Learning
Religion & Society

 

Why Study Religion and Society?

VCE Religion and Society enables students to understand the interactions between religion and society over time, fostering an appreciation of the complexity of societies where multiple world views exist. Students come to appreciate the dynamic and changing role of religion in society and as an institution supporting adherents to grapple with the big questions of life. They study the value systems that guide religious traditions and the religious beliefs and other aspects of religion that express these. Students develop skills in research and analysis, assisting them to become informed citizens and preparing them for work and further study in fields such as anthropology, theology, philosophy, sociology, journalism, politics and international relations.

Structure

The study is made up of four units:

Unit 1: The role of religion in society

Unit 2:  Religion and ethics

Unit 3: The search for meaning

Unit 4: Religion, challenge and change

Outcomes
Outcomes define what students know and will able to do as a result of undertaking the study.

 

Unit 1: The role of religion in society
In this unit students explore the origins of religions and their role in the development of society, identifying their nature and purpose over time. They investigate the contribution of religion generally to the development of human society. They also focus on the role of religious traditions over time in shaping personal and group identity. Students examine how individuals, groups and new ideas have affected and continue to affect religious traditions. The unit provides an opportunity for students to understand the often complex relationships that exist between individuals, groups, new ideas, religious traditions and the Australian society in which they live.

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to discuss the nature and purpose of religion and explain the aspects of religion.

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to discuss the changing roles and influence of religion in society.

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to discuss the presence of religion in Australia, past and present.

 

Unit 2: Religion and ethics
Ethics is concerned with discovering the perspectives that guide practical moral judgment. Studying ethics involves identifying the arguments and analysing the reasoning, and any other influences, behind these perspectives and moral judgments. An important influence on ethical perspective is the method of ethical decision-making, made up of concepts, principles and theories. In this unit students study in detail various methods of ethical decision-making in at least two religious traditions and their related philosophical traditions. They explore ethical issues in the light of their investigations into ethical decision-making and ethical perspectives, and moral judgments in society.

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to able to explain the variety of influences on ethical decision making and moral judgment in societies where multiple worldviews coexist.

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain how ethical perspectives and moral judgments are formed within at least two religious traditions, in societies in which multiple worldviews coexist.

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to explain two or more debates on ethical issues in societies in which multiple worldviews coexist.

 

Unit 3: The search for meaning
In this unit, students study the purposes of religion generally and then consider the religious beliefs developed by one or more than one than one religious tradition or denomination in response to the big questions of life. Students study how particular beliefs within a religious tradition/s or denomination/s may be expressed through the other aspects of religion, and explore how this is intended to foster meaning for adherents. Students then consider the interaction between significant life experience and religion.

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to discuss and analyse the nature and purpose of religion and religious beliefs.

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to examine how beliefs and their expression in other aspects of religion is intended to respond to the search for meaning.

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to discuss and analyse the interplay between religious beliefs and their expression through related aspects and significant life experience.

 

Unit 4: Religion, challenge and change
This unit focuses on the dynamic interaction over time of religious traditions and the societies of which they are a part. Religious traditions are living institutions that participate and contribute in many ways, both positively and negatively, to wider societies – stimulating and supporting society; as levers for change themselves and embracing or resisting forces for change within society. In this unit, students explore challenge for religion generally over time and then undertake a study of challenge and change for one or more than one religious tradition or denomination.

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to discuss, analyse and compare stances and supporting responses taken by religions as they are challenged.

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to discuss the interactions within a religious tradition or denomination and between a religious tradition or denomination and wider society in relation to a significant challenge, and examine the effects of these interactions.

 

Assessment

Satisfactory completion

The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on a decision that the student has demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit. This decision will be based on the teacher’s assessment of the student’s performance on assessment tasks designated for the unit.

Levels of achievement

Units 1 and 2

Emmaus College students complete graded Assessment Tasks and Semester Examinations as part of the Assessment process for Units 1 and 2.

Units 3 and 4

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority will supervise the assessment of all students undertaking Units 3 and 4.

Percentage contributions to the study score in VCE Religion and Society are as follows:

Unit 3 school-assessed coursework 25%
Unit 4 school-assessed coursework 25%
End-of-year examination 50%