Learning about other religions

Religious Education

As a Catholic school, St. Aloysius College's Religious Education (RE) program focuses on and cultivates the teachings of the Catholic Church. The RE curriculum develops knowledge and understanding of the key practices and beliefs of Christian communities, both past and present; reasoning and responding to what it means to be a follower of Christ; as well as personal and communal engagement, where the sacred is encountered in the ordinary, reflecting on the full flourishing of the human person. However, within this, the RE curriculum is full of religious dialogue and links to world religions. It encompasses teachings about the many aspects of other religions, faiths, and traditions, where students study the similarities and differences between Catholicism and other major and minor religions of the world, as well as Indigenous cultures and ancient civilisations.

Within the Year 7 curriculum, these themes are explored during the topic of ‘Prayer,’ one of the most ancient expressions of religion. Here, students learn about the various forms of prayer across the major religions of the world while also discovering past and present methods, rituals, customs, styles, and traditions of prayer within many faiths, such as meditation, song, and dance. Year 7 students study Lent and Easter, exploring how other cultures around the world celebrate Easter and how other religions have ceremonies that celebrate their faith. Currently, Year 7 students are looking at our Jewish heritage by following key religious Jewish patriarchal figures such as Noah, Abraham, Joseph, and King David.

As part of the Year 8 RE curriculum, students have also discovered links between the Christian faith and Judaism, examining the Jewish history of Jesus. They are currently studying St Paul, a key frontrunner of Christianity but formerly a proud Jewish leader. Students have explored the ancient Roman empires and the historical impact of both Rome and Turkey, and how various traditions and customs of the times have influenced Catholicism and Christianity in general.

The eight aspects of religion are studied in Year 9, and students explore the six world religions of Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Christianity. They compare and contrast the different religions based on the core aspects. Students have also explored modern-day prophets, looking at people around the world from different religious cultures making powerful positive impacts. Some students looked at Indigenous people who were soldiers in the war as part of their modern-day prophets unit.

In Year 10, students have explored the two creation stories and, through this, they have also explored other world religious creation stories. As a literature-based subject, students engage with religious texts and their interpretation within society, and how they have formed traditions and religious teachings. These may include unpacking the writings of the Bible as well as ancient poetry and even tribal/ethnic stories.

Year 11 Religion in Society explores different religions and their interactions and impacts on society. Students have just completed an outcome that looks at two issues: capital punishment and euthanasia. Students choose one of these two issues and compare and contrast two religious perspectives, exploring how philosophical ideas and religion have influenced each other’s understanding of ethics.

The Year 12 RE curriculum incorporates the topics of art, music, and film, and how they are used to express and explore faith. Within these topics, there is a key focus on Catholicism; however, students also reference major religions of the world within these creative, communal, and personal forms of faith formation.

Studying religion at St. Aloysius College is about creating inclusive environments that share the teachings of Jesus Christ and our Catholic faith, linked with the knowledge and understanding of our multi-faith society.

Michael Chesser
Director, Catholic Mission & Mercy Ethos