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EDT303Q

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Further EDT303Q Exam Guidelines E DUBE 04-Jun-2018 15:21 site

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

ANSWERS TAKEN FROM, DROP BOX STUDENT NOTES AND E-TUTORS AND OR LECTURERS

PLEASE ALWAYS CHECK NOTES AS ERRORS ARE POSSIBLE

Message

As clearly stated in TL201, the university does not allow us to give you precise exam guidelines that tell you what to study and what not to study. We, however, have received numerous correspondences from students who feel overwhelmed with the material they have to study for the exam especially for Question 4 on Religions. Below are just some few points to further assist you in your preparation:

1. FOR ASIAN RELIGIONS (

THE RELIGIONS INCLUDED IN THIS CATEGORY AND BE ABLE TO NAME AND EXPLAIN WHAT EACH FESTIVAL IS ALL ABOUT. MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT CONFUSE THE RELIGIONS THAT FALL UNDER THIS CATEGORY

. UNDERSTAND THE FESTIVALS IN

HINDUISM AND BUDDHISM

), IT WILL DO YOU SOME GOOD TO

FOCUS ON FESTIVALS

FESTIVALS

HINDUISM

Festivals

Deepavali/Divali

 

Holi

More festivals than any other religion

The row of lights

February – March

Calculated according to lunar & solar cycles

September – October

Starts during the full moon coinciding with

the spring harvest

Festivals function to unify belief

Celebrated by lighting lamps to indicate that amist

darkness & ignorance a pathway of lit lamps shows the way to G-d

Signifies the overcoming of evil by good & bonfire

is believed to destroy the demoness Holika

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Krishna Janmashtami

Navarati – the festival of 9 nights

Worship

commemorates the incarnation of Vishnu as Lord Krishna

– focused on the worship of the Divine Mother

Domestic worship, temple worship or pilgrimage – bhakti – offering an act or object to the deity with a pure heart

 Pilgrimage – optional

Pilgrimage – optional

 Pilgrimage – optional
 Pilgrimage – optional
 Pilgrimage – optional
 Pilgrimage – optional
 Pilgrimage – optional

BUDDHISM

Vesak (Buddha Day)

Sangha Day (Magha Puja Day or Fourfold Assembly Day)

Dhamma Day (Asalha Puja Day)

Vesak is the birthday of the Buddha and the most important festival in Buddhism. On the first full moon day in May, Buddhists all over the world celebrate the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha in a single day. The name "Vesak" comes from the Indian month of that name in which it is held.

Sangha Day commemorates the Buddha's visit to Veruvana Monastery in the city of Rajagaha, when 1,250 arhats are said to have spontaneously returned from their wanderings to pay their respects to the Buddha. Sangha Day is celebrated on the full moon day of the third lunar month (March).

Dhamma Day is observed on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month (July). It commemorates the "turning of the wheel of the Dharma" - the Buddha's first sermon - at the Sarnath Deer Park.

REFERENCE: ("Festivals and Special Days." BuddhaNet Buddhist Studies. 2004)

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JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

2. FOR ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS

(JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM)

, TAKE NOTE OF

BASIC BELIEFS

. BE ABLE TO NAME THEM AND TO EXPLAIN

WHAT EACH BASIC BELIEF ENTAILS.

 

BASIC BELIEFS

 

JUDAISM

Belief in one G-d

 

The Chosen People

 

The advent of a Messiah

 

Affirmation of the existence of one separate deity

Relationship that exists between G-d & his people

Fundamental part of traditional Jewish belief

(G-d is One –monotheism)

   
 

Jews entered into a covenant relationship

“End of Days”

G-d is regarded as the only creative cause of

with G-d as his “chosen people”

   

existence & everything has come into existence by his will

   

Time of the messiah features prominently

 

“anointed one”

Attributes of G-d (mind map)

   
 

A leader that will redeem humanity & establish G-

A G-d of “all creation” = universalism (Regarded as an active participant in human affairs & not limited to that of Israel)

d’s kingdom on earth

 

Return of a Messiah = return of exiles in Israel,

 

rebuilding of temple & resurrection of dead

Human qualities = anthropomorphism (That of a father)

Different from the created world & cannot be identified with any aspect of creation = transcendentalism

A G-d who is present in everything = immanentism

A G-d who forms a covenant relationship with the people of Israel as his “chosen people” = particularism

Followers need to love him & obey his

commandments

 

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CHRISTIANITY

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Belief in one G-d

Monotheism G-d is seen as a creator of

heaven & earth & the source of all life

The Father (powerful, holy, eternal &

unchangeable)

The Son (Jesus Christ)

The Holy Spirit (descendent from

Heaven)

Trinity – signifies 3 distinct beings that are yet

fully one G-d

Creeds: the Apostles’ Creed &

the Nicene Creed

 

Throughout the ages, basic tenets that have emerged as fundamental principles in the Christian religion have often been debated.

Within specific traditions, this resulted in the formulation of "creeds". Two important creeds that have dominated the Christian Church are the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed.

Doctrine of incarnation

G-d assumed a human body (incarnation)

Not merely a prophet or a teacher

The “only begotten Son of G-d”

Believe that Jesus was at the same time human

but also legitimately divine

Believe that Jesus will return to judge every

person, dead or alive, & establish his eternal kingdom

Jesus is the promised Messiah

his eternal kingdom  Jesus is the promised Messiah  Doctrine of reconciliation or atonement  
his eternal kingdom  Jesus is the promised Messiah  Doctrine of reconciliation or atonement  

Doctrine of reconciliation or

atonement

 

Firmly believe in it

Resurrection of Jesus = proof of universal

atonement

or atonement    Firmly believe in it  Resurrection of Jesus = proof of universal
or atonement    Firmly believe in it  Resurrection of Jesus = proof of universal

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ISLAM

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Belief in one G-d

 

Doctrine of predestination

 

Doctrine of eschatology

 

Monotheism

 

Humans are the creation of Allah &

Day of judgement

 
 

must be obedient to him

   

“oneness of G-d”

   

When a person dies the body returns to

 

A person who seeks to be righteous

the earth & the soul goes to sleep until the day of resurrection

Only one G-d who exists from eternity

must follow the will of Allah

 

to all eternity

     
 

Ascribe to the notion of predestination

The angel of Allah will sound the trumpet, the earth

“all-seeing, all-hearing, all-speaking,

– “G-d Willing” – success/fail is entirely in the hands of G-d, who rules the world & has planned each event in advance

will split & all bodies will (re)join their souls

all-knowing, all-willing, all-powerful & an absolute unity”

Resurrection of body & uniting soul is followed by the final destination of judgement before G-d

G-d = “Allah” – 99 names – “Holy

 

One”, “Merciful”, “Compassionate”. “Guardian” & “Creator”

Believe that people are responsible for

 

the evil they commit & will be judged for it

All humans will be judged for their

Allah is alone as a divine figure

actions & based on the outcome will either be sent to heaven or hell

“jinn”

   

Guardian angel of each individual will

Leader of evil jinn is Iblis – a fallen

bear witness to the person’s record on earth

angel – responsible for the fall of Adam

EDT303Q

3. FOR ASIAN RELIGIONS

ANSWER 1

BUDDHISM – FOUNDER

Buddhism

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(HINDUISM AND BUDDHISM)

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

AGAIN, PLEASE BE ABLE TO

WRITE AN ESSAY ON THE LIFE OF THE FOUNDER(S).

Founder: Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha

Siddartha (name) Gautama (clan)

Buddha – meaning in Sanskrit – awakened one – or enlightened one

80 years of life

First 29 years – innocence of youth

6 years – intense spiritual search and struggle

45 years of teaching and ministering to his followers

Born - Northern India – foothills of Himalayas

Told he was conceived by miraculous events

Extremely intelligent, physically strong and beautiful in youth

Enlightenment

o

Sat under a fig tree (bodhi – tree of enlightenment)

o

Determined not to leave until enlightenment

o

First tempted by evil (give up search and succumb to pleasure)

o

Breakthrough came under full moon – he attained nirvana (enlightened)

o

Buddha found 3 paths: Life of self-indulgence; life of self-mortification; life of insight, wisdom, calm and enlightenment

Becoming a Buddhist not limited to monks

Becoming a Buddhist follower – recite the following

I go for refuge to the Buddha

I go for refuge to the dhamma (Sanskrit dharma) – teaching or truth

I go for refuge to the shangha – Buddhist community

Lifestyle

o

Abstain from taking life (not restricted to life of human beings)

o

Do not take what is not given (dishonesty)

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o

Abstain from unchastity (sexual misconduct – monks celibacy)

o

Do not lie or deceive

o

Abstain from intoxicants

o

5 rules for monks only

 

Eat moderately and not after noon

Do not associate with dancing, singing or other spectacles

Do not use garlands, scents or ornaments

Do not use luxurious beds

Do not accept silver or gold

Buddhism in South Africa

 

o

Soon after Dutch settlement – Thai monks on a ship that wrecked on rocks near Agulhas

o

Sugar plantations of Natal (1860) then became a living religion in SA

NB :Teachings of early Buddhism

The four noble truths are:

1. There is suffering.

2. There is cause for suffering.

3. There is cessation of suffering.

4. There is path leading to the cessation of suffering (how is freedom attained):

5. Eightfold path:

Right view (understanding of truth)

Right purpose (free from craving)

Right speech (no lies/malicious speech)

Right action (deeds have consequence)

Right livelihood

Right effort (unswerving determination)

Right mindfulness (pay full attention to everything you do in every moment)

Right concentration ( ability to dwell on something with inner tranquillity)

Buddhism teaches that a person is a bundle of 5 factors

o Form (matter, body)

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o

Sensation

o

Perception

o

Emotion and violation (will)

o

Consciousness

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

Rebirth – likened to one flame lighting another flame – some kind of continuity after death – nothing substantial carried over – like a continuity of light & warmth from the flame

Buddhist meditation

7 th facet = mindfulness (sati)

8 th facet = concentration (samadhi)

Mindfulness = being quietly alert to whatever enters the field of attention at a given moment

Aim of meditation is attainment of insight

Mental focus leads to tranquillity

ANSWER 2

BUDDHISM

Founder

Concept of God

Siddarth Gautama was born in 566 BCE in Northern India and died in 486 BCE. Siddarth was his first name and Gautama his clan name. Followers called him “The Buddha” meaning “The awakened one” or the “enlightened one”.

The Buddha is not worshipped. He is venerated as the great discoverer and teacher of truth. Buddha refers to the deepest reality of a human being.

He was a divine being that was sent from heaven. (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:107-138)

He lived in great luxury protected by his father. He married his cousin when he was 19 and had a son called Rahula. Siddarth died at age 80 of food poisoning. (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:107-138)

Main belief

Scripture

To not take life or take something if it is not given. To abstain from unachastity and not to lie and deceive. Lastly to abstain from intoxicants. (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:107-138)

Sacred Theravada writings called Tipitaka (the three baskets) were written in the 1 st century BCE. Prior to this, monks memorised teachings and spread it orally. The Theravada canon in written in Pali and Sanskrit (3 major scripts)

The collection of disciplinary rules for the order.

Collection of sutras

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SEMESTER 1 2018

 

Collection of advanced systematisations.

The Mahayana’s produced the Prajna-Paramita and it is about wisdom. (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:107-138)

Major Festivals

Origin in time

Wesak is one of the Buddhist’s major festivals. It takes place during a full moon in May/June because this is when Siddarth Gautama was born.

6 th century BCE (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:107-138)

In Sri-Lanka, for 10 days in August, the Sinhalese Buddhist’s celebrate the Essala Perahera and it climaxes on the full moon. This is when they follow a tooth of Buddha that is being carried. They celebrate him. (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:107-138)

Origin in place

Major Types

Northern India (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:107-138)

Two major types are Theravada and Mahayana. The first being the way of the elders and the second being the large vehicle which is more adaptable.

Tantric Buddhism is found in Tibet and the west. Zen is found in China, Japan and Korea. (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:107-138)

HINDUISM - FOUNDER

HINDUISM

Founder figure

Concept of God

Hinduism knows no founder. (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:63-103)

Here we have more that one god and they are called Vedic devas. They are usually male and are mostly equally great.

Varuna is the sky god and Indra the god of war depicted to be riding on en elephant. Surya is the sun god and Rudra the chief storm deity. Yama is the god of death and Agni the god of fire and sacrifice. Soma is the divine presence in the juice of the soma plant. (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:63-103)

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Main belief

Scripture

Hindus believe that the truths are embodies in the Vedas and are eternal and that they are not creations of the human mind. (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:63-103)

There are two main categories for Hindu scripture called Shruti (what is heard) and Smriti (what is remembered). Of these Shruti is classified the most important. The Shruti has five divisions called Vedas referring to sacred knowledge. The earliest of the Vedas dates back from about 1400 CE which is more that 2000 years after its initial formulation. (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009: 63-103)

Major Festivals

Origin in time

Holi is a festival that celebrates good winning over evil and is celebrated during Feb/March. They make huge bonfires.

The exact date of origin is not known. Hinduism of today started during the 1 st thousand years of the common era but can be traced back to the Indians that stayed in the Indus Valley from about 2500-1700 BCE. (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:63-103)

Krishna Janmrashtami is a festival that celebrates the birth of Krishna. The story of Krishna’s birth is recited during this festival.

Navarati is the festival of nine lights and is celebrated to worship the divine mother.

 

Divali is celebrated in Sept/Oct by lighting lamps. (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn;

2009:63-103)

Origin in place

Major types

Hinduism originated in India (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:63-103)

In South-Africa you get sanatanist Hindus in three types called Vaishnavites, Shaivites and Shaktas. You also get Arya Samaj. (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:63-

103)

We hope this will be of great help.

We wish you all the best.

EDT303Q Team.

EDT303Q

Previous question Papers

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Definitions and methodology

JULES KHOMO

(These highlighted questions always come back)

SEMESTER 1 2018

1 YOUR PRESCRIBED MATERIAL PRESENTS A WORKING DEFINITION OF RELIGION. BRIEFLY DISCUSS THIS DEFINITION [10] OCTOBER/NOVEMBER

2016

1. YOUR PRESCRIBED MATERIAL PRESENTS A WORKING DEFINITION. BRIEFLY DISCUSS THIS DEFINITION [10] MAY/JUNE 2017

ANSWER 1:

Working definition of Religion

Aspects that are:

Sacred – people, things, places or events (Christian – Holy Communion; Islam – Mecca)1:  Working definition of Religion Aspects that are: Beliefs – sacred stories and doctrines (Christian

Beliefs – sacred stories and doctrines (Christian – Bible; Judaism – Torah)or events (Christian – Holy Communion; Islam – Mecca) Practices – rituals and festivals (Christian –

Practices – rituals and festivals (Christian – Easter; Hinduism – Diwali)and doctrines (Christian – Bible; Judaism – Torah) Functions:    Brings people together as a

Functions:

 

Brings people together as a unified group with a collective identity.

Embodies ethical values – can hurt or heal human begins, as can be used to justify forms of discrimination, either within that religion, or against another.

Also has a spiritual dimension – provides and individual with answers to deepest questions. Transcendent, mysterious reality beyond observable world. Meditation and prayer.

ANSWER 2:

A working definition = beliefs & practices related to the sacred, which serves to unify its adherents

Sacred = things, people, places or events ‘set apart’ from the ordinary by a specific group

Beliefs = sacred stories & doctrines

Practices = rituals & festivals

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JULES KHOMO

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Primary function of religion = to create a collective identity & to bind adherents together as a unified group

Definition 2 = A system of ultimate meaning in the sense that it provides an individual with answers to his/her deepest questions

ANSWER 3

1. DEFINITION OF RELIGION

DEFINITION 1

(10)

The term religion may be used to refer to beliefs and practices related to the sacred, which serves to unify its adherents.

Sacredrelated to the sacred, which serves to unify its adherents.  Refers to things, people, places

Refers to things, people, places or events set apart from the ordinary by a specific group.

Beliefsor events set apart from the ordinary by a specific group.  include sacred stories (myths)

include sacred stories (myths) and doctrines

PracticesBeliefs  include sacred stories (myths) and doctrines  include rituals and festivals  The primary

include rituals and festivals

The primary function of religion as an institution is to create a collective identity and bind adherents together as a unified group.

Religion may also be used to justify class, gender and colonial forms of discrimination and exploitation.

Sacred beliefs, practices and institutions are not innocent and neutral, but embody ethical values.

Religion may heal but also hurt human beings.

DEFINITION 2:

Is a system of ultimate meaning and provides an individual with answers to his/her deepest questions, such as:

Origin of the world

Meaning of life

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Suffering and death

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JULES KHOMO

Individuals experience mysterious reality beyond an observable world.

SEMESTER 1 2018

Such as an encounter with the holy or sacred causes the believer to tremble

The encounter fascinates him/her.

ANSWER 4

Working definition of religion….

The term religion may be used to refer to beliefs and practices related to the sacred, which serves to unify its adherents.

The sacred refers to things, people, places or events set apart from the ordinary by specific group.

Beliefs include sacred stories (myths) and doctrines Practises include rituals and festivals Religion as an institution is to create a collective identity and to bind adherents together as a unified group.

May also be used for justifying class, gender and colonial forms of discrimination and exploitation. Sacred beliefs, practises and institutions are not innocent and neutral but embody ethical values which are constitutive of contested power relations in society.

Religion may heal but also hurt human beings.

ANSWER 5

1. Definition 1 – Working definition of religion

The term "religion" may be used to refer to beliefs and practices related to the sacred, which serves to unify its adherents.

In this definition

the "sacred" refers to things, people, places or events "set apart" from the ordinary by a specific group

"beliefs" include sacred stories (myths) and doctrines

"practices" include rituals and festivals.

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JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

This definition holds that the primary function of religion as an institution, is to create a collective identity and to bind adherents together as a unified group. We need to

emphasise, however, that in addition to its unifying social function, religion may also be used to justify class, gender and colonial forms of discrimination and exploitation.

Sacred beliefs, practices and institutions are not innocent and neutral, but embody ethical values, which are constitutive of contested power relations in society. In short,

religion may heal but may also hurt human beings.

2. Definition 2 –

Religion is a system of ultimate meaning in the sense that it provides an individual with answers to his/her deepest questions (e.g. about the origin of the world and the

meaning of life, suffering and death). Central to religion is the sense of a transcendent, mysterious reality beyond the observable world, in the presence of which an individual

experiences utter awe. An encounter with the holy or sacred thus not only causes the believer to tremble, but also fascinates him/her profoundly.

ANSWER 6

1. A working definition of religion (10)

- Religion refers to beliefs and practices that are sacred which unifies adherents.

- Sacred refers to things, people, places or events set apart from the ordinary by a specific group.

- Practices involve festivals and rituals

The working definition holds the primary function of religion as an institution is to create a collective identity to bind adherents together as a unified group.

Religion can justify class, gender and colonial forms of discrimination and exploitation. However, religion may hurt or heal human beings.

The Reductionist definition concludes the working definition by simply stating its based on more the functions and use of religions in more of a psychological and sociological based term than the supernatural.

2. Definition 2: (10)

- Religion is based on a system that leads to ultimate meaning which means to provide students with answers to their deepest questions such as the origin of the

world and the meaning of life, suffering and death.

- Central to religion is a mysterious reality beyond the observable world. Furthermore, an encounter with the holy or sacred causes the believer to tremble, also fascinated him or her profoundly.

The Essentialist definition is a good example of the second definition by concluding that it is based on the individuals experience.

EDT303Q

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JULES KHOMO

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2 BRIEFLY DISCUSS THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE PHENOMENOLOGICAL AND THE CRITICAL APPROACHES IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION. [10] OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016 2. BRIEFLY DISCUSS THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE PHENOMENOLOGICAL AND THE CRITICAL APPROACHES IN THE STUDY OF RELIGION [10] MAY/JUNE 2017 THE ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS SHOULD BE BETWEEN HALF A PAGE AND ONE PAGE THE LENGTH, DEPENDING ON YOUR HANDWRITING [10] OCT NOV 2017

ANSWER 1

In the academic study of religion, we may distinguish between phenomenological and critical approaches.

1. The phenomenological approach – intends to describe religious phenomena as objectively as possible (the Greek term phainomena means "things as they appear"). The

researcher is expected to bracket his or her own biases, to make no judgment on the truth of any religion or religious phenomenon, and to experience a specific religion with

empathy from the inside. The Greek term epoche is used for this bracketing procedure. The phenomenological approach in religious studies was developed in the first half of

the 20th century by the Dutch scholar Gerardus van der Leeuw and the Romanian-born Mircea Eliade.

In anthropological literature this proposed insider's perspective is technically known as the emic perspective. The crucial distinction here is that between emic and etic

perspectives. The anthropological terminology was adapted from the linguistic distinction between phonemes and phonetics: the first refers to the sounds themselves as

pronounced by speakers, the second to critical concepts used to analyse the sounds. Similarly, the phenomenological approach may be considered emic (the faithful and

empathetic representation of the insider perspective), whereas the critical approaches below may be termed etic (the outsider perspective of the analyst).

2. Critical approaches are sceptical of the objective, positivist claims of the phenomenological method and instead maintain that the study of religion can never present

religious phenomena neutrally as "social facts". According to these approaches, the selection, categorisation and interpretation of religious phenomena are always necessarily

influenced by the subjective position or prejudices of the observer. The claim of objectivity often masks unequal class, gender and political power relations that are actually at

work in religions and in the phenomenological study of religion. The task of the critical researcher is then to expose and critique this use of religion as unjust from a self-

conscious and specific point of view (indeed never a neutral one), and to offer alternatives. Unlike the phenomenological approach, which claims to be neutral and descriptive,

critical approaches presume specific norms in terms of which they judge the status quo, prescribe alternative ideals and introduce programmes to bring about such change.

Amongst these critical approaches we may mention the following:

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JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

Karl Marx held that religion maintains an unjust system of class inequality. It serves as the "opium of the masses" by promising the poor a better afterlife and

preventing them from revolting against their oppressors. He held that, when an egalitarian society finally evolves, religion would become redundant.

Sigmund Freud considered religion an infantile, obsessive neurosis and illusion that needed to be eradicated by adults, a remnant of "primitive" society that had no

place in an enlightened culture.

Feminists expose the patriarchal structure of most religions. They work to transform the latter towards a more equitable system or explore forms of goddess worship

to affirm themselves.

The adherents of postcolonial approaches show that the colonial study of religion served the interests of Western empires. The 19th century founders of the

comparative study of religion (e.g. Max Müller) and anthropology (e.g. Edward Tylor and James Frazer) posited an evolutionary hierarchy, with indigenous religions at the

bottom and Protestant Christianity at the top, thus legitimising the empire's "civilising mission" to "primitives" in their colonies. The challenge of the contemporary study of

religion is to rectify this dehumanising scholarly tradition.

Proponents of human rights, negotiated since the Enlightenment and embodied in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), have articulated a set of

norms deemed necessary for establishing a humane world in which people can flourish. These have been used to critique religions when they prevent individuals from

enjoying freedom of religion; promote intolerance towards religious diversity; or legitimise unjust discrimination on the basis of class, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual

orientation or nationality. Liberal constitutions as the highest laws of modern secular states guarantee these human rights, which states have the duty to protect.

ANSWER 2

Discuss the Distinction between the phenomenological approach and critical approach (10)

The phenomenological approach states that anything is possible as they appear. Therefore, researchers are not biased and judgemental on the truth of religion. Religion is experienced with empathy from within and this approach was developed in the first half of the 20th century.

The critical approach involves questioning the truth of religion with the help of ones self-conscious and specific point of view. Therefore, to be sceptical and judge the status quo.

EDT303Q

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A few pointers have been questioned:

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

- Human rights are the moral principles of human behaviour but when religion seems to not support the law by preventing people from enjoying the freedom of Religion, then it becomes questionable.

- Karl Marx feels religion maintains an unjust system of class inequality.

- Sigmund Freud feels religion is childish, obsessive and illusion able.

- Feminists explores forms of goddess worship to affirm them &

- The post-colonial approach rectifies the dehumanizing scholarly tradition.

ANSWER 3

 

THE PHENOMENOLOGICAL APPROACH

 

THE CRITICAL APPROACH

Describe religious phenomena as objectively as possible

Sceptical of the objective

‘things as they appear’

Positivistic claims of the phenomenological method

Researcher = bracket own biases, make no judgement on the truth of any

Maintain that study of religion can never neutrally present religious

religion or religious phenomenon, & experience a specific religion with empathy from the inside

phenomena as ‘social facts’

Expose & critique from a self-conscious & specific point of view

Emic perspective = faithful & empathetic representation of the insider

approach

Presume specific norms in terms of which they judge the status quo, prescribe

 

alternative ideals & introduce programmes to bring about such change

Etic perspective = the outsider perspective of the analyst

o Karl Marx

o Sigmund Freud

o Feminists

o Postcolonial approaches

o Human Rights

EDT303Q

ANSWER 4

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JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

The phenomenological approach (positivistic)

Critical Approach:

Is a humanistic approach based on empirical facts

May be termed ETIC approach (outsider perspective of the analyst)

This approach left its mark on disciplines like Sociology, Cultural Anthropology, Political science, History, Law, Psychology and Theology.

These approaches are sceptical of the objective, positivistic claims of the Phenomenonological method.

Tends to describe religious phenomena as objective as possible

Maintains the study of religion can never neutrally present religious phenomena as social facts.

Phenomena means “things as they appear”

Researcher is expected to bracket his/her own biases

Claim of objectivity often masks unequal class, gender and political power relations that are at work in religions and phenomenological study of religion.

to make no judgement on the truth of any religion/religious phenomenon

The task of the critical researcher is to expose critique from self conscious and specific point of view, the uses of religion as unjust and to offer alternatives.

and to experience a specific religion with empathy from the inside.

Karl Marx:

Phenomenonological approach in Religious studies was developed in first half of 20 th century by Gerhardus van der Leeuw and Roman Mircea Eliade.

Religion maintains an unjust system of class inequality.

Sigmund Freud:

This perspective is also known as the EMIC perspective

Considered religion as infantile, obsessive neurosis and illusion that had no place in an enlightened culture.

EMIC (faithful and empathetic representation of the insider perspective)

Feminists:

Expose patriarchal structure of most religions and to transform it to a more equitable system or explore forms of goddess worship to affirm themselves.

Post-colonial approaches:

Shows colonial study of religion served the interest of Western Empires.

EDT303Q

ANSWER 5

EXAM PREP

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

PHENOMENOLOGICAL APPROACH

CRITICAL APPROACH

Greek term – Things as they appear

Objective, positivistic claims of the phenomenological method

Individual makes own biases, to make no judgement on the truth of any religion or religious phenomenon.

Maintain study of religion can never neutrally present phenomena as social facts.

Claim often masks unequal - class, gender and power relations that work.

Feel empathy from the inside.

Karl Marx – Views religion will be redundant.

May be considered emic. (Faithful on insider’s perspective)

Sigmund Freud – Believes religion is an illusion.

Feminists – Explore forms of goddess worship to affirm them.

Post-colonial approaches – To rectify this dehumanizing scholarly tradition.

Human rights – Norms necessary for flourishing in the human world. People have rights.

2(A) DEFINITION OF RELIGION CAN BE EITHER REDUCTIONIST OR ESSENTIALIST. WRITE A SHORT ESSAY IN WHICH YOU SHOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THESE TWO KINDS OF DEFINITIONS, USING THE TWO DEFINITION ON YOUR STUDY MATERIAL AS EXAMPLES. (10) OCT NOV 2017

ANSWER 1

We may broadly distinguish between two types of definition:

1. Reductionist definitions view religions as human constructs that should be explained rationally in sociological and psychological rather than supernatural terms. These

definitions are often called functionalist, since they focus on the functions/uses of religion in society or in the individual's psyche. Definition 1, with the above qualifications, is

an adaptation of that formulated by the sociologist Emile Durkheim at the beginning of the 20th century.

EDT303Q

EXAM PREP

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

2. Essentialist definitions emphasise the substantive content of religious belief in a transcendent reality (the "sacred" or the "holy") and the profound individual experience,

and hold that sociological and psychological views are reductive when they ignore this absolutely crucial truth of all religions. Definition 2 offers an example of such a

definition, which is based on that of the philosopher of religion and theologian Rudolf Otto from the beginning of the 20th century.

ANSWER 2

Reductionist definition = views religion as human constructs, which should be rationally explained in sociological & psychological rather than supernatural terms (focus on the functions/uses of religion in society or the individual’s psyche)

Essentialist definition = emphasize the substantive content of religious belief in a transcendent reality & the profound individual experience of it (hold that sociological & psychological views are reductive when they ignore the absolutely crucial truth of all religions)

ANSWER 3

2 TYPES OF RELIGION:

Reductionist religion:

Often called functionalist religion

focus on functions / uses of religion in society or the individual psyche.

Essentialist religion:

Emphasize sustentative content of religious belief (Sacred of the Holy)

and the profound individual experience of it

holds that sociological and psychological views are reductive when they ignore this crucial truth of all religions.

EDT303Q

POLICY THEORY

EXAM PREP

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

1

WRITE AN ESSAY EXPLAINING HOW THE CONSTITUTION INFORMS THE NATIONAL POLICY ON RELIGION AND EDUCATION [20] MAY JUNE 2016

4

DISCUSS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CONSTITUTION AND THE "NATIONAL POLICY ON RELIGION IN EDUCATION" [1O]

OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016 4. DISCUSS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CONSTITUTION AND THE NATIONAL POLICY ON RELIGION AND EDUCATION. [10] MAY/JUNE 2017

ANSWER 1

Explain how the constitution informs the national policy on religion and education. (20)

Constitutional rights of citizens are broken down into the various categories;

Freedom of conscience of thought Freedom of opinion of belief Freedom of religion Freedom from unfair discrimination Freedom from coercion (ideological and religious)

The constitution provides a basic framework that determines the relationship of religion and education in a democratic society. Therefore, the constitution honours all freedom of religions. The National Policy on Religion and Education reflects these basic constitutional values and equality.

Furthermore, the material presented to the learners supports the National Policy and therefore, the constitution. The meaningful material is part of the process of helping them in their spiritual development.

Therefore, the Policy supports the basic logic that derives from the individual rights in the Constitution. The Policy does affirm its responsibility in ensuring that all democratic rights of all citizens are met in public schools.

ANSWER 2

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CONSTITUTION AND THE NATIONAL POLICY ON RELIGION IN EDUCATION.

The Constitution. provides the value base for the Curriculum.

The following values are expressed in the policy:

The freedom of conscience of thought

(10)

EDT303Q

EXAM PREP

JULES KHOMO

The freedom of opinion and belief

The freedom of religion

The freedom of unfair discrimination

The freedom of coercion (ideological and religious)

SEMESTER 1 2018

Every citizen has the right to pursue material and spiritual development and the freedom to associate with others who may assist the individual in their developmental pursuits.

In the policy the state affirms responsibility to ensure the democratic rights of citizens are met.

The policy stipulates:

Public schools must provide teaching of the broad base of religious activities in a way that is different from religious nature and religious instruction in a particular region.

However the state is non-prescriptive about the religious approach adopted by schools.

The basic core values network provided by the state for teaching religion states that schools, parents and communities have the right to decide how the teaching of religion should be conducted in their school.

Why?

Because individuals in their communities are best informed to exercise their rights and responsibilities

(Articles 22, 23, 49, 68 & 70)

The policy protects Religious Education from being used as a tool for social engineering.

The state provides the guideline / framework within which educational institutions must teach religion.

The state is non-prescriptive about the implementation and individual freedom can be exercised.

Results of this approach:

(Art 11) - The relationship between religion and education must flow from the constitutional values

(Art 16) - Public institutions must teach about religions that reflect an appreciation for spiritual, non-material aspects of life BUT It must be different from religious education, religious instruction or religious nurture

(Art 9, 10 & 25) - Religious education must contribute to create an integral community that affirms unity in diversity in our society

Teaching about religion diversity must be conducted by trained professionals

EDT303Q

EXAM PREP

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

Programs in religious education must be supported by appropriate and credible teaching and learning materials and objective assessment criteria. (Articles 34, 46 & 47)

The policy for the role of religion in education flows directly from the Constitutional values of;

human rights

equality

freedom from discrimination

freedom of conscience, religion, thoughts, beliefs and opinion.

By enshrining these basic values, the Constitution provides the framework for determining the relationship between religion and education in a democratic society.

ANSWER 3

CONSTITUTIONAL VALUES UNDERLYING THE POLICY – p311

Equity – of all South African religious traditions

Tolerance and respect – among different religious and secular world-views in a shared civil society

Diversity – by the promotion of multireligious knowledge, understanding and appreciation.

Openness – being without any overt or covert religious indoctrination.

Accountability – religions are systems of moral accountability.

Social honor – honoring all religious and secular backgrounds and not allowing the denigration of any.

2 WRITE AN ESSAY EXPLAINING THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE NATIONAL POLICY ON RELIGION AND EDUCATION FOR THE CLASSROOM PRACTICE [20] MAY JUNE 2016 3. WRITE AN ESSAY EXPLAINING THE IMPLICATION OF THE F THE "NATIONAL POLICY ON RELIGION AND EDUCATION FOR THE CLASSROOM PRACTICE [10] MAY/JUNE 2017 3(A) WRITE AN ESSAY EXPLAINING THE IMPLICATION OF THE NATIONAL POLICY ON RELIGION AND EDUCATION FOR THE CLASSROOM PRACTICE. {10) OCT NOV 2017

EDT303Q

EXAM PREP

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

The implications of the “National Policy on Religion and Education” for the classroom practice.

ANSWER 1

Explain the implications of the National Policy on Religion and Education for the classroom practice, (20)

Teachers play an important role that is central to building quality education. Teachers should present themselves in a professional manner when shaping students attitudes, morals and values and how they treat one another. The National Policy of Religion and Education helps the teachers to build on this foundation in their classroom practices as well as remove prejudice and encourage the freedom to associate with other students.

The role of Religion in Education flows directly from the Constitutional values in the Policy which is citizenship, human rights, equality, freedom from discrimination, freedom for conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion. However, the core values include equity, intolerance, multilingualism, openness, accountability and social honour.

As a teacher, I will exercise the core values of the National Policy on Religion and Education in the following ways when following the curriculum:

- Heritage Day for South Africans give the teachers the opportunity to discuss the Rainbow Nation because it symbolises a diverse group of people that come

together to celebrate and respect a multicultural heritage. Therefore, the Rainbow Nation supports the core values Equity and Diversity because it aims in respecting a diverse, cultural, religious and linguistic traditions.

- I will encourage learners to work and play with one another because it teaches them to listen and respect each others opinion. Therefore, it will exercise religious toleration and interpersonal respect of different religions in a shared civil society.

- Guest speakers can help students get exposed to the different religions and the belief systems of the world and their worldviews. Guest speakers could include the

parents of students in helping promote multi-religious knowledge and an understanding and appreciation for all religions, Diversity. Furthermore, the parents sharing their religious beliefs and culture with the rest of the class or grade honours the background of all religions, Social Honour.

- I would include a time slot for 'Hope for kids' which is a lesson based around Jesus's teachings. However, I would not force or persuade anyone to accept their religion and therefore, allow them to sit in a seperate room while keeping themselves busy. Furthermore, this supports the core value, openness.

- I would teach and encourage the character pillars such as caring, trustworthiness, fairness, responsibility and respect through story lessons. Character building cultivates moral beliefs and therefore, contributes to nation building, accountability.

- I will create a multicultural classroom with books for example because the classroom becomes a space of linguistic, cultural and religious diversity. Therefore,

creating an environment that caters for the different developments of a student introduces a sense of acceptance, security and religious diversity. Books are used to teach basic life lessons that are common amongst all religions.

EDT303Q

EXAM PREP

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

- I will as a SACE registered teacher in the classroom, respond to educational problems such as violence in a professional manner while following the guidelines

from the National Policy, be sensitive, caring and be understanding on how to deal with children and the development of the whole person. Therefore, this leads to learners appreciating people of different values, beliefs, practices and cultures. (Equity and Tolerance). Furthermore, having access to materials, textbooks, handbooks and guidelines to teaching methods help in dealing with issues of religion.

Thererfore, the central focus of teaching religion is to:

- Acquire the skills and knowledge to understand world religions and their heritage by allowing the students to express their religious belief with the rest of the class but without infringing on the rights of other students.

- Teachers can go to workshops for the same purpose and as a result to share their acquired knowledge with the rest of the class and value spirituality.

- Teachers must follow the curriculum (CAPS Documents: Life Orientation) that help students in achieving outcomes and goals through listening, observation, reading, writing and thinking. Furthermore, the NSC helps by explaining the literacy in different capacities.

Therefore, teachers need to acknowledge their uniqueness and individuality as well as guide and encourage them to realise his or her potential and exercise authority with compassion.

ANSWER 2

PRINCIPLES INFORMING THE TEACHING PRACTICE IN THE CLASSROOM:

Neither promote nor undermine any religion – teachers do not use the subject to further the cause of any particular religion or to discredit any religion.

Do not confuse Religion Studies with religious instruction – RS is not the occasion for religious nurturing, religious confession or religious conversation of learners.

Know and accept their learners – learners of whatever religious or non-religious background are accepted in the classroom on an equal footing without any discrimination and treated with kindness an empathetic understanding. Help all learners to feel secure and to foster their self-image. Take into account the level of emotional and intellectual maturity of learners. Led by needs and abilities of learners.

Address other aspects of inclusivity – RS should demonstrate that high quality is not a matter of academic achievement only but above all the ideal values, attitudes and actions inspired by various religions. Include different levels of achievement and development, various physical, cognitive and other forms of challenges to learning, poverty and gender, cultural and linguistic diversity.

Neither hide nor flaunt their own religious views – not secretively hide nor promote own views. Declare one’s own religious position wisely, honestly and sincerely as a situation may demand in a manner making it clear that such a position does not amount to prejudice.

Explain all religions in a manner acceptable to all adherents – with factual info, empathy and level of understanding.

Use the learners backgrounds as an invaluable resource – info and perspectives.

Encourage learners to speak freely and confidently about their own views and other issues – away from authoritarian teaching towards a cooperative style of teaching and learning and the free exchange of ideas. Participatory and interactive. Create atmosphere and opportunity for dialogue and discussion.

EDT303Q

EXAM PREP

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

Encourage and organize first-hand experiences of various religions – taking learners to various religious places and introducing them to responsible representatives of the different religions – outside classroom or inviting them to school.

Use a large range of support materials – posters, audio-visuals, newspapers, maps and photographs.

Teaching in the Classroom:

Knowledge, skills and values to:

Be able to honour both their own beliefs and those of others.

Identify common values in all religions (human search for meaning; ethic of service to others)

Observe, comment and listen to and critically comment on your own belief and others – honour each other’s’ beliefs.

ANSWER 3

2.6 IMPLICATIONS OF RELIGION EDUCATION POLICY FOR CLASSROOM PRACTICE

The Curriculum follows the policy set out in the Constitution and the National Policy on Religion and Education (“the Policy”). The Topics in the NCS are aimed at equipping learners with the knowledge, skills and values to think and act responsibly about religious belief and practice. These SKVs are transferrable to enable learners to reach a greater understanding of humanity, more tolerance, empathy and critical application in issues of social justice.

In the following sections we will answer the what, why and how questions concerning Religion Education.

2.6.1 What is taught in Religion Education? (articles 7–14, 21 & 25)?

Religion Education policy is consistent with the Constitution. All religions in South Africa are taught equally, with no religion being given a privileged status in terms of meaning, salvation or truth. The Constitution is based on the recognition of common human rights shared by all citizens. This recognition means that, as human beings, we share a common responsibility to care for the wellbeing of the whole of humanity, without limitation of racial, cultural or linguistic categories. Religion, spirituality and morality are important facets of human experience and activity that shape the way we treat one another. The central foci of Religion Education are to

increase understanding of the world’s religions (article 23)

build respect for diversity (article 10)

value spirituality (articles 19, 25 & 26)

clarify religious and non-religious sources of moral values (article 9)

EDT303Q

EXAM PREP

JULES KHOMO

2.6.2 How is Religion Education taught? (articles 19, 21, 23, 25 & 26)

SEMESTER 1 2018

Religion Education can be approached from a view of religion and spirituality that considers the sacred, transcendent and spiritual dimensions of human life; alternatively, from a view of religion as a social phenomenon with traditions, institutions and practices. Religion Education must be taught within a framework of inclusivity. It encompasses all religious beliefs in South Africa, all cultural groups, all levels of authority in the education system (district, provincial and national), interdisciplinary approaches and all schools, public and private (articles 9 & 15). Religion Education must be taught in such a way that learners achieve religious literacy – acquire the skills and knowledge frameworks to understand different religions (article 19) are able meet goals and outcomes of the general curriculum (observation, listening, reading, writing and thinking) (article 19) learn about the rich and diverse South African religious heritage (articles 23 & 25) grow spiritually, both in terms of their own beliefs and ethics and in terms of their treatment and understanding of others (articles 19 & 25) The Policy on Religion and Education derives its focus from the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) vision for education in South Africa, namely to produce literate, creative and critical citizens.

The NCS explains literacy in different capacities:

cultural literacy

ethical literacy

In terms of article 26, creativity refers to developing capacities for expanding imagination

making connections

dealing with cultural difference and diversity

In terms of article 21, critical reflection refers to comparison cultural analysis ethical debate formulation and clarification of values These capacities are found in Topics in the Life Orientation and Religion Studies Curricula.

2.6.3 Why is Religion Education in the Curriculum? (articles 5, 7, 14, 18, 19, 21, 26, 31 & 36)

The Constitution is founded on the social and personal development of citizens. On a spiritual level, this means that our society and its citizens have the right to become happier through individual and social efforts. We can only become happier by accepting that our interests are inextricably linked (article 26). The Religion Education policy is established on the idea that all South Africa’s religions must be taught in a fair and balanced manner so that all learners will understand one another’s cultures and defining beliefs (article 5).

2.6.3.1 Moral regeneration (articles 21 & 25)

The Religion Education policy acknowledges that there is a decline in moral standards in the country, which has contributed to the alarming increase in crime and corruption. Such a context is not conducive to personal and social development and wellbeing. Indeed, it only exacerbates the decline in national morale. For this

EDT303Q

EXAM PREP

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

reason the national education policy aligns itself with the national moral regeneration movement. Religion Education plays a vital role in introducing moral reflection into the curriculum. All world religions have values that share a large degree of commonality, such as mercy, love and care, commitment, compassion and cooperation. There are also different secular value systems that intersect with religious value systems. Religion Education must highlight the constituents of these value systems in order to show that the basis of ethics and moral human endeavour lies in the realisation that all citizens seek happiness and development.

2.6.3.2 Towards an open society (articles 30 & 35)

The principle of an open society requires inclusive policies to build an integrated culture of citizenship. The teaching of religion and religions in schools makes an important contribution to building an education environment where learners from diverse cultures and religions feel comfortable and welcome, thus engendering a sense of acceptance, security and respect for others.

2.6.3.3 Religious diversity (article 21)

The challenges our society faces require solutions that recognise all the diverse ideas and cultures of all of South Africa’s citizens, including all the religions practised in the country. Philosophies with narrow views, or which offer a single principle as a solution – be they secular or spiritual – inevitably lead to some form of exclusivism.

Thinking broadly and inclusively requires teaching and learning that informs learners – accurately and in a balanced manner – about different thought systems, including the variety of world religions.

3 DISCUSS THE IMPLICATION OF THE BILL OF RIGHT AND THE VALUES IN THE CONSTITUTION FOR RELIGION IN EDUCATION IN SOUTH AFRICA [10] OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2016

ANSWER 1

Rights: from Constitution; of each individual – Rights of children to:

Life

Education may not be denied

Protection of their rights

Freedom of Opinions

Freedom of Expression (but no hate speech)

Freedom of Belief

Freedom of Thought

Freedom of Religion

EDT303Q

EXAM PREP

Freedom from Unfair Discrimination

Freedom from Coercion and Bullying

Spirituality, moral and social development

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

Values: shared by Constitution (1996), Schools Act (1996), and National Policy on Religion and Education (2003):

Equality – all people are equal in SA and must be treated equally (race, opinions, gender, beliefs, age, religion, disability, language, culture).

Diversity – we are all different but must embrace each other’s similarities and differences in the way we live.

Inclusivity and Unity – bringing everyone together; nation building.

Openness – to each other’s’ ideas, opinions, beliefs.

Accountability – to be responsible for your own actions.

Social justice and poverty redress – helping those less fortunate.

Democracy – equal rights to vote and be part of decision making.

Ubuntu – sharing, caring, reconciliation, forgiveness; working together as a community.

Tolerance – we must be respect each other’s opinion and be tolerant of religious differences.

Freedom of person, belief, expression.

ANSWER 2

The implications of the Bill of Rights and the values in the Constitution for religion education in S.A (10)

The Education Policy in South Africa is based on the values and principles of the Constitution, 1996.

The Constitution provides a Bill of Rights that outline the rights of all citizens which ensures equality, human dignity and freedom. The Bill of Rights does state, 'no citizen may be deprived of citizenship' which is their educational rights. Furthermore, by law it states that the rights to all citizens must be protected and respected. Therefore, the National Policy of Religion and Education does include the constitutional values such as the protection of freedom of conscience of thought, freedom of opinion or belief, freedom of religion, freedom from unfair discrimination and freedom from coercion.

The above values forms the basis of the 10 fundamental values in the Constitution which is:

- Democracy

- Social justice and equity

- Freedom of person, belief and expression of non-racism and non-sexism

- Human Diginity (Ubuntu)

- Open Society

- Responsibility and mutual respect

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EXAM PREP

- The rule of law reconciliation

ANSWER 3

JULES KHOMO

CONSTITUTIONAL VALUES UNDERLYING THE POLICY

SEMESTER 1 2018

Equity – of all South African religious traditions

Tolerance and respect – among different religious and secular world-views in a shared civil society

Diversity – by the promotion of multireligious knowledge, understanding and appreciation.

Openness – being without any overt or covert religious indoctrination.

Accountability – religions are systems of moral accountability.

Social honor – honoring all religious and secular backgrounds and not allowing the denigration of any.

3(B) DISCUSS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE CONSTITUTION ON AND THE "NATIONAL POLICY ON RELIGION AND EDUCATION (10) OCT NOV

2017

The relationship between the Constitution and the “National Policy on Religion and Education”

2.4.2 How the Constitution informs the National Policy on Religion and Education (articles 5, 22, 23, 28 & 70)

In the previous section we saw how the Constitution provides the values base for the Curriculum. Now we will explore how these values are ex- pressed in the Policy. The constitutional rights of citizens are broken down into more specific freedoms, namely

of conscience of thought

of opinion of belief

of religion from unfair discrimination

from coercion (ideological and religious)

These rights are framed by the principle of unified nationhood, enriched by its diverse heritage.

The constitutional values are derived from the fundamental inalienable right of citizens to pursue material and spiritual development and the freedom to associate with others who may assist the individual in their developmental pursuits. Individual rights may not limit the expression and pursuit of others’ rights. Rights pertaining to minority groups, religions, language and cultural groups are reducible to the rights of the individual in terms of freedom of expression and freedom of association (articles 13 & 28).

EDT303Q

EXAM PREP

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

The Policy follows the same logic, based on individual rights. In the Policy, the state affirms its responsibility to ensure that the democratic rights of citizens are met by stipulating that public schools must provide teaching of the broad base of religious activities in a way that is different from religious nurture and religious instruction in a particular religion. But, importantly, the state is non-prescriptive about the religious approach to be adopted by schools. Using the basic core values framework provided by the state for teaching religion, schools, parents and communities have the right to decide how the teaching of religion should be conducted in their schools because individuals in their communities are best informed to exercise their rights and responsibilities (articles 22, 23, 49, 68 & 70). The Policy also protects Religion Education from being used as a tool for social engineering.

The state provides a guideline or framework within which education institutions must teach religion. It is non prescriptive about implementation; this means that, within this framework, individual freedom can be exercised (articles 2 & 5).

Some of the results of this approach are as follows:

The relationship between religion and education must flow from constitutional values (article 11).

Public institutions have a responsibility to teach about religion and religions in ways that reflect a profound appreciation of the spiritual, non- material aspects of life, but which are different from religious education, religious instruction or religious nurture (article 16).

The latter are the duty of religious institutions (e.g. Churches) and parents. Religion Education must contribute to creating an integral community that affirms unity in diversity in our society (articles 9, 10 & 25).

Teaching about religion, religions and religious diversity needs to be facilitated by trained professionals and programmes in Religion Education and must be supported by appropriate and credible teaching and learning materials and objective assessment criteria (articles 34, 46 & 47).

3{C) YOU HAVE BEEN NEWLY APPOINTED AS THE PRINCIPAL OF A SCHOOL UPON ARRIVAL YOU DISCOVER GRAFFITI ON THE WALLS DEMANDING THAT LEARNERS FROM A SPECIFIC RELIGION SHOULD BE EXPELLED WHAT DO YOU DO? (10) OCT NOV 2017

HOW LEARNERS FROM DIFFERENT FAITHS COULD BE ACCOMMODATED IN PARTICIPATING IN RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Attendance is free and voluntary

Facilities are made available on an equitable basis

Voluntary public religious services

Voluntary meetings by the school community

Voluntary meetings during a school break

Dress, prayer times, diets

The separation of learners according to religion, on a equitable basis for all faiths and those of secular conviction – peer pressure should be mitigated.

Proportionate rotation

EDT303Q

EXAM PREP

Readings form texts of different religions

A universal prayer

Period of silence

RELIGIOUS CONTENT

Do any TWO of the following three questions.

DISCUSS HINDU PRACTICES & ISLAM BELIEFS

HINDU PRACTICES

ANSWER 1

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

There are many tenets in Hindu doctrine. They have been narrowed down to a hand full as follows:

The divine manifests itself in a number of ways. One way might be as Brahman, a transcendent omnipresence. Another way may be as Ishvara, a more personal divinity. Brahman (Ishvara) is the reality behind the gods, unifying them. The soul is considered eternal and without change, evil comes from humans due to free will. Hindus believe in reincarnation, that the soul is reborn into different bodies, after the bodies die, in an attempt to improve on the good deeds from the previous life and connect with the divine. Karma plays a big part in this, bringing about the law of action and consequence. All ones actions in this life will resonate in the next. Moksha is the liberation of the soul from the cycle of reincarnation. This is by fusing the soul to the divine, usually along the 3 paths of knowledge, works and devotion.

During the Epic Era worship of the gods Vishnu and Shiva came about to form a trinity of god with Brahma. Brahma, the creator is not often worshipped, but highly venerated. Shiva represents life and the release of the soul. Vishnu is the good and kind god, also worshipped as his incarnations, Rama and Krishna. There is also a female aspect to the trinity named Shakti, consort to Shiva and protector of mothers and children.

ANSWER 2

HIMDUISM

Beliefs (Central beliefs)

Dharma (Universal law) – Believe in cosmic-law. All actions should be in line with thoughts.

Karma (Law of action) – Do good things and good things will follow. Do bad things and bad things will happen.

Samsara (To wander) – Cycle of rebirth

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JULES KHOMO

Moksha (Liberation) – Seen as the single goal of humanity.

Practises:

Social classes (veda):

Brahmin (Priest), Kshatriyas (soldiers, admin, rulers), Vaishyas (subsistence farmers, merchants), Shudras (manual workers).

Changing stages of personal lives (asrama)

Student - brahmacarya Householder - grhastha

Gradual withdrawal – vanaprastha Total withdrawal – samnyasa

SEMESTER 1 2018

ANSWER 2

One of the major challenges of the study of Hinduism for non-Hindus is the extent to which Sanskrit terms and concepts are used in describing Hinduism. For this reason we

will keep the use of Sanskrit terms to a minimum in this study unit. We will begin by familiarising you with the four central beliefs in Hinduism.

These are:

1. Dharma (universal law):

Dharma developed from ancient religious practices that originated in Southeast Asia from about 1700 BCE. The people with whom these practices are associated, are

known as the Aryans. They lived in the Indus valley delta and belonged to the Vedic civilization. They practiced a culture centred on sacrifices, which, if performed

correctly, were believed to produce positive results in life, for example, healthy children, success in worldly affairs and good fortune. Sacrifice was founded on the idea that

cosmic order or rta was maintained by the orderly enactment of sacrificial rites. ("Cosmic order" means that the natural and human world functions in a balanced way in

terms of the cycle of the seasons and the social order.) As Hinduism developed over time, the idea of sacrifice in Hinduism changed to mean correct conduct in all spheres

of life. The idea of cosmic order or rta was later called "dharma" in Indian thought. Dharma is therefore the all-encompassing cosmic law with which all actions (including

EDT303Q

EXAM PREP

JULES KHOMO

SEMESTER 1 2018

thoughts as well as individual and social actions) need to be in accordance. If actions that counteract dharma are performed by individuals or society, the cosmos is thrown into imbalance, which will lead to suffering.

2. Karma (law of action):

The word "karma" means "action". The concept has its roots in the enactment of the ancient Vedic sacrificial rites, where sacrifices had to be performed correctly by the priests to ensure cosmic order was maintained. Later in Hinduism, karma developed into an ethical concept according to which the actions, both physical and mental, of individuals or groups were believed to shape their future lives. The "law of karma" is the belief that actions, both individual and social, need to be in accordance with dharma.

3. Samsara (direct translation: to wander):

Samsara is translated in English as the cycle of rebirth, which implies that the soul continually enters different bodies, undergoing a continuous cyclical process of birth, decay, death and rebirth. As the soul migrates from body to body, it carries karma from previous lives that will affect the present life. Samsara is related to the idea of avidya or ignorance. Avidya prevents people from being released from the cycle of rebirth.

4. Moksha (liberation):

The idea of liberation or moksha is seen to be the single most important goal of humanity. Moksha is the release from entrapment by avidya in samsara. Moksha occurs when the truth of the individual's soul nature (atman) is identified with the Universal soul (Brahman).

ISLAM BELIEFS

ANSWER 1

Basic beliefs in Islam We return now to two of the important concepts that have featured prominently in our study of both Judaism and Christianity, namely the familiar orthodoxy versus orthopraxy. We noted that in Christianity, orthodoxy (the right belief) takes preference over orthopraxy (the right practice). In Islam, as in Judaism, we find a reversal of the roles, in that the right practice takes preference over the right belief. This does not imply that belief does not play an important role in Islam. On the contrary, belief forms the foundation of Islam. Let's now look at the basic articles of faith, which consist of belief in one God, in predestination and in an eschatological doctrine; and at the so-called five pillars of Islam, which incorporate essential beliefs integrated with mandated practices.

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Belief in One God

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As do Judaism and Christianity, Islam also follows the tradition of monotheism (i.e. the belief in one God). For Muslims, there is only one God, who has existed since eternity and will exist for all eternity. He is described as "all-seeing, all-hearing, all-speaking, all-knowing, all-willing, all-powerful, and above all an absolute unity" (Nigosian 2000:333). Muslims reject the Christian articulation of God as a Trinity on the basis that they believe this to be polytheism. According to Muslim tradition, God (referred to as Allah) has 99 names, such as Holy One, Merciful, Compassionate, Guardian and Creator. Devout Muslims recite these names similarly to the manner in which a Roman Catholic Christian recites the rosary (also as a form of meditation). Although Allah alone is the divine figure, he is surrounded and aided by other heavenly figures such as angels, who act as his messengers. Other supernatural creatures are called the "jinn". Some of these are beneficial creatures who act as guardian angels and others are demons. The leader of the evil jinn is Iblis, a fallen angel (similar to Satan in Christianity). According to Muslim tradition, Iblis was responsible for the fall of Adam.

Doctrine of predestination

According to the sacred Islamic text (the Quran, which we will study later), humans are the creation of Allah and must be obedient to him. A person who seeks to be righteous must follow the will of Allah. Thus, due to the emphasis on Allah's sovereignty and power, Muslims ascribe to the notion of predestination – divine destiny. This implies that whether one enjoys success or failures is entirely in the hands of God, who rules the world and has planned each event in advance (Hopfe & Woodward 2004:342). While this may create the perception that humans have no control over their actions, this is not true. Muslims believe that people are responsible for the evil they commit and will be judged for it. Hence some modern Muslim scholars articulate that God has given human beings the ability to choose between good and evil based on reason (e.g. the Mutazila school of thought), although this is not accepted by all Muslims. However, this is quite a complex issue: According to the standard, traditional view, it is believed that all adult Muslims have the freedom to choose good or evil and are hence responsible for their actions. According to this view, this choice must ultimately be informed by revelation, whereas the Mutazilites as well as some modern scholars believe that reason alone will provide the same answer as revelation.

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Doctrine of eschatology

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The third belief that occupies an important place in the minds of Muslims is that in the day of judgement. According to the Quran, after death the soul goes to an intermediate sphere called the barzakh, where it is still very much alive and experiences joy or pain, depending on how it lived in this world. It is believed that, on the day of judgement, the soul will be resurrected with the body and undergo a process of judgment that will decide their final destination. On this judgement day, the angel of Allah will sound the trumpet, the earth will split and all the bodies will (re)join their souls. These events will be followed by the final judgement before God. All humans will be judged for their actions and, based on the outcome, will be sent either to heaven or to hell. Each person's guardian angel will also bear witness to the person's record on earth. The eschatological beliefs of Islam are very similar to those of the Jews and the Christians.

The five pillars in Islam

The directives Muslims must comply with are referred to as the five pillars and are mentioned in the Holy Scripture (Qur’an). They are the five basic acts which are

obligatory upon all believers and are the foundations of Muslim

life. They are the following:

The Testimony of Faith (Shahadah):

which translates to “There is none worthy of worship besides Allah and that Prophet Muhammed (P.B.U.H) is

his final messenger.”, is a verbal affirmation of one’s belief.

Prayer (Salaah), where Muslims have to pray five times a day, at prescribed times, facing the Ka’bah in Makkah. They have to perform ablution (wudhu), which is a purification ritual.

Almsgiving /Charity (Zakat) is the third pillar of Islam and is an annual obligatory charity on every Muslim, whose possessions exceed their minimum needs. Muslims believe that their possessions are purified by setting aside a specified percentage of 2.5 of their total possessions and giving it to those in need.

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Fasting (Sawm) from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadhaan is the fourth pillar. Fasting is made compulsory upon all adult Muslims,

who are able to do so. Fasting is not merely abstinence from food and drink, from dawn to dusk, but it is a method of self-purification and self-

restraint. The start of the month of Ramadan is dependent on the Muslim lunar calendar and varies from year to year.

The annual pilgrimage (Hajj: It is a once in a lifetime obligation for all adult Muslims who are physically and financially able to perform it in Makkah.

It is a spiritual journey that makes Muslims feel the real importance of this life and the afterlife, by stripping away all markers of social status, wealth

and pride and devoting their attention and time to Allah alone. It is believed that if one undertakes this sacred journey, one is forgiven for all their

sins.

ANSWER 2

Muslims main belief is that there is no god except Allah and the Muhammad is his messenger. Islam also recognises the works of other prophets like Moses, David and Jesus. Muslims also believe in the books of the divine revelations to the prophets being the Pentateuch, the Psalms and the Gospels. The Quran was given to Muhammad. The Quran is a fulfilment of all the other books.

Muslims believe that angels do the will of God and help human beings to use their free will. On the last day the universe will be overthrown and all will be in Allah’s hands, all beings will be judges according to their deeds, except angels. Those who are acceptable will go to paradise; those not will either go to hell or purgatory. All is as Allah wills it to be. He has predestined all on the world, it is up to people to obey this or to veer from this.

Islam is also upheld by what is known as the Five Pillars of Islam. These are the Declaration of faith in Allah and his prophet Muhammad, the reciting of ritual prayers daily, adhering to the fast at Ramadan, alms giving and making the pilgrimage to Mecca.

ANSWER 3

Basic beliefs in Islam:

The basic articles of faith, which consist of belief in one God, predestination, and eschatology and the five pillars of Islam. Belief in One God

Similar to Judaism and Christianity follows “Monotheism” (Believe in one God)

Allah is alone as divine figure. Aided by other figures and angels who are his messengers.

Iblis, evil. Fallen angel.

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Doctrines of predestination – All humans are the creation of Allah and must be obedient to him. Doctrine of eschatology – According to the Quran when a person dies the body returns to earth and the soul goes to sleep until the day of resurrection. On this day the angel of Allah will sound its trumpet, the earth will split and all the bodies will rejoin their souls.

The five pillars of Islam:

1. Repetition of the creed (shahadah) – Most common religious act.

2. Daily prayer (salaht) – Expected to pray 5 times daily.

3. Almsgiving (zakaht) – Expected to share their possessions with those less fortunate.

4. Fasting (sawn) – Ramadan Muslims must abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and engaging in sexual relations while daylight hours.

5. Pilgrimage (Hajj) – Pilgrimage to Mecca

DISCUSS THE IMPORTANCE OF RITES OF PASSAGE IN THE THREE MONOTHEISTIC SEMITIC RELIGIONS (JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM). AND GIVE EXAMPLES FROM EACH ONE [10] MAY/JUNE 2017

ISLAM

ANSWER 1

Practices (rituals) play an important role in the Islamic faith. In addition to these rituals, there are also other rituals (as in Judaism and Christianity) that mark different periods

in the life of a Muslim.

Rites of passage

There are many practices that Muslims observe as rites of passage. Certain rituals were done to mark important transitions.

They are:

Birth: When a child is born, the Muslim call to prayer called the Adhan is recited into the ear by their father. Something sweet is then placed into the mouth

of the baby, as this is a practice of the Prophet (P.B.U.H). The baby’s hair is taken out, the name is given and the sacrifice is offered within seven days.

Circumcision: Circumcision is compulsory upon all men and is done shortly after birth.

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Marriage: Nikkah is the marriage ceremony that is performed at the mosque, as it is considered an act of worship. Here a man and women, in the presence

of witnesses declare their commitment to each other as husband and wife.

Death: The death ritual is a very specific one. The body has to be cleansed with water and the burial has to take place as soon as possible, within

24 hours. If death or divorce of or from a spouse occurs, the length of the confinement period called the idaadth period for a Muslim woman is 4

months and ten days.

ANSWER 2

Practises (Rituals)

Rites of passage:

Birth – Special prayer know as adman. Baby is given a taste of something sweet. Seven days after birth the parents name the child, shave the hair off his head

and offer a sacrifice

Circumcision – Muslims practice circumcision.

Marriage – Woman and man declare their commitment to one another. Also known as nikah.

Death – Body of deceased s washed with water and burial follows shortly after with a prayer. Laid to rest on their right side facing Mecca.

CHRISTIANITY

Practices (rituals) in Christianity

Christianity comprises various groups (or denominations), each with its own traditions. The differences between these groups are strongly evident in the manner in which

rituals are observed. While the enactment of these rituals may differ from group to group, theologically they articulate the same message.

1. Rites of passage and other sacraments

Christianity is characterised by several rites of passage, which symbolise different stages in the Christian faith.

1. Baptism: This is the first stage of "initiation" into the Christian faith. Early Christians were usually baptised by immersion in water (either full or partial immersion, the

candidate standing or kneeling in water while water is poured over him or her). Some churches, such as the Roman Catholic Church and many Protestant churches,

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perform infant baptism (also referred to as "christening"). This entails the sprinkling of water over the baby's head as a symbol of her or his entry into the covenant relationship with God. However, churches such as the Pentecostal churches practice adolescent/adult baptism, believing that the ritual should be performed when the individual has come to a full understanding of God and wants to enter into covenant with him. Such churches also perform baptism through full immersion. During the ritual, some churches baptise in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, while others baptise in the name of Jesus only. Today we find that some movements, such as the Quakers and the Salvation Army, do not practice baptism as a rite.

2. Confirmation: This entails the laying on of hands and prayer, and is seen as a sealing of the covenant entered into at baptism. Confirmation is usually performed between the ages of seven and fourteen (Nigosian 2000:303). In some churches, confirmation is also regarded as a sign of full membership of the local congregation. The Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox as well as some Anglican churches consider confirmation a sacrament, while in churches such as the Presbyterian, Methodist and Lutheran it is recognised as the coming of age ceremony. In Pentecostal churches we find similar practices in the form of membership ceremonies, during which new members declare their faith openly. There are also infant dedication rituals.

3. Penance or confession: This rite of passage basically entails the repentance of sins followed by the granting of absolution (forgiveness). This sacrament plays an important part in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches. It also forms part of a non-sacramental act in the Anglican tradition and is practised to varying degrees in other Protestant circles.

4. The Eucharist: This is also referred to as the Holy Communion or the Lord's Supper, and is a re-enactment of Jesus' last supper with his disciples. Christians generally regard Christ as being present in the rite; however, they differ as to how exactly this takes place. Some believe that the elements (bread and wine or grape juice) actually become the body and blood of Christ, while others believe them to be symbols only, and believe Christ being present in a more spiritual form. In Pentecostal tradition, we find that the rite also includes an element of "divine grace", through which individuals can be forgiven for their sins.

5. Marriage: In this rite, divine sanction is believed to be conferred upon the man and the woman as they unite to form one couple. How the rite is enacted, however, differs from one Christian tradition to the next.

6. The Holy Orders: In the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Lutheran and Anglican Churches, holy orders are special roles within the church such as those of a bishop, priest, or deacon. The term also refers to the sacrament or rite by which candidates are ordained to these special roles.

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7. Holy Unction (Roman Catholic Church) or Euchelaion (Eastern Orthodox Church: The Holy Unction is administered to those whose death is imminent,

while the Euchelaion entails prayers and anointment with oil to comfort and heal the sick.

JUDAISM

Practices (rituals) in Judaism

DISTINGUISHES BETWEEN FOUR CATEGORIES:

The first rite of passage, which is one of the most significant and distinctive of all Jewish rites, is the circumcision of all male children at the age of eight

 

years

. This rite serves as an external symbol to the continuity of the covenant between Abraham and God and a commitment to Judaism

The second rite of passage isperformed as a symbol of the "coming of age"

– i.e. entering into adulthood. It is referred to as a Bar Mitzvah (son of the

commandment) and performed when boys reach the age of thirteen

 

The third rite of passage refers to marriage

. While it is mostly a matter of local practice, there are certain observances that are common amongst most

 

Jewish communities. The wedding ceremony takes place under a canopy made with a prayer shawl. The canopy is symbolic of the home that will be made

by the bride and groom. A blessing is pronounced and the bride and groom share a cup of wine.

The most famous tradition is the breaking of glass by the

 

groom at the end of the ceremony as a symbol of good fortune (mazel tov).

 

The fourth rite of

passage is death

, which is detailed by an elaborate ceremony comprising cleansing rituals and burial.

This is followed by seven days of

 

mourning (shiva),

in which the closest to the deceased refrain from any normal activities. A more general period of mourning continues for the next eleven

months and culminates with a memorial stone placed at the graveside

ANSWER 2

Rites of passage

Circumcision

Bar/Batmitzvah

Marriage

Death

Holy days & festival

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DISCUSS THE IMPORTANCE OF REINCARNATION/ REBIRTH AND KARMA IN THE ANCIENT RELIGIONS CRITICALLY. MAY/JUNE 2017

All three believe in karma and reincarnation. I would say discuss what each one believes in karma and reincarnation, because they are slightly different. You discuss which Asian religion believes in reincarnation/birth and Karma. For e.g. Buddhist don't believe in the word reincarnation but believes in rebirth and Karma.

THIS WAS THE ONLY INFORMATION I FOUND REGARDING THIS SUBJECT.

Hinduism, Reincarnation and Transmigration

Gandhi cremation Reincarnation is the transmigration of the soul from one life form to another. It doesn't just apply to humans but to all creatures and some non- living things too. Transmigration of the soul can take place from a human or creature into another human or creature up or down a scale based on good and evil deeds (See Karma Below). If a person has lived a virtuous life he moves up the scale, say, from a low caste to a high caste. If a person has lived an unworthy life he moves down the scale, say, from a low caste to a rat. Reincarnation is a belief found in most Asian religions and is a cornerstone of all the major religions found in India except Islam. The Hindu idea of reincarnation is roughly the same regardless of which Hindu god an individual venerates most.

The Hindu concept of reincarnation first appeared in the Upanishads and is believed to have originated in the Ganges Plain and was absorbed b the Aryan-centered Hinduism as the Aryans moved into the Ganges Plain. Beliefs in reincarnation are not just found in India and Asia but are found in tribal cultures all over the world and were held by the ancient Greeks, Vikings and other groups in the West. Ideas about reincarnation are probably very old and were held by people who lived in Neolithic times.

Hindu Beliefs About Reincarnation

The Upanishads, originating as commentaries on the Vedas between about 800 and 200 B.C., contain speculations on the meaning of existence that have greatly influenced Indian religious traditions. Most important is the concept of atman (the human soul), which is an individual manifestation of brahman . Atman is of the same nature as brahman , characterized either as an impersonal force or as God, and has as its goal the recognition of identity with brahman . This fusion is not possible, however, as long as the individual remains bound to the world of the flesh and desires. In fact, the deathless atman that is so bound will not join with brahman after the death of the body but will experience continuous rebirth. This fundamental concept of the transmigration of atman , or reincarnation after death, lies at the heart of the religions emerging from India.

Hierarchy of Beings according to Jain Thought but also applicable to Hindu, Buddhist Thought Reincarnation is viewed as a never-ending set of cycles (yugas and kalpas ). One may be reincarnated millions of times. The doctrine that the soul repeatedly dies and is reborn is called samsara (Sanskrit for migration). Karma determines what a person is reincarnated as. Escape from the weary cycle of reincarnation can be achieved through escape into “an unchanging anonymous Absolute" and attaining moksha , the Hindu equivalent or nirvana . For More on These Ideas See Below.

According to Hindu theology an atman (an internal self or soul) dwells in each person as a kind of cosmic energy that exists beyond worldly reality and karma and doesn't require good deeds or prayers to improve on itself. The problem is that few creatures can tune into their atman and thus

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require deeds and prayer to help them establish their place in the world Reincarnation helps them do this and evolve to reach closer to their atman. The cycles of birth and death are perceived a continuations of the disintegrating force of Creation while transmigration of the soul from one life to another is viewed a perpetuation of the separation of the individual from the unifying force of existence. The aim of the individual is to "get off the wheel," to escape the cycle and merge finally with the Oneness that was there before Creation began. into the original One. Methods used on the path of escaping reincarnation include yoga, meditation, and charity. Since the chances of escaping it are quite low people are encouraged to work to achieve a better position in their next life by doing good deeds, living simply and praying a lot.

Behavior at the end of one's life and last thought before dying are believed to be very important in determining how an individual will be reincarnated. Thus a great deal of care goes into making sure a person is well cared before they die and after. This is achieved by creating a calm atmosphere and reading Vedic scriptures and reciting mantras so the soon-to-be'dead can earn as much merit as possible.

Karma

Karma is the means in which a person controls his or her destiny through good or evil deeds. Defined by some scholars as “the whole ethical consequences of one's actions," it is a moral force that survives death, determines one's existence in future lives and has defined existence in past lives.

Karma is a Sanskrit word that means "work" or "action” and the “result of a work or action." It describes a "reap what you sow" and the “cause and effect” doctrine in which good actions will be rewarded and bad actions will be punished on both universal and individual levels and influence one's reincarnation. The emphasis in karma beliefs is not based on punishment for bad deeds but rather on improving one's karma by learning from one's mistakes and performing pure deeds, praying, mediating and taking actions to purify oneself.

The concepts of reincarnation, caste and karma are linked, with karma being carried over from one life to the next, determining the life or caste of a person in their next life. Based on whether their karma is generally good or bad, people are reborn in higher or lower castes. Some sinners come back as animals that befits their crimes. A meat stealer may come back as a jackal, a grain thief as a rat. The worst sinners are condemned to the lowest hells where they are eaten by birds or cooked in pots.

Indian religious tradition sees karma as the source of the problem of transmigration. While associated with physical form, for example, in a human body, beings experience the universe through their senses and their minds and attach themselves to the people and things around them and constantly lose sight of their true existence as atman , which is of the same nature as brahman . As the time comes for the dropping of the body, the fruits of good and evil actions in the past remain with atman , clinging to it, causing a tendency to continue experience in other existences after death. Good deeds in this life may lead to a happy rebirth in a better life, and evil deeds may lead to a lower existence, but eventually the consequences of past deeds will be worked out, and the individual will seek more experiences in a physical world. In this manner, the bound or ignorant atman wanders from life to life, in heavens and hells and in many different bodies. The universe may expand and be destroyed numerous times, but the bound atman will not achieve release.

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Karma, Character and Behaviour

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Hinduism teaches one to accept the injustices of life and be patient for rewards that may not materialize until their next life. High positions are not earned and low positions must be accepted. Some scholars have argued that beliefs in transmigration and karma originated as a way to explain social and economic discrepancies, to create an incentive to act morally and to offer people who were dealt a bad set of cards some hope in the future, in their next life.

It has also been argued that beliefs of karma and reincarnation encourage passivity with Hindus accepting their often miserable fate and taking little initiative to improve their lives or get rid of the poverty and misery around them. The beliefs also produce a resigned inshallah approach to life-- - with victims of bad events chalking up the events to bad karma, and in some cases even feeling relieved because they feel their bad karma has been used up and better things will happen in the future.

Parkish Louis, of the Indian Social Institute, a Delhi think tank, told the Financial Times, "People have been for centuries oppressed, passive, paralyzed and marginalized by beliefs of karma and destiny. People are accepting their misery in the name of religion and beliefs." This attitude is also said to encourage irresponsibility and make people more accepting of corruption than they otherwise would be.

IS IT FAIR TO DIVIDE WORLD RELIGIONS INTO “FAMILIES” OF ASIAN, ABRAHAMIC, AND EVERYTHING ELSE? WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DANGERS OF THIS APPROACH TO STUDYING RELIGION? (10) OCT NOV 2017

ANSWER 1

The historical, comparative study of religions commonly distinguishes between families of religions. Just as it is possible to draw a genealogy of a family (a family tree) on the

basis of common descent and to identify some family resemblances that members of a family may typically share, it is possible – so it is claimed – to do the same for the

religions of the world. On the basis of geographical origin and historical influence, we may distinguish between at least the following two major clusters or families of world

religions:

Asian religions include Hinduism and Buddhism as one subgroup, and Confucianism and Daoism as a second subgroup.

Abrahamic religions (also known as Semitic religions) include Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

1. Asian religions –

The Asian religions started in India and China. Hinduism emerged in the second millennium BCE, when Aryan invaders from Central Asia established themselves along the

Ganges, incorporating older indigenous beliefs and practices (including ones from the older Indus River valley civilization). Around the 5th century BCE Buddhism was born in

northern India from the Hindu tradition, which by that time had developed philosophical literature focusing on individual meditation.

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Confucianism and Daoism emerged in 5th century BCE China, originally as opposing persuasions. The former insisted on the need for a hierarchical system to maintain social-political harmony and order, while the latter attempted to escape from such stifling bureaucracies by living in harmony with nature. These religions have since spread far beyond their places of origin, adapting to and merging with their new contexts. Hinduism spread to Southeast Asia and more recently to the West, and Buddhism was taken by missionaries to China, Japan, Southeast Asia and also more recently to the West. Chinese domination led to the dispersion of Confucianism, and to a lesser degree of Daoism, to East and South East Asia.

2. Abrahamic religions –

The Abrahamic religions started in the Middle East. The story of Judaism begins in the 6th century BCE, when Jews in Babylonian exile and later under Persian rule collected and reinterpreted older Hebrew traditions. Christianity followed in the first century CE after the death of Jesus of Galilee, spreading quickly from Palestine to the major cities of the Roman Empire. Islam was founded in the 7th century CE in Saudi Arabia by the prophet Muhammad, who learned about Judaism and Christianity during his early travels to Syria. These religions, called "Abrahamic" on account of their claim to have Abraham as their common ancestor, are monotheistic (i.e. their adherents believe in the existence of one God only).

Through trade and conquest Islam and Christianity too have spread far beyond their places of origin. Islam was taken to Africa, Southern Spain, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, China, South and Southeast Asia and more recently to Western Europe, the UK and the USA. European colonists took Christianity to their colonies as part of their "civilizing mission".

There are, however, a number of interrelated dangers associated with classifying religions on the basis of family resemblances.

First, these families of religion are not to be conceived of as pure, separate systems. The political theorist Samuel Huntington, for example, argues in The clash of civilizations (1996) that post-Cold War politics could be characterised by the conflict between the major cultural and religious blocks (e.g. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism-Hinduism and sub- Saharan Africa civilization). A historical approach questions Huntington's essentialist view, however, on the basis of the diversity within and influences across these traditions. Families intermarry – a fact that complicates simple genealogies and accounts for diverse manifestations of any given tradition in different places and at different times.

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Secondly, classification of families of religion on the basis of common geographical origin may prevent one from seeing their consequent spread and specifically local

manifestations. It would, in other words, not suffice for us to limit ourselves to a general view of religions; it is imperative that we should investigate local expressions of

religious traditions (whether in its place of origin or in Diaspora communities) by means of anthropological fieldwork. In this module we will thus pay specific attention to the

manifestation of these religions in South African history.

A third concern is that the classification of families of religion according to "world religions" tends to marginalise indigenous traditions. Scholars of religion have differed on the

number to be included under the category "world religions": Max Müller, the 19th century founder of the discipline of religious studies, for example, included eight (Hinduism,

Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam), but his list w as sometimes adapted in the 20th century by the omission of Zoroastrianism

(which originated in ancient Iran) and the addition of Shintoism (Japan's indigenous religion).

ANSWER 2

Families Of Religions

Religion like human family

o

Aren’t spread haphazardly across world, form clusters, connected by common history

o

Clusters show certain characteristics

o

Can form new unit + produce “children” = new religions

African Religions

Distinct but related systems of Bushmen (San), Nguni, Sotho, Shona + Yoruba

Common feature = belief in power of life-forces inherent in nature

Indian Religions

Hinduism, Buddhism Jainism

Marked feature = belief in reincarnation = individual human life taken up in cycle of many successive births + deaths

Buddhism left ancestral Indian home centuries ago, still retained distinctive Indian flavour

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Religions Of The Near East

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Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam + Baha’i

Baha’i originated in Iran in 19 th century – youngest offshoot of this family

Incorporates elements of others – 1 of fastest growing religions in world

Feature of this cluster = monotheism, belief in 1 omnipotent creator

Religions Of East Asia

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Taoism, Confucianism in China + Shinto in Japan

Generally display remarkable aesthetic (artistic) appreciation of beauty + harmony of nature with which humans closely related

CHOOSE ANY ONE OF THE ASIAN RELIGION EXPLAIN THE ROLE PLAYED (OR NOT PLAYED) BY THE CONCEPTS OF "KARMA" IN THAT RELIGION (10) OCT NOV 2017

?????

CHOOSE ANY TWO OF THE ABRAHAMIC RELIGIONS COMPARE THE ROLE THESE RELIGION HAVE PLAYED IN THE ISRAEL –PALESTINE CONFLICT WHAT DOES THIS TELL US ABOUT THE ROLE OF RELIGION IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY AND HOW RELIGION INTERACT WITH POLITICS ? (10) OCT NOV 2017

In short, the Israel-Palestine conflict is an intractable and prolonged conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The conflict is territorial and extends to crucial issues such as borders, security, water rights, control over Jerusalem (the epitome of the conflict, since it hosts sites sacred to all three monotheistic religions), Israeli settlements and refugees. Complicating the situation is the fact that consensus has to be reached by both the Israelis and the Palestinians on these issues.

In this case study we also look at the follow three religious issues, which add to the complexity of the situation:

The laws of war and peace: Whether it is permissible to settle conflict through compromise with members of another religion.

Control over territory that forms part of Israel or Palestine: Whether control will be exclusive or shared with members of another nation or religion.

The status of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount/Al-Haram Al-Sharif: Whether rights can be granted to members of other religions at these holy sites.

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Zionism: Israel's nationalist discourse

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A working definition of the concept of Zionism – Zionism emerged in the late 19th century in central Europe as a call for the establishment of a separate homeland for

the Jews in Palestine. This nationalist discourse is based on the preservation of a distinct Jewish identity and the return of Jews to Israel to form a nation free from discrimination and persecution. The founding of Zionism is often attributed to Theodor Herzl, the Viennese journalist who proposed the establishment a secular nation state for ethnic Jews. With the establishment of the State of Israel, the nationalist discourse evolved to address issues of security and threats to the continued existence of the Jewish people as a distinct nation.

Zionism is noted to have developed from a secular school of thought. Hence there are different forms of Zionism, such as Labour Zionism (i.e. Social Zionism, which calls for a revolution of the Jewish economic life); Liberal Zionism (also referred to as General Zionism, advocating a free market, democracy and human rights); and Green Zionism (a branch of Zionism concerned with the environment of Israel). In this section, however, since we are addressing the critical issue of religion in the conflict, we will discuss "Religious Zionism". So, what is "Religious Zionism"? Religious Zionism is an ideology that combines Zionism and Jewish religion as the foundation for the autonomy of the Jewish people and the establishment of a Jewish state. Religious Zionists have been at the forefront of the Jewish settlement in the West Bank, and have been actively engaged in asserting Jewish control over the Old City of Jerusalem (the location of the sacred sites). Religious Zionists disapprove of the secular nationalist discourse, as they see it as being supported by secular Jews and atheists who base many of their actions on Marxism and Social Zionism. For Religious Zionists the bottom line is that the establishment of the State of Israel is linked to a religious discourse, more specifically a prophetic unfolding.

Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook was one of the more contemporary proponents of Religious Zionism. Kook believed that the return of the Jews to Jerusalem and the establishment of the State of Israel was related to the messianic promise – that is the coming of the promised messiah and the beginning of the redemption (refer back to our early discussion of the messiah). Rabbi Kook's son, Rabbi Tzvi Yehud HaCohen Kook, took the idea further by contending that Israel's political and military actions should be premised on the messianic promises, which implied seizing control of the entire territory (including the present Palestine). Hence, we find conflicting ideas in contemporary Jewish society: Zionism posits that the State of Israel is a secular state and that its laws and legislative assembly need to reflect that, while Religious Zionists see the creation of the State of Israel on secular grounds as blasphemy. Religious Zionists contend that a nonreligious Jewish identity is antithetical to the religious definition of Jewishness. For them, the restoration of Israel can only be brought about by divine intervention; human attempts to re-

establish Israel are considered heretical. This interpretation of God intervening in history draws us back to our earlier discussions, were we see that, according to Jewish tradition, God played a significant role in the history of the Jewish people. Let's return back to our three earlier questions: (1) whether it is permissible to settle

a conflict through compromise with members of another religion; (2) whether control over Israeli territory may be exclusive or shared with members of another nation

or religion; and (3) whether rights can be granted to members of other religions at these holy sites. Based on the above exposition of Religious Zionism, do you think that the answer to any of these questions can be "yes"?

Christianity – Case Study: Christian Zionism

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In our previous study unit I mentioned that we will use the Israel-Palestine conflict as a comparative case study across the Abrahamic religions. In this section, I would like to discuss the notion of Christian Zionism briefly. In simple terms, Christian Zionism is the belief among some Christians that the return of the Jews to Israel and the establishment of the State of Israel is the fulfilment of Biblical prophecy and is linked to the second coming of Jesus. Christian Zionism became very prominent in the 19th century with the spread of Christian millenarianism (associated with expectations of the second coming of Jesus and the establishment of God's kingdom on earth). One of the earliest American proponents of Christian Zionism was William E Blackstone (1841– 1935). He was an evangelist who had very strong religious ideas about the fate of the Jews and their role in the "end days". Blackstone strongly advocated the return of the Jews to Israel and succeeded in gathering much support from Christians for the cause.

Throughout the 20th century, we witnessed a gradual increase in the support for Christian Zionism. And thanks to rapid advancements in technology and more especially in media broadcasting, Christian Zionism has gained a huge following. This is largely the result of prominent American television evangelists calling for support of Israel based on Biblical prophecy. One such evangelist is John Hagee, founder and senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, a nondenominational megachurch with more than 20 000 active members. In 2006, John Hagee and 400 leaders of the Christian and Jewish communities formed a new national organisation called "Christians United for Israel". This organisation bases its defence of Israel on the Bible.

Due to the expansion of Christian television networks such as Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), we are seeing many other countries beginning to articulate a similar ideological position. There has also been an influx of visits from churches to the Holy Land on the basis of their alliance with Israel. In fact, support for the Zionist discourse is beginning to dominate the Christian environment (more especially in Pentecostal churches).

However, Christian Zionism as a modern theological and political movement embracing the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism has become profoundly detrimental to the peace process between Israel and Palestine. Christian Zionism propagates a worldview premised on apocalyptic events leading to the end of history. In addition, prominent organisations such as International Christian Embassy, Christian Friends of Israel, and Christians United for Israel (as noted above) wield significant influence in the United States Congress.

According to Stephen Sizer (2013), Christian Zionists are in favour of implementing a number of basic political principles, and have been supporting Israel in various ways:

Due to their belief that the Jews remain God's chosen people, Christian Zionists have been supporting Israel financially. However, this also invariably results in the

uncritical endorsement of Israel's racist and apartheid policies in the media, among politicians and through solidarity tours to Israel.

The final restoration of the Jews to Israel is actively encouraged, funded and facilitated through partnerships with the Jewish Agency.

It is believed that Eretz Israel, as delineated in scripture from the Nile to the Euphrates, belongs exclusively to the Jewish people, and that therefore the land must

be annexed, Palestinians driven from their homes and the illegal Jewish settlements expanded and consolidated.

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Jerusalem is regarded as the eternal and exclusive capital of the Jews, which cannot be shared with the Palestinians. Therefore, strategically, Christian Zionists

have lobbied the US Administration to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem and thereby to ensure that Jerusalem is recognised as the capital of Israel.

Christian Zionists offer varying degrees of support for organisations such as the Jewish Temple Mount Faithful, whose followers are committed to destroying the

Dome of the Rock and rebuilding the Jewish Temple on the Haram Al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary of Al-Aqsa).

Christian Zionists invariably have a pessimistic view of the future, and are convinced that the apocalyptic Battle of Armageddon is imminent. They are deeply

sceptical of the possibility of a lasting peace between Jews and Arabs and therefore oppose the peace process. Indeed, advocating an Israeli compromise of "land for peace" with the Palestinians is seen as a rejection of God's promises to Israel and therefore as support of her enemies.

Based on the above principles, the Christian Zionists position the Palestinians as foreign residents in Israel. In the next study unit we will look at the Palestinian nationalistic discourse, and then you will be in a position to contrast the views of all three religions and see why attaining peace is problematic. And that brings us to the present day in Christianity.

Islam – The Islamist Discourse in Mainstream Palestinian Society

Using the Israel-Palestine conflict as a common case study, we have in the unit on Judaism looked at the historical setting of the conflict and the role of Zionism. In the unit on Christianity, we explored the critical role of Christian Zionism and its support for Israel. In this section we look briefly at the Islamist discourse in mainstream Palestinian society. The objective is that at the end of this discussion you will be able to contrast the different perspectives coming to the fore within the conflict that represent the convoluted realities of Palestine today.

In the mid-20th century movements articulating liberation, socialism and democratic rule dominated Palestinian society. However, in the 21st century discourses of political Islam and religious nationalism have become more prominent for Palestinians. Social and political movements such as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movement are calling for the establishment of an Islamic state in Palestine. These movements are contending for a religious nationalism, which is founded on an Islamic ideology for the framing of a national consciousness. What this means is that they intend to reconstruct the identity of Palestine on the basis of “religion” rather than “secular” nationalism. Due to the failure of secular nationalism to achieve the desired social and economic advancements, these movements believe that Palestine needs to return to its foundation of an Islamic ideology. The challenge with this is that surrendering any part of Palestine implies renouncing part of the religion. To bring about this transformation, these movements put forward “jihad” has its methodology. To become a martyr for the Palestinian cause is regarded as the ultimate commitment to the nation. This brought to the fore a new dimension to the Palestinian as a “struggling hero”. Targeted violence emerged as symbolic actions and rituals, which communicated specific messages depicting revolutionary action.

With the human rights violations in West Bank and Gaza, the Islamist discourse is becoming more influential. Furthermore, conditions of oppression, hardship, and economic losses sustained by the Palestinians under Israeli occupation have fostered a national disposition towards solace in religion. In addition, the success of

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Islamist ideologies outside Palestine has served to motivate the native Palestinians. Due to the desire for religion and a return to political realism by the Palestinians, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad Movement enjoy a strong political and moral presence in the West Bank and Gaza. Mindful of the growing Islamic influence and the role of Islam in mobilizing the masses, nationalist movements such as the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have also begun integrating Islamic References in their nationalist discourse. It is to this end that any attempt to provide a resolution to the Palestinian conflict must be mindful of the role of the Islamist discourse among the disenfranchised Palestinians.

WRITE A SHORT ESSAY ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENTAL PROCESS THAT WE SEE HAPPENING IN NEARLY ALL CASES OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGIOUS DEVELOPMENTS GIVE EXAMPLES (10) OCT NOV 2017

CONTEMPORARY RELIGION

ANSWER 1

RELIGION IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY

Write about the phenomenon of Contemporary Society in terms of the emergence of Atheism, alternative spirituality and Christian Fundamentalism

Introduction:

Religion in the contemporary society is a very sensitive subject. There are many ways to perceive religion and many arguments that go along with the different perceptions.

In our time of modern society – there are many who declare that they are irreligious and those who are indifferent to religion or spirituality.

The Phenomena of Christian Fundamentalism and Alternative Spirituality have increased in contemporary societies.

According to Paul Heelas (2002: 360) he orders “regular attenders of church services” and “Atheists and agnostics” as opposites. Between these two he places the growth of Alternative Spirituality.

Atheism and agnosticism can be seen as consequences of the secularisation process and Christian fundamentalism & Alternative Spirituality as reactions against secularisation.

Atheism:

The word “atheism” is Greek and means – no god

History

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o

Atheism has only recently become an acceptable world view however disbelief in supernatural forces has a long history

o

Atheism grew from the tradition of rationalism. In ancient Greece a number of philosophers rejected mythological explanations – They argued that nature was all there was & it was not necessary to assume the existence of gods to understand the world. This approach to the world was seen as rational.

Types of atheism

o

Strong and weak

 

Weak atheism = most general concept – absence of belief in any gods – doesn’t give it much thought

Strong atheism = refers to the denial of a god/s – usually involves evidence to support their denial

o

Positive & negative Atheism

Negative atheism = they oppose religion – they that without the belief in God, there would be no disbelief in God either. They have a negative outlook on life – are hostile, depressed, immoral

Positive atheism = believe religions are false on the grounds of naturalism, realism and rationality

o

Atheists and Ethics

 

Atheists point out that one doesn’t need laws & commandments or promises of reward & threats of punishment to induce one to live an ethical life.

o

The Bright movement

An internet group of people with a naturalistic world-view

Their world-view is free of supernatural & mystical elements

The movement has grown – by the end of 2007 membership has grown to over 35000 in 147 nations

Christian fundamentalism:

Opposite of atheism (theism).

They resist modernisation and secularisation.

There has been a rise of conservative or orthodox religious movements all over the world. There are many reasons for this but mostly they are all reactions to what is perceived to be secularisation forces.

A fundamentalist – is someone who views the Bible as the only word of God – the Bible is without error and should be interpreted literally.

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In South Africa – many have turned away from mainline churches to new charismatic churches like the Rhema Church and the Hatfield Christian Church. The reasons for the growth of these new movements are as a result of a perceived lifeless and stagnant atmosphere or liberal trends in the mainline churches

In the United States – groups to the right of the religious spectrum (evangelicals & fundamentalists) and the groups to the left (non-traditional, non-Christian) are flourishing, while the membership & influence of the mainline churches are decreasing

Alternative Spirituality

Many see “religion” as referring to institutionalised traditional religions eg: Islam, Buddhism, Judaism etc involving beliefs, prescribed rituals, ethical commandments etc.

Many also say that they are “spiritual but not religious” – this usually means that they do not belong to an organised religion and do not participate in traditional religious practices, but they are aware of a spiritual dimension to their lives or that they do practise some kind of spiritual exercise – like meditation.

It has become evident to observers of religious trends that while religion is under threat – spirituality is thriving.

“Alternative Spirituality” is an umbrella term used for different groups and organisations with different beliefs and agendas. These groups are ultimately understood as a search for spirituality and meaning that is in contrast to prevalent mainstream religious or scientific beliefs.

During the 1960’s a number of new movements appeared. Some of these were the Hara Krishna movement, the Divine Light Mission, the Family of love and Scientology. Although some of them still exist today, these organisations are now smaller than they were before.

The sociological & psychological conditions which originally created the atmosphere for such groups to emerge still exist – but because the earlier groups were discredited, they had to make way for new groups. These were for a time referred to as the New Age movement but the terms has fallen in disuse and today alternative groups are referred to as Alternative Spirituality.

Modern secular society, with its emphasis on scientism, rationality and materialism, has left people feeling alienated and spiritually “homeless”. Furthermore, authoritarian religious institutions, with rigid prescriptions, have stifled people’s spiritual growth and many have felt no option but to seek a religious home elsewhere.

Some characteristics of Alternative Spirituality are:

o

Holism

They believe that nature, God and human beings are not separate objects – everything & everybody is one

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o

Life-spiritualities

 

They are concerned with realising a person’s inner, true life. The emphasis is on the self and a person’s own inner-directed life

o

Epistemology

 

Most believe that direct inner experiences of God carries more weight than the scriptures of the various religions or the dogmas of the churches. Authority is no longer vested in doctrines or scriptures, but in personal experience.

o

Methods of transformation

On the whole, the groups agree on the importance of meditation as a method of transformation. However, there are many types of meditation a great diversity of opinion as to which method is best. Other practices are astrology, using crystals, “channelling”, using tarot cards etc. Some do not attach much value to these practices, but will not condemn them either.

These groups offer a home to a significant number of people who are disillusioned with traditional religion in society. The strong emphasis on the love of God and one’s neighbour suggests that this approach could indicate a return to traditional values and that the process of secularisation is not as thorough as some believe.

ANSWER 2

Theorists on Religion

Karl Marx

Karl Marx was born in 1818 and he died in 1883. Marx believed that God didn’t create humans in His image but instead humans created God in their image and that religion was based on human needs. He also believed that communism would eventually make religion disappear. He had a lot of criticism towards Christianity and Judaism.

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund was born in 1856 and died in 1939. He was one of the “masters of suspicion”. Freud attacked the patriarchal monotheistic types. Freud said that religion was an illusion that humanity allowed into their lives because they were making attempts to deal with the awfulness of this world. He said that people were scared of death and that is why they allow religion to comfort them.

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Max Weber

He was a German political economist and he is believed to be one of the founders of Sociology. He separated religion from its function and found that in time, due to some factors, religion would disappear from public life. Religion would then be private and a matter of choice. Because Protestantism promoted the rational pursuit of prosperity, Weber believed it would attribute to secularisation.

Emile Durkheim

He was French and from a Jewish family. He became an Atheist and believed that religion was an important part of society because it gave people the feeling of belonging. He believed that religion would continue to exist because people needed it to be bound together. (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:269-278)

SECULARISATION THESIS

Bryan Wilson defined secularisation as “the process whereby religious thinking, practice and institutions lose social significance” he believed that the Western society no longer needed religion in their public setup, and that urbanisation, industrialisation and rationalism led so secularisation. Max Weber and Bryan Wilson agreed that the protestant religion paved the path for secularisation.

He also believed in individual secularisation. This is meant that people privatise their religion. New religion movements proved his theory correct. (Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:279-289)

ANSWER 3

3 REACTIONS TO MODERNISATION

Atheism

Atheism

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In 2007 it was estimated that about 23% of the world’s population were atheist. The word “Atheism” means “no god” and it indicates disbelief in all gods or supernatural forces.

There are two types of Atheism: Weak atheism also known as implicit atheism. This refers to the disbelief in any gods. Strong atheism (explicit atheism), they also have a disbelief in gods but they have evidence to accompany their belief.

Atheism can be divided into another two sections:

Negative Atheism – these are pessimistic people and,

Positive Atheism – they have a more positive outlook on life and are friendlier overall.

Christian Fundamentalism

A Fundamentalist is defined as “someone who views the Bible as the only and infallible word of God” thereby meaning that it is without error and should be interpreted literally.

Fundamentalists believe that the mainstream churches have lost their vision of the Christian faith. Since 1975 evangelists have been preaching on fundamentalism through television very successfully. Many people in South-Africa have turned away from orthodox churches and joined new charismatic churches which are all supposed to be fundamentalists.

Alternative Spirituality

When people say they are spiritual and not religious, it means that they do not belong to any religion but that they are aware of spirituality. Religion today may be under threat but spirituality is thriving.

Various new movements appeared during the 1960s for example the “Hara Krishna movement”, “the Family of Love” and “Scientology”. They still exist today even though they declined a few years back.

Today there are also new groups referred to as The New Age movement but this term is no longer used. Currently alternative groups are simply called Alternative Spirituality.

Alternative Spirituality has certain characteristics:

Life spiritualities where the emphasis is on your own inner-life.

The holistic worldview where they believe that everything is one.

Epistemology which concerns us with the question of knowledge and,

Methods of transformation where meditation is the greatest method.

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(Kruger; Lubbe; Steyn; 2009:291-304)

ANSWER 4

Terminology:

Contemporary Religion

Secular: Originally used in church texts to distinguish those who were subject to monastic orders Secularisation: pertaining to the public domain only and to the diminishing role of public institutions Seularism: refers to the discarding of religious beliefs in private lives of people

Theorist

Karl Marx

-communist

-

influence- Ludwig Feuerbach- declared that God did not create humans in his own image

‘man makes religion, religion does not make man’ -religion is the illusion, a product of the imagination

-

- humans are negatively affected by social institutions

Sigmund Freud

- rational thought

‘in the long run nothing can withstand reason and experience and the contradiction religion offers to both is only too palpable’ (easily noticed)

-

-

religion is an illusion- wish fulfillment

human helplessness & lifes terrors arouse need for protection -religion ‘ universal obsessional neurosis’ -being religious is equal to being neurotic/ mentally ill

-

- where id is, let ego be

- psychotherapy

Max Weber

- Foundation for the theory of secularization

- first to consider the truth of religion as separate from its social function

- Protestant & work ethic led to capitalism

- de-sacralisation- people no longer believed in the mysteries of the old and devalued them

seclarisation- religion declines and previously accepted symbols, doctrines and institutions lose their prestige & influence

-

Emile Durkheim

- Came from a Jewish family

-

became an atheist

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- religion gave people a feeling of community and belonging (never lose its social significance)

 

- cement that held society together

Peter Berger

Secularisation- specific historical process which went hand in hand with modernism.

 

-

later he changed his mind and stated that modernism does not lead to secularization

defined secularization as ‘the process by which sectors of society & culture are removed from the domination of religious institutions and symbols’

-

- human ideas & conceptions interact dialectically with external, objective factors in society.

 

- there are political & private spheres

- visible institution - invisible

Thomas Luckmann

- invisible religion

- role of religion changed, present in a different form

- autonomy of the individual & individual search for private identity

 

- question & investigate, individual construct own identity and sought ways of self-expression & self-realisation.

Rodney Stark & William Sims Bainbridge

Stark- competition is good

- refuted the idea of secularization of contemporary society

 
 

- religious economies ( people will attempt to gain rewards & avoid costs)

- religious awards ( forgiveness, eternal life) – compensator (IOU’s)

- ‘ a system of general compensators based on supernatural assumptions’

Jose Casanova

found 4 instances of religion going public during 1980 * the Iranian revolution * the solidarity movement in Poland * the Sandinista revolution in Latin America * the upsurge of Protestant fundamentalism in American politics

-

growth in public religion in many different religious traditions all over the world was an unexpected development of the decade

-

- does not think the secularization thesis should be jettisoned

 

- religion is here to stay, and to likely play a public role in the construction of the modern world

- secularisation theory should be rethought & reformulated not abandoned .

* secularisation as differentiation

* secularisation as decline of religion

* secularization as privatization

THE 4 MODELS WHICH WERE CONSIDERED BY THE AUTHORS OF THE POLICY ON RELIGION AND EDUCATION

1. Theocratic Model:

State is identified with 1 religion or religious group. The Policy rejects this model; SA is a multi-religious country.

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Pro: You know exactly where you stand. The church and the state are one, and the laws of the land are the laws of God. It’s very straightforward. It is what God wants.

Con: But it’s really hard on the people who don’t believe in God, or who believe in another God, or the same god but worshipped and obeyed differently. History shows that God’s representatives can and do change their minds about what “God’s laws” and “the will of God” mean in practice.

An example: Apartheid ‘old SA’

2. Repressionist Model:

State would suppress, marginalize/eliminate religion from public life and public schools. The Policy rejects this model; Religion is a valuable aspect of life.

Pro: Down with religion! Away with medieval supersitions! We have science now, we don’t need religion anymore!

Con: Yeah, right. That’s what they tried in Russia. And now? The Communist party is gone, but the Russian Orthodox church is still there. Religion fulfils a deep need in the human psyche, one that nobody has found a secular equivalent for yet. Actually, a bit of repression is good for religion; it always bounces back afterwards. Of course, it’s not so good for the religionists involved at the time …

An example is the Marxist States

3. Seperationist Model:

Strict separation is maintained between religion and public life. Religion is given no place in public schools. The Policy rejects this model; it is unrealistic to draw a strict line between religion and the state, it is the same people who are active in both.

Pro: Tolerate religion but keep it out of the state’s business completely! That way the state can get on with its business of governing the people, and religion can get on with … whatever it is religions do. Each tends to its own turf.

Con: This leaves the field open for all kinds of abuses by the government of the day. Religion, for all its imperfections, acts as the conscience of the human race. If there is no interaction, then how can they “speak truth to power”? Anyway, this is not a relationship, just an armed truce. “Each tends to its own turf” sounds like an agreement between two gangs. We know those never last very long: they always erupt into turf wars! And the relationship always ends up one-way. The church is told to keep its nose out of the state’s business, but the state won’t hesitate to interfere in the church when it feels like compelled to do so. In the end, the state is the one with the big guns. Like in Waco, Texas, where the cops stormed a church compound and ended up killing people. You might say that what was going on in there was unsavoury, but if it was church business and the church is so all-fired independent, then on what basis could the state send its armed agents busting in? In the end, it all comes down to Stalin’s question “How many batallions does the Pope have”? The state has lots of batallions, the church has none, and that means that the church exists only because the state allows it to. Hundreds of years ago, it was the other way round, of course.

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An example is: USA and France

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4. Co-operative Model:

Religion and public life is 2 distinct spheres. It ensures quality of life for all citizens. This model is adopted by the policy.

Pro: The state and religion talk and talk and talk until their problems are solved. No domination, no interference.

Con: Maybe. But it still leaves open a lot of questions. Who talks first? And who gets the last say? Which of the two gets to decide when the time for talking is over? The state, that’s who. This model inherits all the weaknesses of the Separationist model and then hides them behind a layer of fuzzy buzzwords. Makes you long for the Theocrats and Repressionists, it does. At least they are honest about what they want!

An ex. Is Contemporary SA

ACCOMMODATING CHILDREN FROM DIFFERENT FAITHS:

Separation of learners according to their religion.

Proportionate rotation

Reading from text of different religions

A universal prayer

Period of silence

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION?

Religious education is part of the school programme. It must have age appropriate aims and objectives. There must be a defined set of outcomes, stipulating what the learner should know about religion. It includes various religious attention in SA.

Religious instruction is instruction of a particular faith/belief with a view to the inculcation of adherence to that faith/believe. It is not part of the school programme. BUT keep in mind that this has to be voluntary. With very young children, it is the parents' permission that counts. Get their permission for RI on paper.

HINDUISM

(Shruti & Smriti)

There is no founder on Hinduism but they do believe in different Gods and Goddesses in different forms of the Braham, the world of the soul or God. They believe in Reincarnation and Karma. They use various scriptures of the Vedas and the Bhagavad Gita. They celebrate Divali and Holi. Hinduism was discovered more than 4500 years ago in Israel.

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They believe in the sacred texts known as the Shruti which means “what is heard” and the Smriti which means “That which is remembered.” This will now be discussed in detail.

The Shruti is the entire history of Hinduism; it begins with the early texts known and with some Upanishads reaching into modern times. It has no author and is believed to be a divine recording of “cosmic sounds of truth’ which were heard by the rishis.

It can be defined as follows:

Rig-veda (knowledge of hymns of praise)

Antharava-veda (knowledge of magic formulas)

Sama-veda (knowledge of melodies)

Yajur-veda (knowledge of sacrificial formulas)

The Smriti denotes the non-shruti text generally and is secondary in authority to the Shruti text.

It can be defined as follows:

Dharma Shastra (the laws)2.

Mahakavya (the epics of Mhabharata and Ramayana)

Purana (secondary scriptures that mainly focus on Vishnu and Shiva

Sutra (proverbs)

Agama (the philosophies – mantra, tantra)

Dyasana (the other philosophies – vendata)

There are different opinions about the validity and importance of each. Some stress that the Shruti foundation is and Smriti making the truth available is important. These sacred texts are the central canon of Hinduism and is therefore considered as the Hindu law and is highly followed, respected and of equal extreme importance to the Hindu people.

ISLAM

The word Islam means to submit or surrender and a Muslim is therefore someone who submits or surrenders to the will of Allah in order to attain peace. They believe there is no God but Allah and The Prophet Muhammed is his messenger.

Islam was founded by The Prophet Muhammed born in 570CE. Muhammed was born in sacred Mecca and lost his father and mother at an early age. Muhammed was then raised by his uncle Abu Talib and married a wealthy widow named Khadija. He had two sons who both died in infancy and four daughters.

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Muslims believe in God, the last day on judgement, the angels and the holy book known as the Quran. The word Quran means ‘recitation’ and also known as a sacred book of guidance. The Quran is made up of verses which are known as Ayats and chapters known as Surahs. The Quran is made up of 114 chapters in total. It is believed that the Quran was verbally revealed to angel Jibril (Gabriel) by Allah and was later revealed by Jibril (Gabriel) to the prophet Muhammed at the age of 40 on the “night of power.” They also believe secondary in the Hadith which refers to the traditions, sayings or actions of Muhammed and his companions which is used as a basis of the Muslims believe in the Islamic law.

Islam originates from Saudia Arabia along the Arabian Peninsula where there were many Gods that were worshipped, there were many temples but the main place of worship was the Kaaba.

Muslims believe and live by the simple 5 pillars of Islam which are:

A declaration of faith also known as the Shahadah

To perform the 5 daily prayers known as Salat

To give charity also known as Zakat

To fast during the month of Ramadaan also known as Saum

To perform a sacred journey to the holy ground of the Mecca also known as Hajj

They believe in the pillars to faith which are as follows:

They believe in God

They believe in the angels of Allah also known as Malaeka

They believe in Allah’s prophets

They believe in the day of judgement also know as Yawn al-Qiyama

They believe in destiny and the divine creed also known as Qadawal-Qada

Muslims also believe in the law of Shariah which they live according to. They believe that God also known as Allah is the best planner regardless of what we plan his plan always prevails. They believe in the oneness to mankind and to the message.

There are two branches of Muslims which are Sunni and Shi’te. Sunni is the first branch and they acknowledge the authority of Sunna. They accept the first 4 caliphs (Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan and Ali) as the rightful successors of Muhammed and are known as Sunnite. Shi’te is the second branch and they believe that the only heirs of the fourth caliph (Ali) are legitimate successors of Muhammed. The difference between the two does not stem spiritually but politically.

Islam celebrates two major festivals known as Eid ul-Fitr which is the festival where fast is broken and Eid ul Adha which is the feast of sacrifice. These festivals are shared with family, friends and the community. Meals are shared; visits are made to homes of family and friends in the Islamic community.

Islam follows a simple way of life and practice which have been passed on generation to generation. We are born in a natural state of goodness islamically and are pure until we reach puberty. Our parents have a great duty to sustain, nurture and educate us on Islamia. From their teachings we learn to obey, respect and honour

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our parents and elders. From this we become a part of the Muslim community also known as the ummah regardless of race or nationality we are brothers and sisters in Islam especially in prayer at the masjied. We learn what is permissible to eat also known as halaal and those that are prohibited that are known as haraam. We are taught dress modestly and where the scarf also known as the hijab or the veil also known as the niqab but this still remains a choice we have to make. We are motivated to complete school and study further. We make a choice to get married which is also known as nikaah which is not a sacrament but an agreement of both parties. Polygamy is allowed but is not practised by all Muslim men. As we grow older there comes a time when we will die as in any other religion.

From the above I believe that Islam is simple and can be easily practiced. It is not something that has been forced onto us from generation to practice. We are born and as we grow it becomes a way of our daily lives. We practice Islam daily without even realising what we are doing. It is a beautiful religion which guides us to be better people not only Islamically but also individually, in our family, in our ummah and in the world in order for us to enter heaven also known as Jannah after death.

DIFFERENCES

 

An academic activity

A religious activity

Religion Education

(Religieonderwys)

Religious Education (Religieuse onderwys)

 

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Learning about religion in a broad inclusive framework