No man is an island, entire of itself(John Donne)
Why Study RE?
RE is not just about learning facts and figures.
Religion can be considered the most important influence on the lives of everyone in the world. Even if we think that we do not believe in any religion, and that it is nothing to do with us, nevertheless, it affects a great many aspects of our everyday lives, wherever we live. Religious belief has been with humanity since the very beginning. It is an attempt to explain those things for which we do not otherwise have an answer: why are we born, why do we suffer, what happens to us when we die?
In studying religious doctrines, rituals, narratives, and scriptures, we gain rich insight into the ways in which communities create, sustain and transform themselves
As citizens in a multicultural world we enjoy unprecedented opportunities to encounter people whose religious beliefs and practices are very different from what we know. Such encounters make it all the more important that we cultivate our ability to understand and interpret what other people do and say.
When we study religious values, beliefs, and practices we shed light on the sources of some of human kinds most intractable problems and conflicts. Many study religion in the hope that such knowledge may assist in the human quest for peace, justice and compassion.
The study of RE teaches one to listen attentively, speak thoughtfully, and write persuasively.
Studying RE leads to:
an understanding of where peoples beliefs come from
an understanding of why people view the world differently
an examination of the fundamental questions of life
the weighing up of different beliefs, opinions, and experiences
the working out of ones own views about how to live our lives
the ability to relate the beliefs, values, and experiences of others to our own experience of life
Religious Studies is a relevant qualification for many jobs:
Doctors & Nurses need a firm understanding of medical ethics and many religious teachings have a direct influence on their job:
Police Officers need to have a good understanding of multi-faith and multi-cultural issues in order to do an effective job. They must show tolerance & understanding and be against prejudice & discrimination. Many UK laws are based on Christian laws & teachings!
Lawyers & Judges must study Religion & Law as part of their training. Religion has influenced most of the laws in the UK, and also in other countries. They must have a good knowledge of religious beliefs & teachings as this may affect how a person lives and acts; they should also have a good knowledge of moral issues and ethics. It is vital that a lawyer is free from prejudice as they must treat everyone equally.
A teacher will usually encounter students and parents of all different races & religions and should be free from prejudice. Teachers should have a good understanding of religious beliefs & teachings as they should be able to encourage and empathise with students and their lives.
Social Workers must have a good understanding of religious and cultural issues in order to understand and empathise with the people they are entrusted to help. Religion and culture affect all aspects of life, from birth to death, in the home and at work. All social workers must be free from prejudice and must treat everyone with respect and equally!
The Armed Forces, especially the Army, should have a clear understanding of religious and cultural issues. When the Armed Forces are deployed overseas, to protect civilians in war-torn areas, they should have an understanding and empathy of their culture and differences.
Religious Studies is a relevant qualification for ANY job which involves working with other people. The UK is a multi-faith society and an understanding of our differences will help us live and work together peacefully!