophet Abraham received a message from God to worship the One True God, to leave his home and travel with his family and flocks to the promised land. The name Israel means ‘God with us.’ When God appeared to the prophet Moses, he commanded Moses to go and free his people from slavery in Egypt. Moses asked, ‘ Who shall I say has sent me? And God replied, ‘I am that I am’ which in Hebrew is Yahweh . This is the sacred name for God for Jews. Jesus lived about 2000 years ago. He was Jewish but he had such a close relationship with God that he called God ‘Dad’ ( Abba in Aramaic) Jesus spoke with tremendous authority. He forgive sins and he performed many miracles. He even brought the dead back to life. Christians believe that there is one God, but there are three aspects to this One God – which they call The Trinity. God the Father , God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit – in Greek, the language of the early Christian writings – female in gender. Christians recognise Jesus as God’s son, both human and divine. Mystery is always at the heart of God. Islam recognises One God called Allah , which is Arabic for ‘ The God. But in the Qur’an (God’s Revelation) there are over 100 ‘Beautiful Names of God which show the nature and qualities of God. The Qur’an was revealed to Mohammed (pbuh) over some 20 years, starting when he was aged 40, meditating in a cave near Makkah. Mohammed was known as ‘ the Seal of the Prophets and his life and teachings ( Hadith ) is also an important source of authority and inspiration for Muslims.
  • 102. You me and everyone
  • 103. Theist, Atheist or Agnostic The old Greek word for God was THEOS, so people who believe in God are called 'THEISTS.' They may belong to a particular religion such as Christianity, Islam or Hinduism. There are more than 20 different religions in the world. When you put the letter 'A' in front of a word, it makes it opposite. For example, the opposite of Symmetrical is Asymmetrical. In the same way, people who do not believe in God use an A in front of the word 'theist.' They are called 'ATHEISTS. ' People who are not sure what to think about the God- Question might say, 'Well, I have no personal experience to make me believe in God, but at the same time I don't think all the people who believe in God are completely stupid. So I refuse to take either side in this argument. I have to be sincere and say that I simply do not know whether or not God is real. I keep an open mind on the subject.' They are called AGNOSTIC.
  • 104. miracle There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; or you can live as if everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein
  • 105. Pluralist or Exclusivist? When you think about your religious identity, start with the 'God Question' and decide if you are a Theist, Atheist or Agnostic. Next, do you think that your belief, religion or denomination is the only one that are right and everyone else is wrong? That would mean you are 'EXCLUSIVIST.‘ The opposite to Exclusivist is when you think that there are many different ways of understanding the truth and all the different religions are right in their own way. That view is PLURALIST. Another thing to think about is how central is the subject of spirituality and religion to your life? If you take an active part in your religious community and worship regularly you are a PRACTISING MEMBER of your religion. If you once were like that, but rarely go to worship now, you are a LAPSED MEMBER .
  • 106. All religions have grown and changed over the years and when there has been an argument about a particular way of understanding the teachings or practising that faith, it has sometimes meant that the religion divides and a new form of the religion is created.. The branches of a religion are called different denominations.. Here is a list of some of the different Christian Denominations. Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Armenian, Coptic , Protestant (protestants were protesting about some things they didn't agree with in the Catholic church. There are many different Protestant churches including Lutheran and Anglican – which is also known as Church of England in this country.) Then there are the 'Free Churches' which separated from the Church of England. They include Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist and Quaker. Can you think of any more denominations? Different denominations
  • 107.  
  • 108. Different interpretations.
    • Religions grow and change over the years. The great religions are hundreds or thousands of years old. There are many different ways of practising them. Some people like to do things as they have always been done. Their approach to religious practise and belief is called 'Conservative.'
    • Other people like to look at the beliefs and practises with an awareness of both past history and new understanding. They are open to change and their approach to religious is often called 'Liberal.'
    • When people look at anything they see it in different ways, according to their own history, experience and way of thinking. It is the same when people read something. They read the same words but interpret them in different ways.
  • 109. People who read the text in a simple way and don't look 'beneath the surface' tend to take things literally. For example they are not looking for symbolism or a meaning behind a story. They want to stay true to the basics, the fundamentals of their faith. This approach is often called Fundamentalist. People who try to find out about the background of what is written are more like scholars studying the text. They ask questions such as – When was this written? Who wrote it? Why was it written? Who it was written for? What did those people believe at that time? They are likely to look behind the words and interpret their meaning in a different way. This approach is often called 'Liberal. ' t Liberal and Fundamentalist
  • 110. Secular or Aspiring? There are just two more definitions to learn. Some people are really interested in God and religion. They may practise a religion or be trying to pray and meditate in their own way. They like to meet with people who are interested in God, religion and spirituality and they read books about God. They are called TRUTH SEEKERS or SPIRITUAL ASPIRANTS. The opposite to this is someone who is not the least bit interested in anything to do with God, religion or spirituality. They may be theist, atheist or agnostic with regard to the 'God Question' - but the ordinary world of family, friends, school or work, hobbies, television, politics perhaps - and holidays is quite enough for them. They are SECULAR . Many secular people think money is the most important thing, and they are MATERIALISTS.
  • 111. Aspiration – the ‘inner cry’ When you aspire You love God the Tree. When you serve You love the branches Of the God-Tree. Sri Chinmoy
  • 112. Using generalisations We talk about Theists, Atheists and Agnostics, Christians, Sikhs and Jews, Catholics and Protestants, Liberals and Fundamentalists etc. But it is important to remember that each of these words is referring to thousands if not millions of real people and they are all different. They do not all think alike. People are all individuals who are living their lives in a unique way. So any generalisations will be false. But because the subject of religion is so complicated we have to generalise sometimes. When you write about what religious people believe or do, show that you understand that religious communities are full of variety. For example it can help to say, 'Most', many or some Christians believe …' rather than 'Christians believe.' Have you ever heard someone making a generalisation about young people, or about boys or girls, which was not true for you? How did it make you feel? In RE we are exploring the truth of life, so it is important to be as accurate as possible in what we say or write about people.
  • 113.  
  • 114. Activity 9
    • Talk to the people sitting near to you about your religious identity.
    • Go through all these stages, step by step. (Some may not apply to you.)
    • 1) Response to the God Question – are you Theist, Atheist or Agnostic?
    • 2) Response to people with different views – are you Pluralist or Exclusivist?
    • 3) If you belong to a particular religion , which one is it and
    • are you a Practising or Lapsed Member – or are you secular?
    • 4) What denomination do you belong to?
    • 5) Do you tend to have a Conservative, Liberal or Fundamentalist approach?
    • 6) Are you a Truth-Seeker or Spiritual Aspirant?
    • 7) Are you Secular?
    • Are you Materialist?
    • When you have worked out your own religious identity, draw a family tree and try to work out the religious identities for all the members. Include grandparents if you know them, even if they are no longer alive. Remember that in past times almost everyone belonged to a faith.
    • How many different religious identities are there in your family?
  • 115. No Proof for or against God. Religious Identity is how we describe the way that we make sense of life. Everyone has a way of understanding the world. This is sometimes called our 'World View or Religious Identity.' When we describe our Religious Identity we start with our response to the 'God Question.' Most people in the world believe in God (only about 4% are atheist.). And if you look back in history you will find that in past times almost everyone believed in God, so even atheists have ancestors who were theist. But now, especially in our Western society, many people have turned away from faith in God. It is quite 'unfashionable' to believe in God today. It is important for everyone to remember that - There is no proof that God exists. Belief in God is a matter of inner experience and faith. But there is no proof that God does not exist either.
  • 116. Silence Secretly we spoke, that Wise One and me. I said,  “ Tell me the secrets of the world.” He said,  “ Sh... Let silence Tell you the secrets of the world.” Mevlana Jelaluddin Rumi (1207 – 12 73)
  • 117. Changing perspectives. Our views on any subject change with time. As we grow up, as we have different experiences, as we talk to different people and learn new things, our views change. Can you think of any examples of this? Our views about God and religion are similar. They can change with time. People who believe in God can loose their faith, and people who do not believe in God can be convinced that God really does exist (usually by some profound experience which makes them see in a new way.) People who belong to one denomination may change to another denomination of the same religion and people who belong to one religion may 'convert' to another religion. So our religious identity often changes during our lifetime. There are only two constants in life – diversity and change.
  • 118. Young children tend to think of God as a bit like 'Father Christmas.' Someone powerful but nice and kind who will give them what they want. This concept does not match the facts of life, so just as they give up believing in Father Christmas they often give up God. Even if someone believes in God and prays to 'Him' with all their heart their prayers may not be answered. That experience can make people stop believing in God. And when people see all the suffering in the world, they can think it means that there is no God. (If God was All-loving and All-powerful, why would 'He' let people suffer so much?) Religion is all about our search for meaning and truth in life. It is about trying to become a better person. But people who believe in God are much like everyone else and often get things wrong. When 'religious' people do wrong it can turn people against religion. Our ideas about God have to 'get bigger' as we grow older if our childish beliefs are to mature into an adult faith in God. The quest for truth - or for a personal relationship with God - lasts for our whole life.. A search for truth.
  • 119.  
  • 120. ‘ Spiky and Dangerous’ Religion is a powerful and influential force in the world. It links with our self-understanding, with who we are at the deepest level. It links with our family and community. If there is no wisdom, no understanding, the differences between religions can be viewed in a fearful way. They can result in prejudice and conflict. Religion can be 'spiky and dangerous.' But with good religious education the differences can be understood and appreciated. Religion can bring people together in oneness, with love and understanding. In Religious Education we study the greatest questions ever asked. These are often called Eternal Questions as they are about the meaning of life and have been asked since time began. But they can not be answered in a fixed and provable way. In RE we also look at some of the greatest answers ever given to these questions, given by some of the greatest people who have ever lived. In Religious Education we don't just learn about the different great religions in the world, we also learn from them. We look at our own experience of life in the light of the teaching of the religions we study .
  • 121. Eternal Questions
    • Here are some of the great Eternal Questions which can be found at the heart not just of religion and spirituality but also in the foundations of philosophy, which is a related discipline, centred on thinking and logic rather than revelation.
    • Who am I? Why am I alive? Why does anything exist rather than nothing? Where did all that exists come from? What is the meaning of life? (or in the words of my year 10 student, ‘If we’re all only going to die anyway, what is the point of being alive?) What is the goal of life? How do we know what is good and bad? Why do we make the choices we make? What are the consequences of our actions? Why do people suffer? Is death the end? What happens when we die? Do ghosts exist? Is there such a thing or 'being' as God? If so, who or what is God?
  • 122.  
  • 123. Activity 10 1) Work with a partner to brainstorm the subject of religion. Try to include as many of the words and concepts that we have used in this presentation. Write your own definition of religion. Does it reflect the different aspects that our year 1 children identified at the beginning – Myself, Belief, Action, Source of Wisdom and 'God.' 2) Compare this new definition with the one you wrote in Activity 1. Highlight the things you have learned about and added. 3) Now think about the great 'Eternal Questions' found at the heart of the subject of religion. Can you think of at least three different ways of answering each question? In Religious Education we never tell you what to think . But we do help you to think more deeply .
  • 124. Religious Education Religious Education is not like most subjects where you come into the classroom to learn facts or how to do something straightforward. Religion is about the principles which guide our entire lives. We look at the ideas which shape the choices we make and the consequences of our actions. We wrestle with questions and issues that we will be exploring for our entire lives. Because Religion is about each person, it is not something you leave behind when you leave school. Religious Education is about opening your mind to new ideas, learning to see things in new ways. Religious Education is like a dance. First we learn to understand and see things from our own perspective. Then we step sideways and see through other people's eyes. We develop empathy and the capacity to appreciate that there are many different ways of being a human being. We learn from all the different perspectives that we explore. Religion is a powerful force in our world. Religious Education is about looking beneath the surface, beyond the headlines and deepening understanding.
  • 125. Love and oneness We have looked at all the different aspects of religion which our year 1 students originally mentioned. They said that - religion is about ourselves, about belief, about Christianity and other great religions and about the God Question.... But they also said that religion is about actions . It is about how we respond to the teachings of great religions and what they say about the meaning of life. For example, Jesus taught that God is Love and asked his followers to love everyone. In RE we sometimes include actions to 'get inside' the subject of religion and 'learn from' its teachings and practises. Love, Compassion and Oneness are at the heart of many great religious teachings. Many of the actions which spring from religion are related to love and compassion. Think of Mother Teresa's life.
  • 126.  
  • 127. Life "Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.  Life is beauty, admire it.  Life is a dream, realize it.  Life is a challenge, meet it.  Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it.  Life is a promise, fulfil it.  Life is sorrow, overcome it.  Life is a song, sing it.  Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it.  Life is an adventure, dare it.  Life is luck, make it.  Life is too precious, do not destroy it.  Life is life, fight for it."  Mother Teresa
  • 128.  
  • 129. Today Look to this day For it is life, The very life of life. In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of existence - The bliss of growth - The glory of action - The splendour of beauty. For yesterday is already a dream And tomorrow is only a vision, But today, well lived, Makes every yesterday a dream of happiness And every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to this day. Morning prayer by Kalidasa, translated from Sanskrit.
  • 130. Action – an exercise The following exercise is based on a Buddhist meditation on Loving Kindness. It explores our relationship with everyone else around us. It is in small print for your teacher to read. You just need to listen. It helps if you sit comfortably on your chair for this exercise and you may like to close your eyes so you can concentrate better.. First take a few moments to feel the warmth and solidness of your body resting in the chair. Sit in a relaxed way, with your feet flat on the floor and let your breathing be relaxed and gentle. Then try to feel what you think of as 'the the best in yourself,' at the centre of your 'spiritual heart' as we did in an earlier activity. You can put one hand on your chest if it helps. Shut your eyes and imagine your real self as a beautiful flower. Then listen to your teacher and try to link your mind with his or her voice as s/he reads out this reflective activity. The photograph of Planet Earth can be shown as a focus for those who find that keeping their eyes closed tends to make them sleepy .
  • 131. I am good, you are good - part one
    • I am feeling the best in myself and imagining it as a flower located deep within my spiritual heart – the centre of my chest.. I see the colour of my petals and smell the sweet fragrance of my life. This is who I really am. The mistakes I make are just passing experiences. Who I really am is good and beautiful.
    • Think 'I am good, I am beautiful' and repeat this thought in your mind. Now, from this position of being the flower in your heart, look at your own body. See it as the wonderful machine that it is, and say in the silence of your mind, 'I am good, and my body is good.' Even if you are disabled, your body is still strong enough to keep you alive, so see it as something really strong and beautiful.
    • Now imagine that you are floating up out of your body, near to the ceiling. Look down on all the other people in the room and see them as the beautiful flowers that they are. Say in the silence of your mind, 'I am good and they are all also good.' Be aware that any problems you have with people are just on the surface, caused by their actions which result from their complicated emotional lives or ignorant ideas. It is not the real part of them, the pure and beautiful heart-flower which is causing any problem, so you can easily look at their flower-heart and say in your mind, 'I am good and they are all good.'
    • Now imagine that you are floating up above the school, above the district where you live and looking down on everyone who is below – all the other people in your school, in the streets and houses around – seeing them all as the beautiful flowers that they are. Say in the silence of your mind, 'I am good and they are also good.' Let this thought rest in your mind and breathe in and out with each breath for a while – and then imagine that you are floating still higher.
    • (Depending on the time available and the concentration-capacity of your students, you can extend this as long as you like, looking down on your school, neighbourhood, region, nation, continent, hemisphere – and finally out into space.)
    • Now look down on the whole country and see everyone who is below – all the other people in your country, the ocean beyond its shores with little ships on it. Seeing all the people of the land as the beautiful flowers that they are. Say in the silence of your mind, 'I am good and they are also good.' Let this thought rest in your mind and breathe it in and out with each breath for a while – and then imagine that you are floating still higher – and higher – until you lift right through the blue-bright atmosphere and into the silent darkness of space.
  • 132. I am good, you are good - part two Now look down on the whole planet earth, like a blue-green-white jewel, floating serenely in the darkness. Watch the planet turning slowly as it sails majestically in its orbit around the sun. Be aware of everyone who is below – all the other human beings who call this lovely planet their home. See all the people of the world as the beautiful flowers that they are. Say in the silence of your mind, 'I am good and they are also good.' Let this thought rest in your mind and breathe it in and out with each breath for a while. Now turn around and look at all the countless stars sparkling all around you in the vast distances of space. Be aware of them also as beautiful flowers and offer them your love and goodwill, saying in the stillness of your mind, 'I am good and they are also good.' After some time, when you are full of the peace of the universe, let yourself sink slowly back towards the beautiful planet which you inhabit. As you descend, look with love and kindness on all things, the clouds, the oceans, the mountains and plains, the forests,and fields, the rivers and deserts. Appreciate their beauty and offer them your good will, saying in the stillness of your mind, 'I am good and you are also good.' As you drift slowly down, notice the other creatures, large and small, which share this lovely planet. Offer them all your loving kindness, your goodwill, and repeat in the stillness of your mind, 'I am good and you are also good.' After due time, you drift back down over your country, your neighbourhood and your school. Gently you re-enter the room where you are sitting and look down once more on your own body sitting there so peacefully and all the other people in the room. You embrace them all with your hearts oneness and love, seeing them all as the beautiful flowers that they are and saying in the stillness of your mind, 'I am good and they are also good. Now you descend to your own body again and feel your presence in the centre of your chest or spiritual heart. Be aware of your breathing and with each breath repeat again in the silent stillness of your mind, 'I am good and my body is good.' Spend a few minutes just rejoicing in the wonder of what it is to be alive. Wriggle your toes, stretch your fingers, breathe more deeply, and when you feel ready, open your eyes. There should be no conversation, no discussion at this time, but later you may invite your students to write about the experience, but this should not be any kind of intellectual analysis. The whole aim of the exercise is to enable those who take part to go 'beyond' the ordinary, intellectual mind.
  • 133. To Wonder Is To Begin To Understand To Wonder Is To Begin To Understand
  • 134. Recap part 1 – what have we discovered so far?
    • Religion is a subject that you have to think about.
    • In the subject of religion, all our views are important.
    • Religion is about everyone..
    • Religion is about me, who I am, what I think and my views.
    • Religion includes everyone.
    • Religion is about belief and how we make sense of life.
    • Religion is about doing things as a result of our belief..
    • Religion is about difference – including different beliefs.
    • Difference is natural because we are all unique.
    • Each person is complicated - like a flower made up of many different petals such as body, mind, thoughts, feelings and emotions, heart, soul and the influence of people we love, etc.
    • There are two 'wings' to religion, Implicit – about all aspects of life and Explicit all the different responses to it.
    • Each of the great world religions is like a religion-tree, growing in the 'soil of implicit religion. The great world religions are like a jigsaw or a flower, with many different petal-features such as special people, books, beliefs, practises, festivals and places of worship.
  • 135. Recap part 2 – what have we discovered so far?
    • Religion is about me and my life.
    • It is also about everyone else.
    • Religion is about all the great world religions.
    • Religions are complicated, like flowers with many petals.
    • Religion is about things we can't prove but many people believe in. For example, many people believe we have a spiritual heart and that who we really are is not just mind and body but spirit or soul.
    • Religion is also about our response to the God Question.
    • Religion is about God – but also about not believing in God.
    • Everyone has a religious identity. It includes words such as
    • Theist, Atheist, Agnostic, Exclusivist, Pluralist, Practising or Lapsed Member (of one of the great religions) , Denomination, Conservative, Fundamentalist or Liberal , Truth Seeker, Spiritual Aspirant, Secular and Materialist.
    • Religious Education teaches us to understand the world from where we are and also see the world through the eyes of others. In RE we learn how to think more deeply. The questions and issues we explore in Religious Education will stay with us all through life.
    • Is religion a quest with no end? Is that a definition for life? What do you think?
  • 136.
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