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What is religion? and the God Question.
 

What is religion? and the God Question.

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This slideshow began as part of an Assembly on the subject of 'What is Religion?' given to Reception classes as the start of a Religion Day. It is suitable for children aged from about 5 to 12 years ...

This slideshow began as part of an Assembly on the subject of 'What is Religion?' given to Reception classes as the start of a Religion Day. It is suitable for children aged from about 5 to 12 years old and teachers are welcome to adapt it for their classes. However the text is copyright and should not be used in a commercial way. I can send a printed copy if you contact me through my website - www.bluelotus.co (info@bluelotus.co) - and it is just dot co, not .com or .co.uk!
durgamata is also available to give workshops, talks and assemblies on any aspect of Religion.
With thanks

Blue Lotus Enterprises

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    What is religion? and the God Question. What is religion? and the God Question. Presentation Transcript

    • Blue Lotus Enterprises Exploring Religion
    • Blue Lotus Enterprises
      • Blue Lotus Enterprises is a company which creates products, and offers services which educate and inspire.
      • All our Slide-Shows can be ordered from our website in book form –
      • see www.bluelotus.co
      • Contact [email_address]
      • The download is not for commercial purposes and can not be copied without permission of Blue Lotus Enterprises
      • This Slide Show is designed for use with KS1 - 3
    • What is Religion? Part one
    • What is Religion? What do you think ? How would you answer this question?
    • Religion is about me
      • Religion is a subject that you have to think about.
      • 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 everyone.
    • girls
    • and boys
    • Old
    • and young
    • Activity 1
      • I wonder what they are thinking.
      • I wonder how they would answer the religion question.
      • Ask the people next to you what they think religion is.
      • Do they all agree?
    • We asked all the Reception Children (in Linton Church School) this question.
      • They gave lots of answers and they did not all agree - but their answers followed a pattern. They all 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.
      • Religion is about Jesus and Christianity.
      • Religion is about God.
      • Here are some of the answers given -
    • Religion is about Belief?
      • Your own opinion.
      • A belief in different countries
      • A person that believes
      • Believing in everyone
      • Believe to do something
      • Person who believes
      • you believe in something
    •  
    • 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
      • Vegetarian
      • Someone who helps people
      • Believe to help another person
      • Something you've forgotten to do!
    •  
    • 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!
    •  
    • Religion is about God?
      • I believe in God
      • Someone who believes in God
      • Is someone who loves God
      • Believing in God and his friends
      • If you think God is real
      • Believe to help another person
      • Believe to do something
    •  
    • 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, different histories, different experiences and different ways of seeing the world.
      • So our thoughts are different and
      • we answer the question in our own way.
    • 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.
    •  
    • The Best Answer
      • Well, you’re the teacher. You know more about the subject of religion than we do. So which answer do you like best and why?
      • I like this answer best:
      • ‘ Religion is something you do, something you believe in and Someone you believe in.’
      • Why? Because the person who wrote it can understand that religion is complicated and can’t be explained in a short way. S/he has included the way that religion is about the way you live your life (what you do) and about your own beliefs – and about Someone (perhaps God or Jesus) who you believe in.
    • The Jigsaw of Religion
      • OK, Miss, since you are so clever, how would you answer the 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. Each person is a piece of the Religion-Jigsaw.
    • If this red piece represents me. What colour would you choose to represent you?
    •  
    • 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.
      • Your views are just as important as anyone else’s
    • 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 religion and God a bit later in this ‘Conversation.’
    • Activity 2
      • Talk to the people near to you and see if you can think of something you agree about and something that you disagree about. (You can think of simple things such as your favourite colour or food or story.)
      • Try to explain what your views, ideas and beliefs about religion are and why.
      • Think of some good questions to ask me.
      • Can you understand that everyone is part of the jigsaw of religion even if she or he does not actually belong to a religion such as Christianity?
    • If this red piece represents Christianity, then all the other world religions and non-religious ways of understanding and making sense of the world are represented by the other pieces. Which ones can you think of?
    •  
    • I am complicated.
      • 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 and feel what it’s like to be who you are. Feel how solid and warm you are.
      • Listen and see how many things you can hear.
      • Watch your thoughts. Are they thinking about the past, the present, the future or in the world of pure imagination?
    • Activity 3
      • You have a strong body which is solid and warm.
      • You have the five senses – sight, hearing, feeling, smell and taste.
      • You have clever hands that can hold things.
      • You have a mind and thoughts
      • You have feelings, moods and emotions.
      • Many people would say that you are the soul which experiences life and you live in your body.
      • Your body belongs to you but it is not who you are.
      • Talk to the person next to you about what you noticed about who you are. Do you think we are just the body and the mind or do you think we are the soul, ‘in-dweller’, the ‘observer’ the one who experiences life and learns from all the experiences of life.
      • The great teachers of religion say that this life is not all. And at the end of our life we still continue. The soul does not die.
    • Who am I?
      • I am complicated. I am like a jigsaw because I am made up of many different parts.
      • I can think of myself as a piece of the jigsaw of religion, but I am also like a flower with lots of petals. On the outside there are all the features that you 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 who I am on the inside, all the things that I think and feel. I have a mind – but I am also more than that. I am the one who experiences, observes and learns.
      • There are also all the relationships that matter to me – family, friends and pets. They are part of who I am.
      • There are many different things that make up ‘me.’
    • A flower is made up of many petals
    • The Great World Religions
      • The great world religions are all a bit like flowers too. Each one has many different features.
      • When Class One was thinking about what religion is they mentioned Jesus, Easter, The Bible, Prayer a Church and God. All these are a bit like petals in the ‘flower of Christianity.’
    • Different religions
      • What other 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 any other religious buildings?
      • What else do you know about the different religions in the world?
    • Lets see what we have learned about religion so far.
      • Religion is a subject that you have to think about. And in the subject of religion, your views are important. So are mine.
      • Religion includes everyone.
      • Religion is about belief.
      • Religion is about doing things.
      • Religion is about Jesus and Christianity.
      • Religion is about God.
      • Religion is like a jigsaw and each person is part of the picture.
      • Each person is also like a jigsaw – like a flower made up of many different petals such as body, mind, thoughts and feelings and the soul.
      • Each religion is like a jigsaw or a flower, with many different features such as important people, holy books, festivals and special places for worship.
    • What is Religion? Part two
    • Movement and Change
      • Like all models which represent something different,
      • the jigsaw model has difficulties.
      • We all have an outside and an inside,
      • Some of the most important parts of us are our thoughts, feelings and experiences…
      • All these plus our views ideas and beliefs are all on the inside. And they are not fixed. They can change minute by minute.
      • Religion is like that. Unlike a jigsaw with pieces which are cut to a certain shape and coloured in a certain way which stays the same, religion is full of movement and change.
    • The Kaleidoscope
      • Have you ever used a kaleidoscope?
      • It is like a tube.
      • You look down the centre and turn the barrel at the bottom. Light comes through the bottom where there are small pieces of translucent plastic or coloured glass, all shapes and colours.
      • They are reflected by mirrors.
      • You can’t describe a kaleidoscope, you have to see it to know what I mean.
      • Here are some images from a kaleidoscope.
    •  
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    • The Kaleidoscope of Religion
      • Religion is not just a picture which is complicated like a jigsaw, made of many pieces but fixed. Once you have made a jigsaw it doesn’t change.
      • But religion is not fixed. It is more like a kaleidoscope. Full of beautiful colours and patterns which are constantly moving and changing.
    • Religion the song.
      • A Kaleidoscope, colourful patterns that move and change, now that is looking more like religion!
      • But religion is not just something you see from outside. Religion is not just something you look at from a distance. Religion is inside us. It is part of who we are.
      • Religion is how we make sense of the world we live in, how we understand ourselves and why we are alive.
      • Religion is our way of life. It is not silent and distant like the patterns in a kaleidoscope. It is more like a colourful song. And in the song of religion -
      • you are one of the notes of the song. And the music of religion flows in and through you. It’s part of who you are
    • “ Music gives soul to the universe  wings to the mind  flight to the imagination  and life to everything"   Plato
    • What is your experience of music
      • What instruments can you think of?
      • Have you ever played an instrument?
      • Have you ever been to a concert or some sort of live music?
      • What sort of music do you like to listen to?
      • Choose one song that you like a lot and think how it makes you feel when you hear or sing it.
    • Sing or listen
      • Some songs are hymns and carols. They are religious songs which are not about ordinary human things. They are about spiritual or religious subjects. They are sung as a way of worshipping, praising or thanking God. They may take you on a journey.
      • Many ordinary songs can also take you on a journey. I like the song ‘Windmills of Your mind’ because, like a jigsaw or kaleidoscope it is full of different images about life.
      • Many kinds of music can expand your emotions and make you feel as if you are flying, but unless you play an instrument in a band or an orchestra you can’t join in easily.
      • But everyone can join in a song.
    • Activity 4
      • Talk to the people near you. Can you think of any songs you sing that take you out of yourself, that make you feel as if you are flying or soaring above the earth?
      • Can you think of times when you have sung something that has changed the way you feel?
      • What are your favourite songs?
    • continued
      • Can you think of a time when you have sung or played music and the result has been bigger than you, bigger than any one singer.
      • Each person has been important, like a note in the song – but the song itself has been bigger than all of you.
      • This is what religion is like. We are all part of it but it is bigger than all of us together.
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    • Religion the music
      • You can’t write a definition of music or explain why music changes the way you feel. It is an inner experience.
      • Religion is like that. You can’t prove that your beliefs or your way of understanding the world is right. You can’t prove that God exists or does not exist to someone else.
      • There are many more things to life than we can know for sure or understand. If you can embrace the mystery of life then many problems disappear.
    • Lets see what we have learned about religion in part 2.
      • Who we are is complicated. We have an outside that you can touch and see. But we also have an inside. We are body, mind and spirit or soul.
      • All our thoughts, feelings and emotions are constantly changing. Religion is like that too. It is not something fixed like a jigsaw.
      • Religion is more like a kaleidoscope, full of colours and patterns that constantly move and change.
      • But it is more than that. Religion is not silent, something we look at from a distance, but more like music or a song. We are all part of the music.
    • What is Religion Part 3
    • Religion the Dance
      • Religion is like a jigsaw and
      • each person is part of the picture.
      • Religion is like a kaleidoscope,
      • Full of beautiful colours and patterns
      • that are always moving and changing.
      • Religion is like a song, like music.
      • We are notes in the music
      • and it flows in and through us.
      • But there is even more to religion than that.
      • Religion gives us guidance
      • and rules to live by.
      • Religion directs our feet
      • like the steps in a dance.
      • We dance between our lives
      • and the lives of others.
      • We look at the world from where we stand
      • and then, when we get to know other people,
      • we step into their shoes
      • and learn to see the world
      • through their eyes.
      • Our religion-dance directs our steps
      • and the choices we make.
      • it links us with all the people we meet
      • And influences the way we respond to them.
      • We dance alone and we dance together.
      • We dance to the music of a band
      • and we dance
      • to the song of the wind,
      • to the sound of the sea,
      • to the music of the universe.
      • This is the Dance of Religion.
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    • The Lord of the Dance
      • God is sometimes called The Lord of the Dance.
      • Whether or not we believe in God depends on what ideas we have about God.
      • Great teachers of religion give us many names for God. In Islam there are more than 100 Beautiful Names .
      • In Hinduism there are 330 million – which is a way of saying infinite ways - of seeing and approaching God.
    • God in Christianity
      • In Christianity God is viewed as a Trinity – which means there are three different ways of knowing or encountering God.
      • The Father is the mysterious All-Powerful Creator.
      • Jesus, the Son , is a Friend and Saviour, absolutely human, like us – but at the same time absolutely divine.
      • Finally there is the Holy Spirit, which is like God’s Spirit inside us, whispering through our conscience - always there to guide us, to help us know what is right and give us the strength do the right thing.
      • We don’t always listen, we don’t always hear, but God never gives up on us.
      • How did belief in God start? We don’t know – but we can look at the evidence and use our imagination.
    • The dawning of a new day is a very beautiful and magical time. For thousands of years our ancestors have greeted the sun each morning with joy and gratitude, recognising that without its warmth and light No life could exist on earth. Many peoples in many different cultures And many different parts of the world, have embraced the sun as a face of God And bowed to it in worship.
    • Wonder and Awe
      • Belief in God often comes from the sense of awe and wonder which we can feel when we identify strongly with an aspect of nature, when something cuts across our thoughts and activities and we just stand and stare.
      • It may be a beautiful sunrise or sunset
      • Or the fierceness of a great storm,
      • It may be the miracle of new life
      • Or the sadness we feel when someone dies.
    • A sense of relationship
      • Wonder and Awe are both emotions we feel when something happens that touches us inside, that shakes our feelings in a strong way.
      • Wonder is joyful and can make us feel as if we are expanding and flying and part of everything else.
      • Awe is a fearful emotion which can make us feel quite small and insignificant in the face of Reality.
      • Both these experiences strengthen our sense of relationship with the universe.
      • We may feel a sense of being ‘in the Presence of God’ - or that we are seeing the very ‘Face of God.’
      • These are the emotions at the heart of religion.
    • Worship
      • The great emotions of Wonder and Awe silence our mind and open our eyes to life in a new way.
      • We may feel a deep sense of gratitude and joy.
      • Or we may feel small and insignificant, standing before Something which is infinitely vast and powerful.
      • We may want to sing out loud
      • or to fall on our knees and pray.
      • The word ‘Worship’ comes from ‘worth’ or value.
      • People who practise a religion often say it is the most important thing in their lives – and when they worship they feel that they are getting to know God better.
      • This relationship with God is the most important thing
      • because He is with them all the time, everywhere they go
      • And their friendship with God lasts for eternity.
      • It is not just for a few years in this life.
    • What do you believe about God?
      • We are all looking at the same world.
      • We are all trying to understand who we are and what life is all about.
      • In our relationship with the world, some people sense a great Spirit which is all around them, in nature, in the faces of those they love – in everything –
      • but also beyond all that there is.
      • They feel God’s compassion, that He cares for them.
      • They feel ‘His’ loving embrace.
      • There is no way of proving this for other people, but it is absolutely real for them.
      • It is a mystery, close and intimate but utterly beyond.
      • The old word for God was ‘Theos’ so people who believe in God are called ‘Theists.’
    • Atheists
      • Some people look at the world in a different way.
      • They learn about the different processes that work within the physical world.
      • They learn about science and think that it can explain everything.
      • They see that many people who believe in God or follow a religion are not particularly good. They don’t live up to their beliefs, so they turn away from religions.
      • They see the suffering in the world and think that there can’t be a Great Spirit which is kind and powerful.
      • So they think that there is no such thing, or Being as God.
      • They are Atheists.
    • There is no proof
      • Some people think about the God question and say,
      • ‘ Well on one side there are Theists and they believe in God. They say they know God is real because they feel God’s Love for them.
      • On the other side there are Atheists who think that there is no such thing as God and all the Theists are mistaken.
      • ‘ To be honest I don’t know which of them is right. I have no personal experience of God. But I can’t say that all the people who have ever believed in God are wrong. They have their own experience which is different from mine, so they might be right.’
      • There is no proof either way.
      • Neither Theists nor Atheists can prove that they are right.
      • So I will not take either side in the argument.
    • Agnostic
      • These people say that since they do not know whether God exists or not they will just be true to that. They say,
      • ‘ The Theists may be right. The Atheists may be right, but I do not know.
      • I will just keep an open mind.’
      • Many such people learn as much as they can about both science and religion, so they can discover the truth for themselves.
      • That view is called Agnostic.
    • Lets see what we have learned about religion so far.
      • Religion is like a Jigsaw, and I am part of the picture.
      • Religion is like a kaleidoscope, full of colours and patterns that constantly move and change.
      • Religion is like a song or music. We are part of the music – but it is bigger than us. It flows in and through us.
      • Religion is like a dance. It teaches us steps and we move with it. We dance on our own and with other people.
      • God has many Names and there are lots of ways of thinking about God. People have different relationships with God, depending on their beliefs.
      • Christians view God as Trinity: Father, Son and Spirit in One.
      • Someone who believes in God is called a Theist.
      • Someone who does not believe in God is called an Atheist.
      • Someone who does not take either side and keeps an open mind on the God Question is called an Agnostic.
    • What is Religion Part 4 The God Question
    • Looking for God
      • Many Theists talk about God as if He were a bit like another person who they want to know better.
      • They talk about being ‘in the Presence of God
      • They talk about feeling God’s blessings, feeling close to God.’
      • They sometimes talk about ‘seeing the Face of God.’
      • What might they be talking about?
    • Where might you look to feel close to God or to see God’s Face?
      • Beside the sea?
      • In the majesty of mountains?
    •  
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    • In a smiling face?
    • The beauty of nature will help you.
    •  
    • It’s not easy to feel close to God in the hustle and bustle of a crowded city
    • If you want to feel close to God then it helps to find a quiet place where you can be alone.
    • Some people say you can see God’s Face in the smiling face of flowers.
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    • Or in the magic of a butterfly.
    • In the love of a family
    •  
    • Mother and child
    •  
    • A symbol of Jesus and Mary
    •  
    • It is said that you can see God in the eyes of a child.
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    • When you go home tonight
      • look in the mirror.
      • Most religions teach that
      • Beauty is one of the qualities of God
      • So give your most beautiful smile
      • and look
      • at your own reflection.
      • What do you see in your eyes?
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    • If God is everywhere and at the heart of everything… … .then perhaps you just need to look at everything With an open mind And an open heart .
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    • Can you even find God in a stone?
    • Or in the water of a stream?
    • In the stillness of a forest?
    • In the roar of a wave
    • Come out into the universe of Light. Everything in the universe is yours. Stretch out your arms and embrace it with love. If you ever felt you wanted to do that, you have felt God. Swami Vivekananda
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    • And Jesus commanded us - ‘Love God and love one another, as I have loved you.’ And Jesus said that God is Love.
    • With thanks to Linton C of E School, Cambridgeshire.
      • Post Script
      • Love, like God, is another thing that is impossible to define. But everyone would agree it is very important. Love is at the heart of the meaning of religion – and at the heart of all the great religions.
      • You don’t have to believe in God to know what love means.
      • I think that if God is Love, as Jesus taught, we can start with that. As we try to put this unselfish, compassionate, brotherly love – which all the religions speak about - into action at the centre of our lives, I think God will make Himself known to us in His own way.
      • But it helps if we are open and listening.
      • Post Script 2
      • I think that if God is real then He will speak to everyone, Theists, Agnostics and Atheists in the way that each person can understand.
      • In the quietness of each person’s heart and in the strength of each person’s efforts to love, He will teach us all how to know Him.
      • That’s what I believe.
      • I may be wrong, but my whole life has been devoted to this principle and it is blessed by many miracles.
      • I give my views and my experiences, my rightness and my wrongness, to God. I ask Him to forgive my mistakes and use me in His Way. That is where faith begins.
      • If you liked my Slide Show and would like a copy of the text and some pictures in book form -
      • or if you have any feedback or comments, please contact me –
      • durgamata – on [email_address]
      • And if you would like me to come and give a talk to your class, to take an Assembly in your school or to give a workshop on Community Cohesion or any aspect of religion to your school, faith or community group –
      • If you would like a workshop using our Lotusbuds Cards
      • a workshop on silk-painting –
      • or to order some unique hand-painted-on-silk mounted cards…
      • then please do not hesitate to get in touch.
      • Blue Lotus Enterprises 2011
    • Blue Lotus Enterprises www.bluelotus.co