HSC Studies of Religion

 

HSC Studies of Religion

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Have you ever wondered why Jewish people break glass during the wedding ceremony? Studies of Religion explores the major world religions including Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and Hinduism, as well as the non-religious beliefs and worldviews of others. You will learn all about the history of religions, significant people and developments that changed the way people think. The syllabus is packed with fascinating information, which will lead you to question how your personal beliefs fit within the big puzzle.

 

Preliminary Course 

Topic 1: Nature of religion and beliefs

Topic 2: Religious tradition studies- Buddhism

Topic 3: Religious tradition studies - Christianity

Topic 4: Religious tradition studies- Hinduism

Topic 5: Religious tradition studies- Islam

Topic 6: Religious tradition studies- Judaism

Topic 7: Additional content- Religions of ancient origin

Topic 8: Additional content- Religion in Australia pre-1945 

 

HSC Course 

Topic 1: Religion and belief systems post-1945

Topic 2: Religious traditions depth studies- Buddhism 

Topic 3: Religious traditions depth studies- Christianity

Topic 4: Religious traditions depth studies- Hinduism

Topic 5: Religious traditions depth studies - Islam

Topic 6: Religious traditions depth studies- Judaism

Topic 7: Additional content- Religion and peace

Topic 8: Additional content- Religion and non-religion

Preliminary Course 

TOPIC 1: NATURE OF RELIGION AND BELIEFS

The Nature of Religion  

Characteristics of religion

Australian Aboriginal Beliefs and Spiritualities- The Dreaming 

Nature of the Dreaming in relation to: origins of the universe, sacred sites, stories of the Dreaming, symbolism and art and the inextricable connection of the Dreaming, the land and identity

  • Aboriginal beliefs about the origins of the earth and their connections to the land

 

TOPIC 2: RELIGIOUS TRADITION STUDIES- BUDDHISM 

Origins

Theravada Buddhism

Mahayana Buddhism

  • Mahayana Buddhism as a collection of Buddhist traditions

Vajrayana Buddhism

Principal Beliefs 

The Three Jewels- Buddha, Dharma, Sangha

  • Buddha, Dharma and Sangha summary  

The Four Noble Truths

Karma,  Samsara, Nirvana

The Three Marks of Existence- Anicca, Duhkka, Anatta

Sacred Texts and Writings

Tripitaka

Lotus of the Good Law

Tibetan Book of the Dead

Core Ethical Teachings  

The Five Precepts

Personal Devotion in the Home

Coming soon!

 

TOPIC 3: RELIGIOUS TRADITION STUDIES - CHRISTIANITY

Origins

The Development of Early Christian Communities

  • Jesus as a model for Christian life

Christianity: Anglicanism, Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Pentecostalism, Protestantism

Principal Beliefs 

The Christian Understanding of Salvation

Sacred Texts and Writings

Bible, with a focus on the importance of the Bible to Christianity and extracts of the Bible which demonstrate the principal beliefs of Christianity

  • The importance of the Bible in Christianity case study

Core Ethical Teachings

The Ten Commandments

The Beatitudes

  • The eight Beatitudes and their meaning

 Jesus' Commandment of Love

Personal Devotion

 

TOPIC 4: RELIGIOUS TRADITION STUDIES- HINDUISM

Origins 

The Early Inhibitants of the Indus Valley

The Aryans 

  • When the Aryans invaded India summary

Principal Beliefs

The connection between Dharma and Karma

  • The principal beliefs of Dharma and Karma

Sacred Texts and Writings

The Vedas, including the Upanishads

  • The Vedas and Upandishads contain important hinduism teachings

The Epics: Ramayana and Mahabharata, including the Bhagavad Gita

Ethical Systems

The Four Varnas

 Ashrams or Stages of Life

Personal Devotion in the Home

 

TOPIC 5: RELIGIOUS TRADITION STUDIES- ISLAM

Origins 

Principal Beliefs 

The articles of faith explained in the Aqida as: Tawhid, Angels, Books of Allah, Rusul, Akhira, Fate/Predestination

Sacred Texts and Writings

Extracts from the Qur'an and Hadith which Demonstrate the Principle Beliefs of Islam

  • Principle beliefs of Islam quotes

Core Ethical Teachings  

Coming soon!     

Expression of Faith  

The Five Pillars as the expression of the faith of Islam

 

TOPIC 6: RELIGIOUS TRADITION STUDIES- JUDAISM

Origins

Abraham and the Covenant

Moses, the Exodus, and the Giving of the Torah

  • The significance of Moses

Modern Judaism- Conservative Judaism, Orthodox Judaism, Progressive Judaism

  • The characteristics of the different streams of  Judaism

 

Principal Beliefs

Belief in a single God who is the Creator and Ruler of the Universe

Sacred Texts and Writings  

Extracts from the Hebrew Bible and Talmud which Demonstrate the Principal Beliefs of Judaism

Core Ethical Teachings

The Importance of Shabbat

 

TOPIC 7: ADDITIONAL CONTENT- RELIGIONS OF ANCIENT ORIGIN

Aztec or Inca or Mayan, Celtic, Nordic, Shinto, Taoism, an indigenous religion from outside Australia. 

Aztec

  • The top ten things you need to know about the Aztecs

 Celtic

  • Celtic principal beliefs concerning the origins of the universe

Shinto

TOPIC 8: ADDITIONAL CONTENT- RELIGION IN AUSTRALIA PRE-1945

Religious traditions in Australia pre-1945    

Coming soon!    

 

HSC Course

TOPIC 1: RELIGION AND BELIEF SYSTEMS POST-1945

Contemporary Aboriginal Spiritualities 

Aboriginal Spirituality as determined by the Dreaming: Kinship, Ceremonial Life and Obligations to the Land and People

  • How Aboriginal Spirituality is determined by the Dreaming

The Continuing Effect of Dispossession on Aboriginal Spiritualities in Relation to: Separation From the Land, Separation From Kinship Groups and the Stolen Generation

  • The effect of dispossession on Aboriginal Spiritualities notes

 The Importance of the Following for the Land Rights Movement: Native Title, Mabo and Wik

  • The land rights movement summary
  • The Native Title, Mabo and Wik land rights movement

The Importance of the Dreaming For the Land Rights Movement

Religious Expression in Australia- 1945 to Present 

 

TOPIC 2: RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS DEPTH STUDIES- BUDDHISM 

Significant People and Ideas  

The contribution to Buddhism of ONE significant person or school of thought other than the Buddha drawn from: Asoka, Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu, Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), Sister Dhammadinna, Tenzin Palmo, XIVth Dalai Lama, Pure Land, Soto Zen, Won Buddhism, or another person or school of thought significant to Buddhism

Ethics 

Bioethics

 Environmental Ethics

Sexual Ethics 

Significant practices in the life of adherents  

Pilgrimage

Wesak

 

TOPIC 3: RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS DEPTH STUDIES- CHRISTIANITY

Significant People and Ideas

The contribution to Christianity of ONE significant person OR school of thought, other than Jesus, drawn from: Paul of Tarsus, Hildegard of Bingen, Martin Luther, Catherine Booth, Pope John XXIII, Billy Graham, Dennis Bennett, Sarah Maitland, Liberation Theology, Feminist Theology, or another person or school of thought significant to Christianity

Ethics 

Environmental Ethics

Sexual Ethics 

Significant practices in the life of adherents

Baptism

  • The sacrament of baptism facts  

Marriage Ceremony

  • Christian wedding traditions and  customs 

 

TOPIC 4: RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS DEPTH STUDIES- HINDUISM

Significant People and Ideas 

The contribution to Hinduism of ONE significant person OR school of thought, other than the Vedas, drawn from:  Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhva, Mirabai (Mira Bai), Bhakti Movement, Ram Mohan Roy, Ramakrishna, Mohandas Gandhi, Purva Mimamsa school of thought, Vedanta school of thought, or another person or school of thought significant to Hinduism

Ethics  

Sexual Ethics

Significant practices in the life of adherenants

Marriage Ceremony

Pilgrimage

 

TOPIC 5: RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS DEPTH STUDIES - ISLAM

Significant people and ideas 

The contribution to Islam of ONE significant person OR school of thought, other than Muhammad and the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs, drawn from: Khadijah Bint Khuwaylid, A’isha Bint AbuBakar, Fatima Al Zahra, Imam Malik, Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Al-Shafi, Abu ali Hussein Ibn Sina, Rabi’a al-Adawiyya, Al-Ghazali, Sayyid Maududi, Sayyid Qutb, or another person or school of thought significant to Islam Ethics 

Ethics

Environmental Ethics

Sexual Ethics

  • Islamic awareness on sexual ethics summary

Significant practices in the life of adherents   

Funeral Ceremony

Hajj

 

TOPIC 6: RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS DEPTH STUDIES- JUDAISM

Significant people and ideas 

The contribution to Judaism of ONE significant person or school of thought, other than Abraham or Moses, drawn from: Isaiah, Hillel (and Shamai), Beruriah, Rabbi Solomon Isaac (Rashi), Moses Maimonides, Kabbalah, The Hassidim, Moses Mendelssohn, Abraham Geiger, Rabbi Isaac Abraham Hacohen Kook (Rav Kook), Jewish Feminism, or another person or school of thought significant to Judaism

  •  Significant people and school of thoughts in Judaism summary  

Ethics 

Bioethics

  • Jewish views on abortion, organ transplantation, and euthanasia

 Environmental ethics

  • Why looking after the environment is so important in Judaism

Sexual ethics

Significant practices in the life of adherents 

Death and Mourning

Marriage

  • Jewish marriage 101

Synagogue Services

  • Everything you need to know about a Jewish Synagogue

 

TOPIC 7: ADDITIONAL CONTENT- RELIGION AND PEACE

Christianity

 Islam

 

TOPIC 8: ADDITIONAL CONTENT- RELIGION AND NON-RELIGION 

The Religious Dimension in Human History  

The expression of the religious dimension in human history: Animism, Polytheism, and Monotheism

The significance of the religious dimension in human history: Meaning and purpose for the individual, social cohesion, and social transformation

  • Meaning and purpose for the individual summary

The global distribution of the five major religious traditions using statistical data

New Religious Expression

The reasons for the rise of new religious expressions as people: search for personal fulfilment, seek ethical guidelines, and seek to clarify their relationship with society

How the following have influenced the growth of new religious expressions and spiritualities: The rise of materialism, scientific progress, growth of ecological awareness, and disenchantment with 'traditional' religious practice and guidance

Non-Religious Worldviews

The essential features of Atheism and Agnosticism

  • The differences between atheists and agnostics  

The positions of rational humanism and scientific humanism

The Difference Between Religious and Non-Religious Worldviews

  • The transcendent, the human person and social responsibility in religious and non-religious belief systems summary  

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