Buddhism, Critical Concepts in Religious Studies, Volume 4

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Students are required to study those aspects of the religious beliefs, teachings, values and practices of Judaism specified below and the different ways in which these are expressed in the lives of individuals, communities and societies. Historical and social factors that have influenced developments in Jewish thinking about these issues including: the changing roles of men and women in society outside of religion; different understandings of the Torah and Halakah; the rights given to women by secular governments.

The challenge of secularisation including: the replacement of religion as the source of truth and moral values; relegation of religion to the personal sphere; the rise of militant atheism: the view that religion is irrational and a threat to social stability. How migration has created multicultural societies which include Judaism, with particular reference to the development of Judaism in Britain; diversity within the Jewish community in Britain; freedom of religion as a human right in European law and religious pluralism as a feature of modern secular states.

The influence of this context on Jewish thought. There are two areas for study, firstly the dialogue between Judaism and philosophy: how developments in belief have, over time, influenced and been influenced by philosophical studies of religion, secondly the dialogue between Judaism and ethics: how developments in belief have influenced and been influenced by ethical studies. The impact of other ethical perspectives and ethical studies on Jewish views about these issues, both past and present.

This may include challenges to and support for Jewish views; compatibility of Jewish views with those of other ethical perspectives; the relative strengths and weaknesses of Jewish perspectives and the other ethical perspectives studied on these issues; the implications of criticisms of Jewish ethical teaching for the religion as a whole and its sources of authority. AQA is not responsible for the content of external sites. This website uses cookies to improve your experience.

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Please either accept the cookies, or find out how to remove them Accept Accept cookies. More information Accept. Results insights Subjects Qualifications Professional development Exams administration. They should develop a knowledge and critical understanding of: the specified material how the texts specified for study are interpreted and applied the influence of beliefs and teachings on individuals, communities and societies the causes, meanings and significance of similarities and differences in religious thought belief and practice within Buddhism. Questions may be set that span more than one topic.

Students should be able to use specialist language and terminology appropriately. Ultimate reality The key differences between the Theravada and Mahayana concepts of Buddha; the key features of the Trikaya doctrine in Mahayana Buddhism. Anicca: the meaning and importance of the concept of Anicca; the development of that idea in the Mahayana doctrine of emptiness.

Nirvana: Nirvana in this life and after death; Nirvana as indescribable and beyond understanding; attempts in scripture to describe it and their strengths and weaknesses with reference to the 80 th dilemma of the Questions of King Milinda. Self, death and afterlife The meaning and purpose of life: better rebirth and Nirvana as goals of life and their relative importance; the ideal of the arhat and bodhisattva in Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. Anatta no-self : the concept of anatta; the five aggregates and the analogy of the chariot in the Questions of King Milinda, Book II chapter 1.

BOOK SERIES

Samsara: the cycle of birth, death and rebirth; the nature of karma and its role on the wheel of becoming; the realms of becoming and their significance including literal, metaphorical and psychological interpretations; Tibetan Buddhist beliefs about the 14 th Dalai Lama as an expression of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Good conduct and key moral principles Good conduct: the importance of good moral conduct in the Buddhist way of life; the importance of intention; actions as kusala healthy or akusala unhealthy ; the extent of human free will and moral responsibility.

The nature of the five precepts and the distinctive features of the six perfections of the Mahayana Buddhism. Ahimsa: the concept of ahimsa and its application to issues concerning the embryo and the unborn child, treatment of animals and war, including the use of weapons of mass destruction; different Buddhist views.

Expressions of religious identity The Sangha: the monastic Sangha and its changing roles in Thailand; the traditional lifestyle and role of the Sangha in Thailand including its relationship with the lay community; the Sangha in the 21 st century; the main features of the Wat Phra Dhammakaya movement. Devotion and its purposes: acts of devotion in Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism; the nature and role of Buddha images and the importance of making and sharing merit; the different perspectives of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism about the significance of worship.

Meditation: the nature and purpose of meditation on the eightfold path; modern usage of Buddhist meditation as a form of therapy and how Buddhists have responded to this. Buddhism, gender and sexuality Historical and social factors that have influenced developments in Buddhist thinking about these issues with particular reference to Thailand, including: encounter with western lifestyles and values with the development of tourism after the s; the changing roles of men and women in society outside of religion; the rights given to women by secular Thai governments.

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Developments in Buddhist thought including feminist approaches: The debate leading to the revival of the Theravada order of nuns in the late s. Continuing debates about female ordination and the role of women in Theravada Buddhism with reference to the work of Dhammananda and the Sakyadhita organisation. Different Buddhist views about celibacy, marriage and homosexuality and transgender issues. Buddhism and science How and why science has influenced Buddhism and how Buddhism has responded, with particular reference to: emphasis on evidence and reason in science; specific scientific discoveries; science as a stimulus to Buddhist ethical thinking.

Developments in Buddhist thought: How scientific explanation has challenged belief in karma and in miracles and Buddhist responses to that challenge. Different Buddhist responses to ethical issues raised by science: genetic engineering.

Buddhism and the challenge of secularisation This topic may be studied with exclusive reference to the British context. Buddhism, migration and religious pluralism How migration has created multicultural societies which include Buddhism, with particular reference to the development of Buddhism in Britain; diversity within the Buddhist community in Britain; freedom of religion as a human right in European law and religious pluralism as a feature of modern secular states.

Developments in Buddhist thought: How far Buddhism should be seen as a collection of different traditions with little in common, with reference to two contrasting forms of Buddhism. Edict 12 of Ashoka on attitudes to other faiths; Buddhist attitudes to religious pluralism with reference both to diversity within Buddhism and diversity between religions, including the views of Nichiren Buddhism.

Buddhist responses to issues of freedom of religious expression in society. Section B: Dialogues This section of the specification is focused on the connections between various elements of the course and requires students to develop breadth and depth in their understanding of the connections between the knowledge, understanding and skills set out in the specification. The dialogue between Buddhism and philosophy Beliefs and teachings about: ultimate reality self, death and afterlife sources of wisdom and authority religious experience the relationship between scientific and religious discourses the truth claims of other religions miracles.

How meaningful the statements of faith are, and for whom. How coherent the beliefs are, and how consistent with other beliefs within the belief system. Two unstructured questions will be set. Students must answer one. The dialogue between Buddhism and ethics Buddhist responses to the following approaches to moral decision-making in the light of key Buddhist moral principles: deontological, with reference to Kant teleological and consequential, with reference to Bentham character based, with reference to virtue ethics.

How far Buddhist ethics can be considered to be deontological, teleological, consequential, or character based.

Buddhist responses to: the issues of human life and death and issues of animal life and death prescribed for study; theft and lying; marriage; homosexuality and transgender issues; genetic engineering. Buddhist responses to issues surrounding wealth, tolerance and freedom of religious expression. Buddhist understandings of free will and moral responsibility, and the value of conscience in Buddhist moral decision-making.


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They should develop a knowledge and critical understanding of: the specified material how the texts specified for study are interpreted and applied the influence of beliefs and teachings on individuals, communities and societies the causes, meanings and significance of similarities and differences in religious thought belief and practice within Christianity approaches to the study of religion and belief.

Section A: Christianity Sources of wisdom and authority The Bible: different Christian beliefs about the nature and authority of the Bible and their impact on its use as a source of beliefs and teachings, including the Bible as inspired by God but written by humans beings. The Church: the different perspectives of the Protestant and Catholic traditions on the relative authority of the Bible and the Church. God Christian Monotheism: one God, omnipotent creator and controller of all things; transcendent and unknowable; the doctrine of the Trinity and its importance; the meaning and significance of the belief that Jesus is the son of God; the significance of John ; 1 Corinthians God as Personal, God as Father and God as Love: the challenge of understanding anthropomorphic and gender specific language about God: God as Father and King, including Christian feminist perspectives.

The concept of God in process theology: God as neither omnipotent nor creator. Resurrection: the concept of soul; resurrection of the flesh as expressed in the writings of Augustine; spiritual resurrection; the significance of 1 Corinthians and Different interpretations of judgement, heaven, hell and purgatory as physical, spiritual or psychological realities; objective immortality in process thought.

Good conduct and key moral principles Good conduct: the importance of good moral conduct in the Christian way of life, including reference to teaching about justification by works, justification by faith and predestination. Sanctity of life: the concept of sanctity of life; different views about its application to issues concerning the embryo and the unborn child; the just war theory and its application to the use of weapons of mass destruction. Dominion and stewardship: the belief that Christians have dominion over animals; beliefs about the role of Christians as stewards of animals and the natural environment and how changing understandings of the effects of human activities on the environment have affected that role.

Expressions of religious identity Baptism: the significance of infant baptism in Christianity with particular reference to the Catholic and Baptist traditions; arguments in favour of and against infant baptism.

Christianity, gender and sexuality Historical and social factors that have influenced developments in Christian thinking about these issues including: the development of Biblical criticism, especially in the 19th century, and the resulting freedom to challenge traditional readings of passages such as 1 Tim ; the changing roles of men and women in society outside of religion; the rights given to women by secular governments.

Developments in Christian thought, including feminist approaches: Debates about female ordination in the Church of England up to and after , the continuing debate today. Different Christian views about celibacy, marriage, homosexuality and transgender issues. Christianity and science How and why science has influenced Christianity and how Christianity has responded, with particular reference to: emphasis on evidence and reason in science; specific scientific discoveries; science as a stimulus to Christian ethical thinking.

The belief that science is compatible with Christianity with reference to the views John Polkinghorne. Different Christian responses to issues raised by science: genetic engineering. Christianity and the challenge of secularisation This topic may be studied with exclusive reference to the British context.

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Developments in Christian thought: Responses to materialistic secular values: the value of wealth and possessions. Emergence of new forms of expression, such as Fresh Expressions and the House Church movement. Emphasis on the social relevance of Christianity including liberationist approaches as supporting the poor and defending the oppressed. Christianity, migration and religious pluralism How migration has created multicultural societies which include Christianity, with particular reference to the diversity of faiths in Britain today; freedom of religion as a human right in European law and religious pluralism as a feature of modern secular states.

Pluralism with reference to John Hick; its implications for interfaith and interdenominational relations. Christian responses to issues of freedom of religious expression in society.

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The dialogue between Christianity and philosophy Beliefs and teachings about: God self, death and the afterlife sources of wisdom and authority religious experience the relationship between scientific and religious discourses the truth claims of other religions miracles. How coherent the beliefs are, and how consistent they are with other beliefs in the belief system.

The dialogue between Christianity and ethics Christian responses to the following approaches to moral decision-making in the light of key Christian moral principles: deontological, with reference to Kant. How far Christian ethics can be considered to be deontological, teleological, consequential, or character based. Christian responses to: the issues of human life and death and issues of animal life and death prescribed for study; theft and lying; marriage; homosexuality and transgender issues; genetic engineering.

Christian responses to issues surrounding wealth, tolerance and freedom of religious expression. Christian understandings of free will and moral responsibility, and the value of conscience in Christian moral decision-making. They should develop a knowledge and critical understanding of: the specified material how the texts specified for study are interpreted and applied the influence of beliefs and teachings on individuals, communities and societies the causes, meanings and significance of similarities and differences in religious thought belief and practice within Hinduism approaches to the study of religion and belief.

Section A: Hinduism Sources of wisdom and authority The Vedas: concept of shruti that which is heard ; the nature and authority of the Vedas, their use in worship and their importance; the distinctive nature of the Upanishads and their importance for Hindu thought; the significance of the teaching in the Purusha Sukta of the Rig Veda about the origin of the caste system.

The smrti texts: the status of the smrti remembered texts; the importance of the following: the Ramayana; the Bhagavad Gita and the Manusmrti. Gurus: the role and authority of gurus in the modern world with reference to Swami Sivananda. Ultimate reality Differing ideas about God and gods in the Rig Veda, and their importance for Hinduism today. The Trimurti: the nature and roles of the three elements of the Trimurti and their relationship with Brahman; the concept of avatar with particular reference to Krishna and Rama; the importance of the Trimurti and avatars in Hinduism.

Nirguna and Saguna Brahman: Nirguna Brahman as nothingness, without qualities, beyond description and understanding; Saguna Brahman with qualities and as a personal God; the importance of both concepts for Hindus, Kena Upanishad —8. Self, death and afterlife The meaning and purpose of life: the four aims of life; and their relative importance; different understandings of the nature of moksha. Atman: the concept of atman and its relationship with the body and with Brahman, with reference to the views of Advaita Vedanta non-dualism and Samkhya dualism the parable of the chariot: Katha Upanishad 3.

Samsara: the concept of samsara; beliefs about reincarnation and the causes of reincarnation with reference to the different types of karma; the realms of reincarnation and the interconnectedness of all life. Good conduct and key moral principles Good conduct: the importance of good moral conduct in Hinduism with reference to karma and karma yoga selfless effort. Dharma: the concepts of Sanatana dharma universal dharma , Varnashrama dharma dharma for class and stage of life and the relationship between them; the importance of each for the Hindu way of life.

Expressions of religious identity Yoga: the different paths of Yoga, their suitability for different types of character and the links between them. Bhakti Yoga: the nature and importance of bhatki yoga; darshan at shrines, temples and on pilgrimage with particular reference to the Ganges; the key aspects of puja. The changing role of ashrams: ashrams spiritual retreat centres in Hinduism; their role prior to the 20th century and the variety of types of ashram today, with particular reference to the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram in Kerala, and Skanda Vale Ashram UK.

Siddhartha's Ascetic Life (AQA GCSE Religious Studies - Buddhist Beliefs) REVISION

Hinduism, gender and sexuality Historical and social factors that have influenced developments in Hindu thinking about these issues with particular reference to India, including: encounter with western values and lifestyles as part of the British Empire; the changing roles of men and women in society outside of religion, the rights given to women by secular governments.