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Flashcards in Religious Dialogues Deck (63)
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1
Q

What are some parts of society based in Christianity?

A

School terms are based around Christian festivals such as Christmas and Easter
The Christian calendar influences other British traditions e.g. Valentine’s Day and Shrove Tuesday
The week has seven days, possibly reflecting the biblical creation story
Until recently shops could not open on Sundays
Popular names such as Daniel and Sarah come from the Bible

2
Q

What are the percentages of different religions in the UK from the 2011 Census?

A
Christianity - 59.4%
No religion - 24.7%
Not stated - 7.2%
Islam - 5%
Hinduism - 1.5%
3
Q

What does Census data say about trends in Christianity’s popularity?

A

The number of Christians had fallen 12% since 2001
The number of people with no religion had risen 10%
The number of Muslims had risen 10%

4
Q

What does establishment mean?

A

The Church has strong links with the State; for example, the Monarch is both Head of State and Supreme Governor of the Church of England

5
Q

What does the Monarch do as Supreme Governor of the Church of England?

A

Crowned by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primate of the CofE
Vows at coronation to maintain the Church
Approves the appointment of senior clerics, who take an oath of loyalty to the Monarch
Opens sessions of the General Synod and gives Royal Assent to Measures

6
Q

What is the history of the Church in Wales?

A

When Wales was absorbed into the UK the Anglican Church in Wales was part of the CofE
During the nineteenth century, Welsh Anglicans and other Protestants felt the CofE was marginalising the Church in Wales, so it was disestablished in 1920

7
Q

What is the history of the Church in Scotland?

A

The Church in Scotland is the national established Church in Scotland. It is Presbyterian not Anglican. The Anglican Church, the Scottish Episcopal Church, never had any connection with the CofE.

8
Q

What is the history of the Church in Northern Ireland?

A

The Church of Ireland was the established church, but in 1870 the UK Parliament disestablished the Church of Ireland and separated it from the CofE. It is Protestant.

9
Q

What are the roles of religion in public life?

A

Bishops in the House of Lords
Christian services to mark key events
Public holidays based on Christian celebrations
Church schools

10
Q

What are Lords Spiritual?

A

26 Lords in the House of Lords who are senior bishops of the Church of England

11
Q

What are some Christian services to mark key events?

A

Baptism - celebrates a birth and welcomes them to the Church
Marriage - marks the coming together of two people to start a family
Funerals - dead people are remembered and loved ones can say goodbye
National Service of Remembrance - held in November in London to remember service personnel in Wars. Includes Christian prayers and hymns

12
Q

What are public holidays based on Christian celebrations?

A

Half of the eight public holidays in England and Wales mark Christian occasions:
Good Friday - the death of Jesus
Easter Monday - celebrates belief of the resurrection of Jesus
Christmas Day - the birth of Jesus
Boxing Day

13
Q

What are faith schools?

A

Schools with income coming from public funds but with a religious character, meaning they have formal links with a faith organisation. They may appoint a large proportion of school governors, who may appoint teachers and leaders who share their faith. About one third of state schools in England and Wales are faith schools; 98% of them have a Christian character.

14
Q

How are schools meant to deal with religion?

A

All pupils must be taught religious education. RE should reflect thar English traditions are mostly Christian. All schools should provide a daily act of worship - more than half of acts of worships should be Christian.

15
Q

What are arguments for and against faith schools?

A

For:
Religious groups contribute 10% of the costs of some faith schools
Parents should be able to choose schools for their children that share their values
Against:
Churches should completely fund schools if they want to influence them
Schools should not be able to choose governors or pupils based on religion
Faith schools often select the wealthiest pupils so do not represent their communities

16
Q

What is secularisation?

A

The idea that religious beliefs, practices, and organisations are becoming less important in society

17
Q

How did Max Weber describe secularisation?

A

The disenchantment of the world

18
Q

What is the evidence for secularisation?

A

Religious teachings and organisations are no longer respected
People can rely on material comforts for happiness so have less need for supernatural ideas
Religion has become a private matter with less public influence
People are increasingly less committed to religious values and practices like prayer and worship
Religion has become a ‘leisure pursuit’ rather than a deep commitment

19
Q

What do the sociologists Bryan Wilson and Steve Bruce say are the causes of secularisation?

A

Rationalisation: People use science to explain the universe and reject religion, which cannot be proved
Differentiation: The Church used to control or influence large parts of people’s life (e.g. education, hospitals and government) which are now run by non-religious organisations
Decline of community: The rise of the internet has made the world seem bigger; people no longer live in small communities, which used to be held together by the Church

20
Q

What is other, more empirical evidence of secularisation?

A

Fewer people attend church services
Fewer people are willing to work in the Church
Many churches are being closed or sold off
Fewer people are getting married
Fewer people are getting baptised or confirmed
Most people do not go to church at Easter and Christmas

21
Q

What is evidence against secularisation?

A

Most people still hold religious beliefs
Religion is very important in the lives of many social groups, especially minority groups e.g. Muslims
Some new religious movements and eastern religions have considerable popularity
Religion is still very strong in other parts of the world e.g. Latin America and the Middle East
Religion is still important in some modern countries e.g. the USA

22
Q

What is humanism?

A

A way of seeing and reacting to the world using science, logic and reason, and rejecting religious beliefs and ideas

23
Q

What are the three central principles humanists share?

A

A scientific view of the universe that rejects supernatural beliefs
A concern for the welfare of other human beings and animals based on reason
The need for each person to create meaning in their own life without a belief in life after death

24
Q

What does the National Secular Society say about faith schools and the teaching of education?

A

They say that non-religious and humanist world views should be taught alongside religions and that no religion or world view should have greater importance than any other.

25
Q

What are some clashes between secular and Christian views on marriage?

A

Civil marriage is a legal ceremony, which goes against Christian views that marriage is a spiritual bond that must take place in a church
Same-sex marriage is legal in most of the UK, which is against Christian teaching. The Catholic Church does not recognise them
Divorce is legal, which is not recognised by the Catholic Church

26
Q

What are the requirements for annulment in the Catholic Church?

A

One of these conditions must be met:
Marriage was not conducted by a Catholic priest
There was an ‘impediment’, meaning the couple should not have been allowed to marry e.g. underage
There was a ‘defect’ in the couple’s consent to marry e.g. being drunk

27
Q

What is a potential conflict between secular and Christian views on the role of women in church?

A

The Equality Act of 2010 requires equal treatment of men and women in access to employment, but ministers of religion are exempt. The CofE now allows women to be ordained as priests and bishops, but the Catholic Church is against this. People may say this is unfair to women.

28
Q

What does the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 say about religious organisations?

A

No religious organisation can be made to allow same-sex marriages to happen on their premises and no religious organisation or representative can be made to conduct religious ceremonies for same-sex couples.

29
Q

What is euthanasia?

A

The deliberate act of ending someone’s life to relieve them of suffering

30
Q

What is the difference between voluntary and involuntary euthanasia?

A

Voluntary euthanasia - a person requests that their life be ended
Involuntary euthanasia - a person is unable to request that their life be ended (e.g. because they are in a coma) so a doctor or relative makes the decision

31
Q

What is the difference between passive and active euthanasia?

A

Passive euthanasia - withholding treatment that, if administered, would keep the person alive
Active euthanasia - deliberately ending a person’s life e.g. with lethal drugs

32
Q

What are Christian teachings about euthanasia?

A

Life is precious and sacred (sanctity of life) and always preferable to death
Euthanasia is deliberate killing (murder), which is forbidden by the Ten Commandments
Christians have a duty to care for those who are suffering
Humans do not have the right to end a God-given life

33
Q

What are non-Christian arguments against euthanasia?

A

A doctor’s duty is to preserve life, not end it
Medical advances mean that pain control is very effective and cures for illnesses are more likely
Some patients, especially elderly ones, may agree to euthanasia against their will so as not to be a burden on relatives

34
Q

What do Quakers believe about euthanasia and the right to die?

A

They are not united: some believe people who are suffering should be allowed to die, while others believe people should care for one another and support each other’s pain so euthanasia is not needed. Some work in hospices.
In the past when other denominations would not bury suicide victims in hold ground, the Quakers did. They believe love and support should be made available to people who feel suicide is their only option - some are Samaritans.

35
Q

When does Christianity teach life begins?

A

At conception

36
Q

Why do some people say fertilisation is not a good point to mark the beginning of life?

A

About 70% of fertilised eggs do not become implanted in a woman’s womb and a large proportion of those that do are lost in miscarriages (possibly around 25%)

37
Q

What is abortion?

A

The deliberate termination or ending of a pregnancy through a medical process, usually before the 24th week of pregnancy (point of viability)

38
Q

What is the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion?

A

Abortion is never acceptable as the foetus is a human being from the moment of conception and all human life is sacred. The one exception is if it is to save the mother’s life, as the intention is to care for the woman’s life and help, and the end of the pregnancy is an unfortunate side effect.

39
Q

What is the CofE’s teaching on abortion?

A

They are generally opposed to abortion, although in certain situations some believe it can be justified. These include if the pregnancy will lead to the mother’s death or if the foetus is so badly disabled it would only live for a short period of time. Compassion should be used and the Church recognises that different people will come to different conclusions. Alternatives such as adoption should be available and parents should be supported.

40
Q

What is artificial insemination and what are the CofE’s and Catholic Church’s views on it?

A

Collecting a man’s sperm and inserting it directly into a woman’s uterus through non-sexual means. The CofE says it is acceptable if conception cannot occur in a sexual relationship. The Catholic Church says it is unacceptable as conception should only happen through sexual union.

41
Q

What is in vitro fertilisation and what are the CofE’s and Catholic Church’s views on it?

A

Bringing sperm and egg together outside a woman’s body in laboratory conditions. Several eggs are fertilised and two are usually inserted into the uterus, with the rest frozen in case the first attempt fails, very rarely donated to other couples, used for research, or destroyed. The Catholic Church opposes it as conception does not take place through an act of love and spare embryos are sacred human lives. The CofE accepts it but understands why some Anglicans may be opposed to it. They accept the use of embryos for research up to 14 days after fertilisation, when they say it becomes a human being, which is also the limit of legality.

42
Q

What is exclusivism?

A

The view that only one religion is true and the others are therefore false

43
Q

What do Christian exclusivists believe?

A

Salvation is only possible through faith in Christ; those who follow other religions, reject Christian denominations, or even those of other denominations, are destined for hell or, at best, not heaven

44
Q

What is the difference between inter- and intra- faith exclusivism?

A

Inter-faith: people of other religions cannot achieve salvation
Inter-faith: people of the same religion, but different denominations, cannot achieve salvation

45
Q

What are some issues with exclusivism?

A

God is omnibenevolent so surely He would not give salvation to only Christians, or only a subset of them
People who lived before Jesus could not have been saved (although some Old Testament passages suggest they were)
God is good and fair - surely He would not condemn people who haven’t heard of Jesus
In the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats Jesus says the righteous will go into eternal life without mentioning faith or belief

46
Q

What is Christian inclusivism?

A

The view that although Christianity is the only true religion, non-Christians can go to Heaven without faith in Jesus or being a member of the Church

47
Q

What is the ‘anonymous Christian’?

A

An idea developed by the Catholic Karl Rahner. He said that individuals do not have to be conscious of God’s grace for it to affect them. Anonymous Christians have been given this grace without knowledge of it. They act ethically, like a Christian without being a Christian. They can therefore achieve salvation. This only applies to people unaware of Christianity.

48
Q

What is pluralism?

A

The idea that God reveals Himself through all the world’s religious traditions and that the Christian faith is just one of the many valid responses to God. Pluralists reject that God revealed Himself only through Jesus and that salvation can only be obtained through him. Pluralism is commonly associated with the English theologian John Hick.

49
Q

What does John Hick say about pluralism?

A

Major faiths cannot prove they are the one and only true religion and individuals of all faiths have experiences they say are from God. All religions have truth and deserve the same respect; differences arise from different cultures but are all the same God. It is unfair that someone born in a non-Christian culture is excluded from salvation.

50
Q

What do critics of John Hick say?

A

He ignores genuine differences between religions. There are direct contradictions, so they cannot be different versions of the same truth.

51
Q

What is ecumenicalism?

A

The attempt to bring about unity of the Christian Churches. Different denominations cooperating in worship and working together to serve humanity.

52
Q

What are the aims of the World Council of Churches?

A

Setting up a community of different Churches through dialogue and increased understanding
Working together for peace by helping those in need
Training people to continue intra-faith communication

53
Q

What are some criticisms of ecumenicalism?

A

Exclusivists find it hard to accept other denominations on equal terms
Some Churches are happy to remain distinct
Some Churches are concerned that ecumenicalism will make them less distinct

54
Q

What is inter-faith dialogue and what are its aims?

A

An attempt to understand differences between religions and respect them, while remaining true to your own faith. Aims include: forming friendships and social ties, providing opportunities to learn, promoting local multi-faith events, and engaging in practical projects.

55
Q

What are the aims of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue?

A

Promoting mutual understanding, respect and collaboration between Catholics and followers of other religions
Encouraging the study of religions
Promoting the formation of persons dedicated to dialogue

56
Q

What are the British Council of Churches’ principles of inter faith dialogue?

A

Dialogue begins when people meet each other
Dialogue depends on mutual understanding and trust
Dialogue makes it possible to share in service to the community
Dialogue makes becomes the medium of authentic witness (telling others about Christianity)

57
Q

What is proselytisation?

A

Telling others about their Christianity in an attempt to convert them

58
Q

What do atheists believe?

A

There is no God. As those who believe in God cannot prove His existence, He must not be real

59
Q

What do agnostics believe?

A

It is impossible to know if God exists. Believers cannot prove His existence, but atheists cannot prove He does not exist.

60
Q

What do secularists believe?

A

Everyone has the right to freedom of belied, but these are private and should not affect others who do not want to be affected by them. Religious beliefs and practices should not have special status nor receive special treatment by the State.

61
Q

What values do Christians share with non-religious people?

A

Compassion
Support for those in need
The promotion of peace over war
The protection of the environment

62
Q

What are potential areas of difference between Christians and non-religious peopl?

A
The impermanence of marriage
Sex before marriage
Parenting outside marriage
Single parenthood
Same-sex partnerships 
Materialism
63
Q

In what areas do religious values or institutions have special privileges?

A

Establishment (the CofE)
Education (faith schools)
Religious exemptions (employment law allows religious organisations to discriminate against people who want to work for them but do not share faith)
Blasphemy (laws still exist in other countries)