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Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies

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1 Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies
© Phillip Allen 2006 Social Harmony Edexcel GCSE Religious Studies Specification A Unit A 4 Social Harmony

2 Aims of Unit A 4: Social Harmony
To understand the difference between prejudice and discrimination. To understand and be able to debate the issues surrounding sexism. To understand the issues surrounding the role of women in the Christian Church.. To understand and be able to debate the issues surrounding racism. To be able to identify the benefits of a multi-ethnic multi-faith society. To understand the issues surrounding Religious Pluralism and Religious Freedom. To understand the views of Islam on sexism, racism and religious tolerance.

3 Prejudice Discrimination. Sexism Racism. Equality Racial Harmony.
Key Words Prejudice Discrimination. Sexism Racism. Equality Racial Harmony. Multi-Ethnic Multi-Faith. Religious Pluralism Religious Freedom.

4 Prejudice & Discrimination
Q. What is the difference between prejudice and discrimination? Prejudice: ‘Believing some people are inferior or superior without even knowing them.’ Prejudice is the thought. Discrimination: ‘Acting on a prejudice by treating people unfairly because of their race, colour, gender, class, age, disability, etc.’ Discrimination is the act.

5 Sexism: ‘Discriminating against people because of their gender (sex).’
Sexism is usually thought of happening against women, but it is can also happen against men. Can you think of examples where men and women may be the victim of sex discrimination? List two for each gender in your book. In the UK the ‘Sex Discrimination Act 1975’ makes it illegal for people to discriminate against a person because of their gender. However, it wasn’t always like this…

6 Sexism Women were not always treated equally in this country. Many people saw their role as staying at home looking after the house and children. Women weren’t even allowed to vote in elections. Many women, and men, thought this was unfair and started to campaign to get women the vote. The ‘Suffragettes’, as they were called, won the votes for women over 31 in In 1928 the age was lowered to 21, the same as men. Today all people over the age of 18 can vote.

7 Equality: ‘The state of everyone having equal rights’.
Sexism In 1970 the government made sure men and women were paid equally for doing the same jobs by bringing in the ‘Equal Pay Act’ . Although equality in education and employment are now taken for granted. Many women feel they still have to work harder just to be treated equally. Equality: ‘The state of everyone having equal rights’. Equality is important because it shows that every person is valued the same no matter what their age, gender, ability, race or colour.

8 Put these verses in a chart listed ‘Equal’ and ‘Not Equal’.
Women and the Church Most Christians believe men and women are equal. However, some Christians believe that men and women were given different roles by God. This is because the bible sometimes seems to say different things. ‘God created humanity in his own image, male and female he created them both.’ Genesis 1:27 ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ..’ Galatians 3:28 ‘Wives submit to your husband… for the husband is head of the wife.’ Ephesians 5:22 ‘Women must remain silent in church, they are not allowed to speak.’ 1 Corinthians 14:34 Put these verses in a chart listed ‘Equal’ and ‘Not Equal’.

9 Jesus was a man and God is seen as a man in the Bible.
Women and the Church For many years the Church has not allowed women to become leaders (Priests, Vicars & Ministers). There are many reasons for this: Some Bible passages say women should not be leaders in the church. E.g. St Paul wrote ‘I do not permit a woman to have authority over a man, she must learn submission and be silent.’ 1 Timothy 2:11 Jesus had many women disciples (followers) but his 12 closest were all men. The Apostles, the leaders of the Church after Jesus’ death, were always male. The tradition of the church has always been male leaders and not female. Jesus was a man and God is seen as a man in the Bible.

10 Women and the Church However, many Christians believe that today culture has changed and women should be allowed to lead in church. They argue: After Jesus’ death and resurrection he appeared and spoke with women before he spoke to his disciples. St Paul wrote to a different culture and time. Today he would say things differently. He also wrote ‘Everyone is equal in Christ.’ Galatians 3:28 Jesus’ disciples and the Apostles were all men because society didn’t listen to women then, today society does. Just because something has always been done one way doesn’t mean it shouldn’t modernise and change.

11 Women and the Church The Catholic Church do not accept women as priests, they say; ‘The Lord chose men to form his 12 disciples and the apostles did the same when they chose their successors. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible.’ The Catholic Church The Church of England (C of E) have officially accepted women as vicars but in some places they are still not allowed to become Bishops. However, some C of E churches will still not employ a woman as a vicar. The Church of England The Methodist Church has allowed women to hold any level of leadership for many years. The Methodist Church

12 Islam and the Roles of Men and Women
Traditional roles Some Muslims believe men and women have different roles in life. Men Should support the family, while women have children and bring them up. Both men and women have the duty to bring them up as good Muslims. They believe this because: The Qur’an teaches that god made women to have children and made men stronger than women- so they should provide These are the roles shown in the Shari’ah Modern roles Some Muslims believe that men and women should have equal roles in religion and education and that women can have a career. However they believe family commitments must come first. They believe this because: The Qur’an teaches that men and women are equal in religion and education Muhammad would let women worship in the mosque

13 Racism Racism: ‘Discriminating against people because of their race or colour.’ Racism happens when people believe that some races are better than others. In the past this has led to many injustices happening: The Slave Trade: This is where over 4 million black people were taken from their homelands to other countries to work as slaves for white people. Segregation: This was where black people were not allowed to mix with white people and they were separated on buses, trains, in restaurants, they even had separate schools and taps for drinking water. This mostly happened in South Africa and the USA.

14 Racism is strongly rejected in the Bible.
St Peter originally thought those who were from a Jewish background were more favoured by God, but after God spoke to him in a dream he said ‘God does not show favouritism, but accepts men from every nation.’ Acts 10:34-35 (Read this story in Acts 10:1-35) St Paul said there was no difference between people from different nations in the eyes of God. ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ..’ Galatians 3:28 Jesus’ story, ‘The Good Samaritan’, showed his Jewish listeners that God valued all people. Luke 10:25-37

15 Racism is also strongly rejected in the Church.
‘We state that racism is a direct contradiction to the Gospel of Christ.’ The Methodist Church ‘Every form of social & cultural discrimination must be stopped and eradicated as incompatible with God’s design.’ The Catholic Church Most churches today have an anti-racism policy to help them identify and stop any potential racial problems from happening.

16 Islam and Racism Islam has members in most ethnic groups and teaches that all Muslims form one community, the UMMAH. It teaches that any form of racism is wrong and Muslims in the Uk should work to bring about racial harmony. Muslims should promote racial harmony because: God made all races on earth and so people should give each other equal respect Muhammad said on his last sermon that no colour is superior to any other Muhammad told Muslims they are one community who should treat each other as brothers

17 Racial Harmony Racial Harmony: ‘A society where different races and colours live together happily.’ Racial harmony is found mostly in multi-ethnic and multi-faith societies. Multi-Ethnic Society: ‘Where different races and cultures live together as one society.’ Multi-Faith Society: ‘A society where people of different faiths live together.’ Racial harmony means people not only accept other people, irregardless of their race, colour, culture or belief, but are happy to mix and learn from each other.

18 Racial Harmony There are many benefits to a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural society living in racial harmony. People can gain a better idea of what other people around the world believe. People can gain an understanding about why people think and behave as they do. People can experience different cultures and foods from around the world they may not have experienced. People can learn to accept differences in others as they accept the differences in you.

19 Religious Pluralism Most religions believe that people have the right to believe in the god of their choice. Religious Pluralism: ‘Accepting all religions as having equal rights to coexist.’ Religious Freedom: ‘The right to practice your religion and change your religion if you want to.’ Most religions accept this idea. However, The Qur’an (Muslim Holy Book) states that turning your back on Islam is punishable by death. Christianity, like most religions, believe that their own religion is the right one. Christians believe that only by accepting Jesus and living according to his teachings will they eventually go to heaven.

20 Christians make up 1/3rd of the world’s population.
Religious Pluralism Christians believe this because Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father (God) except through me.’ John 14:6 This causes a problem… Christians make up 1/3rd of the world’s population. If Christianity is the only way to heaven, what happens to the other 2/3rds of the world’s population? Christians often have one of three approaches to this: Exclusive: Inclusive: Pluralist:

21 This view is sometimes viewed as intolerant and judgemental.
Exclusive Christians Exclusive: Most Christians are exclusive, this means they believe; only those people who accept Jesus, and his teachings, will go to heaven. Problems: This view is sometimes viewed as intolerant and judgemental. What would happen to those who have not had the opportunity to accept Jesus and his teaching? Would God not be cruel to say the majority of the population will not go to heaven? How could a loving God allow anyone to go to hell just because they’ve been born into a non-Christian culture?

22 They believe that when people die they will understand
Inclusive Christians Inclusive: Some Christians believe you should only go to heaven by accepting Jesus, and his teachings, but, some members of other religions and some non-Christians may also be able to go to heaven. They claim that God saved people before Jesus lived and Christianity did not exist. They say God will save those people who lived right lives as if the God they believed in had been the right one. They believe that when people die they will understand that Jesus’ teaching was the right way and convert. Problem: This goes against Jesus’ teaching in the Bible.

23 Pluralist Christians Pluralist: Some Christians believe that all forms of belief are equally valid and end up at the same place. They believe that devout followers of all religions will be saved and go to heaven. Pluralists say that all religious experience comes from God, but is interpreted in different ways in different cultures. E.g. Hinduism in India. Problems: Pluralist belief goes against the teaching of Jesus so is not always considered as truly Christian. Most other world religions reject pluralism and are either inclusive or, more commonly, exclusive.

24 Islam and Religious Tolerance
Exclusive: Some Muslims are exclusive because in the Qur’an it says; “And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him.” (3:85) Inclusive: Some Muslims are inclusive because the Qur’an says good things about Christians and Jews. Pluralist: A few Muslims are pluralist because in the Qur’an, it says; “There is no compulsion in religion.”

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