Religion in the Modern World – Term 3

Religion in the Modern World

Activities:

The overall question is about how much use religion is in the modern world. You must complete at least one activity from the FOR list and one from the AGAINST list. You can choose your third option from either list.

AGAINST

  1. Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris – Find out who these people are, what they think about religion and why they think it. You can create a little biography sheet for all three, or a more detailed sheet on just one of them. This could also take the form of a documentary about them.
  2. Out of Date – Many people think that religions are out of date. That the rules of religions don’t matter in the modern world anymore. Make a list of religious rules that you think don’t matter anymore. For each one, say why you think they don’t matter. This could be done as a poster, videoed documentary or in any other way you like.
  3. Religion and Science – do we need religion to answer question about where the world came from anymore? Compare religions creations stories (Christian or otherwise) to the Scientific account of the Big Bang. Explain the evidence that supports the Big Bang and why we might not need religious stories anymore. This could be a poster or a documentary.
  4. Religious Morality – Many world religions have some quite definite rules about behaviour, such as no drinking (in Islam and Buddhism), no sex before marriage (most world religions), No working on the Sabbath day (Christianity, Islam and Judaism). Using one or more examples, explain why religion might be seen to hold us back in the modern world.
  5. Miracles – It’s all bunk! – discuss the lack of evidence surrounding a modern claim to a miracle and explain how this miracle might actually have come about.
  6. Bad Design; Bad Designer – the world is full of suffering. People are starving; volcanoes erupt and bury whole villages. If God is so great why did he make a world where bad things happen to good people? Investigate a disaster in the world and present what suffering was caused, this could be a documentary or a newspaper article (etc.). Explain why this might show that God doesn’t exist.

FOR

  1. The Iceberg of Faith – Explain why many religious people describe faith as an iceberg. Make a poster that shows this iceberg and explain what it means.
  2. Christian Aid – Investigate the work of Christian Aid, or another religious charity. Find out what they do and how it helps. Create a leaflet, poster or documentary that explains how this religious work is doing good in the world.
  3. Beatification – In the Roman Catholic Church a great person can be made a saint after they die. This is mark of recognition for the work they have done and highlights them as a role model for others. Who would you make a saint (they don’t have to be dead!) and why? Create a report telling us who you think has set a good example and why we should follow them.
  4. What Would Jesus Do? – This doesn’t have to be about Christianity, but is there anything we can learn from the lives of religious leaders? Pick a religious leader and write a short biography of their life. Describe how what they did made the world a better place and how they were influenced by their religious beliefs. People like Martin Luther King Jr, Oscar Romero, Mohandas Gandhi and so on might be interesting.
  5. Miracles – Changing lives – describe how a modern day miracles has changed someone’s life. Regardless of whether it was supernatural or not, how do healings at Lourdes (etc.) make people’s lives better? Try to discuss an actual case; you could mock up an interview or documentary about this.
  6. The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways – how do religious people respond to all the suffering in the world? How do you keep your faith in a world where bad things happen to good people? Find one religious response to the problem of suffering and create a poster or leaflet about it.

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