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  • 1. Comedy in religion LEARNING OBJECTIVE – To consider the role of comedy in religion. By the end of the lesson All must – be able to explain the role of comedy and satire in religion. Most should – be able to form opinions on the suitability of using different types of comedy in relation to religion. Some could – consider whether religion is a legitimate subject for humour.
  • 2. Starter
    • List any mainstream comedy television programme or film which has religion as a main theme or which has a religious character or at times uses religion for sketches.
  • 3.  
  • 4. Key words
    • Blasphemy – disrespecting holy people, religious artefacts, customs, and beliefs. Some countries have laws to punish blasphemy.
    • Heresy – an opinion or belief that contradicts established religious teaching, especially one that is officially condemned by a religious authority.
    • Satire – the use of wit, especially irony, sarcasm, and ridicule, to criticise faults
  • 5. TV clips
    • Here we watched clips from four comedy programmes/films which have a religious theme, or include religious sketches.
    • You should have notes on the following:
    • The name of the programme or film.
    • How religion is used in the clip.
    • What is being laughed at, religious people, attitudes to religion, perceptions about religion, religious behaviour? etc.
    • Whether the programme is offensive or insults religion.
    • Is anything in the clip blasphemous or heretical?
    • How you think religious people would view the clip.
  • 6. Clip one – Dave Allen
    • Dave Allen was particularly well known in the 1970s and early 1980s.
    • He came from Ireland and a lot of his comedy involved the Roman Catholic Church.
  • 7. Clip two – Four weddings and a funeral
    • The vast majority of this film is set at the weddings and funeral.
  • 8. Clip three – Vicar of Dibley
    • The Vicar of Dibley started just after the time women became priests in the Church of England.
    • Many Christians were offended that a serious issue was being trivialised with comedy.
    • Much of the comedy is concerned with the characters in the village rather than with religion itself.
  • 9. Clip four – Father Ted
    • Father Ted ran for three series from 1995-1998.
    • It shows the life of three Irish Roman Catholic priests on the fictional Craggy Island.
  • 10.
    • Overall, would you say that all or some of the clips used religion in an appropriate way in their comedy?
    • Based on the clips you have watched and other religious comedy you know; is religion a legitimate subject for humour?