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VCE Religion & Society Units 1 & 2: Area of Study 2

Year 11 research guide

Religion Through the Ages

In this area of study students investigate how society and religion influence each other, and the roles of religion in society. They consider the factors that influence these roles and the effect that developments in society might have on religion.

Spirituality and religion have been an integral part of the development of human societies as cultural knowledge and understanding is passed from generation to generation through a process of socialisation. As people spread across the globe they encountered and exchanged religious and cultural ideas. Over time, religious traditions have encountered challenging philosophical and spiritual movements, political regimes, legal structures, scientific ideas, colonisation, national myths, globalisation, secularisation, technological developments and historical events. These encounters have led to religious traditions taking various roles to initiate, endorse, modify or resist the spread of ideas and movements in society. At times in history some religious traditions have lost the authority and power to explain crises for their society and have been abandoned; other religious traditions have adapted and been resilient or were re-established in a different form. Some religious traditions have been able to adopt and adapt beliefs, ideas and practices from other religious traditions while retaining their distinctiveness.

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. (2016). Victorian Certificate of Education Religion and Society Study Design (2017-2020, p. 20). Melbourne: Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

Outcome 2

On completion of this unit the student should be able to discuss the changing roles and influence of religion in society.
To achieve this outcome the student will draw on key knowledge and key skills outlined in Area of Study 2.

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. (2016). Victorian Certificate of Education Religion and Society Study Design (2017-2020, p. 20). Melbourne: Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

Key Knowledge

how spiritual and religious ideas in Prehistory and religion have played a major role in some key events in history
how developments in technology, philosophy and science from both within and outside religious traditions
have affected the roles of religion in society
other ideas and movements that have influenced and are influencing the roles of religion in society
the reasons, when considering prehistoric and ancient religious traditions, why ideas or the religious tradition
in its entirety ceased to exist
the reasons why some ideas from one religious tradition become part of other religious traditions.

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. (2016). Victorian Certificate of Education Religion and Society Study Design (2017-2020, p. 20). Melbourne: Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.

Key Skills

analyse the roles that religion plays in society
explain, when considering prehistoric and ancient religious traditions, the reasons why ideas or the religious
tradition in its entirety ceased to exist
explain why some ideas from one religious tradition become part of other religious traditions
interpret, synthesise and apply primary and secondary source material.

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. (2016). Victorian Certificate of Education Religion and Society Study Design (2017-2020, p. 20). Melbourne: Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority.