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Religion and Society Unit 1


There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Course Description

Religions and ethics are defined as those forms of belief and practice through which human beings express their sense of ultimate reality. Such beliefs and practices form an important part of human experience, and this experience is both individual and collective. Religious and ethical communities are formed and traditions of belief and practice are developed. This study proposes that religions can be understood in a general way by focussing on certain key aspects.

These two units focus on the beliefs, values and ideas of religious traditions, and the important role they can play in shaping and maintaining culture. It aims to build the knowledge students have of religious beliefs about the nature of existence, the purpose of human life, and how religions and ethical frameworks can guide our principles and actions. The units provide a frame of reference for understanding the world, culture, traditions and people while students are guided in their own daily personal and communal action. 

Areas of Study

These areas of study are explored by examining two religious traditions; Asian religions, Buddhism and Hinduism and Abrahamic religions, Christianity and Islam.

The Religious World

  • Identify and utilise the eight aspects of a religion as a useful method to discuss religions.
  • Explore why these features are common to most religions.
  • Explore the origins of religion.
  • Outline the nature and purpose of religions past and present.
  • Investigate the contribution of religion to the development of human society.

Religious Traditions in Australia

  • Explore the variety of religions in the world and Australia.
  • Analyse the role of religious traditions in shaping personal and group identity.
  • Examine how religious traditions are affected and changed by individuals and groups.
  • Explore how history has shaped the religious traditions in Australia.

Religious Identity and Life Experience

  • Examine the relationship between a religion’s traditions and the life experiences of members.
  • Explore how the search for meaning is influenced by membership to a religion.
  • Analyse how members grow and continue a religious tradition.


Assessment Tasks
(school-assessed coursework)
Explain the role of religion in society. Present information on Islam including its origins, central beliefs, rituals and practices, geographical spread, sacred texts and social structure.
Explain the expression of collective identity of particular religious traditions in Australia, and the interaction of these traditions with other religious traditions and wider society. Visit a Christian place of worship and present observations of how Christians express their faith, analyse the significance of rituals and explore the impact of this experience on individuals.

Overall Final Assessment

End of Semester Examination – 1.5 hours.

Information can be obtained from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Victoria, Australia: