RE ATAR Unit 1: the key features of one religious belief or teaching

Religious belief and practice: the key features of one religious belief or teaching

Within each religion, as well as across religions, there is complexity and diversity. In general terms, a religion is a system of beliefs and practices that guides how people live. Each religion offers particular insights and understandings about life. These find expression in a variety of religious beliefs, teachings and practices. Followers of each religion also come together to express aspects of their religion through worship, celebrations, rituals, and by observing special events and seasons.

Identify concepts relevant for understanding beliefs

prejudice [ prej-uh-dis ] (noun) an opinion or insufficient information that is not based on fact or actual experience.

secular [ sek-yuh-ler ] (adjective) denoting attitudes, activities, or other things that have no religious or spiritual basis.

religious freedom [ ri-lij-uh s free-duh m ] (noun) the right to practice any religion you choose, or to live without any religion at all

tolerance [ tol-er-uh-ns ] (noun) a fair, open, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one's own


Summary of Religions and Beliefs

Agnosticism is the view that the truth of metaphysical claims regarding, in particular, the existence of a god or gods, or even ultimate reality, is unknown and may be impossible to know. One can be an agnostic as well as an atheist or religious believer.

Atheism describes a state of having no theistic beliefs; that is, no beliefs in gods or supernatural beings.

The Baha'i Faith began in Persia in 1844 with the declaration of a new religion, distinctive from the Shi'a Islam found there. Key beliefs include belief in one God; the unity of mankind; equality of opportunity for men and women; and elimination of prejudice.

A way of living based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama. The Five Precepts are the basic rules of living for lay Buddhists – refrain from harming living beings; taking what is not given; sexual misconduct; harmful speech; and drink or drugs which cloud the mind.

Based on the teaching of Jesus Christ. Christian groups differ in their interpretation of his teaching, life, death and resurrection, but these matters are at the heart of the way of life of all of them. What Christians believe...

Humanism is the belief that we can live good lives without religious or superstitious beliefs. Humanists make sense of the world using reason, experience and shared human values and aim to make the best of the life we have by creating meaning and purpose for ourselves. Humanists work with others for the common good. [symbol © British Humanist Association].

An ancient tradition of related beliefs and practices that developed in the Indian subcontinent. Core ideals and values shared by most Hindus would include respect for elders; reverence for teachers; regard for guests and tolerance of all races and religions. What Hindus believe...

Revealed in its final form by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The essentials of Muslim practice are summarised in the five pillars of Islam – declaration of faith; ritual prayer; welfare; a month of fasting during Ramadan; and pilgrimage. What Muslims believe...

An ancient philosophy and ethical teaching that originated in India. The main principle is ahimsa – the avoidance, where possible, of physical or mental harm to any living being. Jainism is a religion without a belief in a creator god.

Based around the Jewish people's covenant relationship with God. Jews believe they are challenged and blessed by God. Love of one's neighbour is the great principle of social life and the founding inspiration of the Jewish community. What Jews believe...

The religion founded by Guru Nanak in India in the 15th Century CE. There is one God, people should serve by leading a life of prayer and obedience. Sikhs believe their soul then passes through various existences and will become one with God.

Zoroastrianism is a religion founded in ancient times by the prophet Zarathushtra, who taught that Ahura Mazda (Lord of Wisdom), the all powerful and perfect creator, grants humans Vohu Manah – a clear rational mind with which to dispel ignorance.


Catholic Beliefs



Before going into the details of each sacrament, it is useful to reiterate one of the most important things about the sacraments — that they’re means which God uses to show His grace and help us achieve salvation. The word sacrament means “a sign of the sacred,” which is fitting as they are all outwards signs from God to us.

Not only are they signs, they’re also celebrations of a continued journey and relationship with God, teachings to help live out His word and ceremonies to show devotion to Him.

In the Bible, Christ gives his followers clear instructions on how to administer and receive each of the sacraments. This is seen through his work with the Apostles, healing the sick, parables, giving his body and blood to nourish our souls and forgiving sinners. The Church administers these holy sacraments as instructed, in order for all to worship God and receive His salvation.

The seven sacraments are baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance, anointing of the sick, marriage and holy orders. They are divided into three categories: sacraments of initiation, sacraments of healing and sacraments of service.

The three sacraments of initiation are baptism, confirmation and Eucharist. Each is meant to strengthen your faith and forge a deeper relationship with God. Baptism frees you from original sin, confirmation strengthens your faith and Eucharist allows you to taste the body and blood of eternal life and be reminded of Christ’s love and sacrifice.



Eucharist means thanksgiving. This is when Christ’s body and blood are offered and then received by the parishioner in the form of bread and wine. Christ during the Last Supper broke bread, ate it, gave it to his disciples and told them to eat it. Now the priest, through the words of consecration, blesses and administers the Holy Communion during every mass to remind followers that they are one with Christ. Food and drink nourishes our bodies ‒- Christ’s blood and body nourishes us spiritually.

  • Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread. 1 Corinthians 10:16-17
  • While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:26-28
  • They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. Acts 2:42-46

Places of Worship