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1st year lecture 5 religion and the church in the UK

This is the fifth lecture on Religion and the Church in the UK. It covers various aspects of religious diversity, and religious freedom in the UK as well as the birth of the Anglican Church

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1st year lecture 5 religion and the church in the UK

  2. 2. Religious Profile • Britain is a Christian state and most people living in Britain are Christian. • One of the most religiously diverse populations in Europe. • British free to choose their religious beliefs. • Christianity main religion, • Large communities of Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Jews, and smaller communities of Baha'is, Buddhists, Jains and Zoroastrians.
  3. 3. Recent trends • Increased diversity • Less formal practice • Fewer attend church • Fewer say they belong to a religion • More outmarriages (interfaith marriages)
  4. 4. Recent trends (2) • Immigration and demographic change has led to religious diversity. • Some religious groups have higher birth rates than others. • Church going steadily declines
  5. 5. CHURCH OF ENGLAND • Church and State never dissociated • The Church of England is the Established (Official) Church • Variety of Christian Denominations: Methodists, Baptists and the United Reformed Church
  6. 6. History Until 1530’ Britain was Catholic Rallied Protestantism in 16th Century Henry VIII needed the agreement of the pope to divorce from Ann Boleyne 1533 Act of Supremacy: Henry declared to be “The only Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England.” England broke from the Roman Catholic Church to form the Anglican Church. Henry VIII (1491 1547)
  7. 7. Reformation • The church of England Independent from Rome and the Pope • Dissolution of monasteries • Confiscation of goods • Prosecution of Catholics
  8. 8. Catholicsm vs Protestantism Catholics Protestants Pope Heads the church, Vicar of Christ No human is infallible and Jesus alone heads up the Church Big Fancy Cathedrals “humanity must discover its unity and salvation” within a church. All Christians can be saved, regardless of church membership. Saints Pray to saints (holy dead people) in addition to God and Jesus. acknowledge saints, but don’t pray to them Celibacy & Nuns Catholics only Priests/Pastors can marry Scripture Tradition & bible Only the word of god Interpretation Only the pope can interpret the bible Individual Interpretation Confession of sins To God through priests To God through Jesus
  9. 9. Confession of Sins
  10. 10. Protestantism • All men predestined by God to be doomed or saved after death • God’s decision not to be altered by human deeds • God’s grace not to be bought by confession • Individual alone in the eyes of God • Catholicism : a series of intermediaries between God and man Vs Individual responsibility
  11. 11. Contemporary Issues 1 • The Monarch retains the title Defender of the Faith and is still the Supreme Governor of the Church • The Church of England has a legislative role – Twenty-six bishops (including the two Archbishops) sit in the House of Lords and are known as the Lords Spiritual.
  12. 12. Contemporary Issues 2 • Conservatism • Disagreement – Ordination of women priesthood – Religious remarriage of divorced couples – Gay marriages
  13. 13. Freedom of Religion • Article 9 Freedom of religion : The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion : • The freedom to change religion or belief, to exercise religion or belief publicly or privately, alone or with others in worship, teaching, practice and observance; and • the right to have no religion (e.g. to be atheist or agnostic) • Role of State: encourage tolerance & all observe neutrality. European Convention on Human Rights
  14. 14. Freedom of religion issues • Working Fridays • Working Sundays • Official uniforms • Equal treatment of religious signs
  15. 15. Aishah Azmi 2005 • A Muslim teaching assistant suspended for refusing to remove her niqab in class • Mrs Azmi said she was willing to remove her veil in front of children - but not male colleagues. • Government : barring men from working with her would amount to "sexual discrimination".
  16. 16. Eweida vs British Airways 2006 British Airways said its uniform policy was changed in 2007 to allow Miss Eweida and others to "wear symbols of faith" David Cameron : people "shouldn't suffer discrimination due to religious beliefs". Sikh and Muslim employees are not prevented from wearing religious garments at work
  17. 17. Religious diversity
  18. 18. Religious diversity 2011 census: • Christian (Anglican, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist) 59.3%, • Muslim 4.8%, • Hindu 1.5%, • Sikh 0.8 % • Jews 0.5% • Not stated 7.2%
  19. 19. Hindus • Hinduism is the religion of the majority of people in India and Nepal. • It has over 900 million adherents worldwide. • Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teachings. • Supreme god represented by multitude of gods • Believe in reincarnation
  20. 20. Hindus • ‘Britain needs to take inspiration from Hinduism’ David Cameron, 2015 • Integration of women in public & professional life and education •Well established in professional fields – law, media, medicine, engineering, accounting and business. •Vote conservative
  21. 21. Sikhism • 20 million Sikhs in the world, in Punjab province of India. • It was founded by Guru Nanak • Sikh principles: – keep God in heart and mind at all times – live honestly and work hard – treat everyone equally – be generous to the less fortunate – serve others
  22. 22. David Cameron in a Sikh Temple 2013
  23. 23. Sikhs • Said to be “the best example of cultural integration” • Strong work ethic = Succesful businesses – Second only to Jews in finance • Integration in communities • Charities • Educational achievement • However remain conservative (eg. Opposed to interfaith marriages)
  24. 24. Jews • Violent persecution in the Middle Ages(York massacre 1190) • Expelled by Edward I in 1290 • Allowed back in 1657 in exchange for finance
  25. 25. • 60 percent of school-age Jewish children attend Jewish schools • High educational achievement
  26. 26. Cameron on a visit to a Manchester Mosque, 2013
  27. 27. Muslims • 1890 first mosque in UK • Places of worship and welfare • Muslim schools granted state funding • 13 Muslim MPs 8 of which are women • 11 Muslim Peers (House of Lords)
  28. 28. Muslims: 4.8% of the population. • 42.5% are of Pakistani origin, • 16.8% Bangladeshis • 8.5% Indians • 7.5% other white. (Turkish; Arabic and North-African ethnic origin and East European Muslims from Bosnia and Kosovo). Who are British Muslims?
  29. 29. Educational achivement by religion
  30. 30. Faith Schools with public funding • 47 Jewish schools • 23 Muslim schools • 10 Sikh schools • 4 Hindu schools • Jewish state schools started in first half of the 20th century. • first Muslim state school in 1998, the first Sikh school opened in 1999 and the first Hindu school opened in 2008
  31. 31. Terrorist Attacks 9/11 and the 2005 London Bombings • 2005 London bombings: a series of coordinated bomb blasts that hit London's public transport in rush hour • 52 people were killed & also the 4 bombers: British Muslims, three of Pakistani and one of Jamaican origin motivated by Britain's involvement in the Iraq War and other conflicts
  32. 32. • British media has been criticised for propagating negative stereotypes of Muslims and fueling islamophobia
  33. 33. Comment on the following