Six Areas of Enquiry

The six areas of enquiry are often used as a focus for assessing pupils’ progress and form the basis of many sections of RE:ONLINE.  They are:

A.  Beliefs, Teachings, Sources of Wisdom & Authority

i)         Interpreting teachings, sources, authorities and ways of life in order to understand religions and beliefs.

ii)        Understanding and responding critically to beliefs and attitudes.

Religious and non-religious ideas of the ultimate.

Aspects for investigation could focus on God, gods, gurus, teachers, scriptures, key texts, enlightenment, truth, prophecy, soul and life after death.

Key question for RE: how do religions and philosophies understand and develop beliefs and teachings within their traditions?

Related disciplines: metaphysics and textual analysis.

B.  Ways of Living

i)         Exploring the impact of religions and beliefs on how people live their lives.

ii)        Understanding and responding critically to beliefs and attitudes.

 

Religious and non-religious practices and ways of life.

Aspects for investigation could focus on worship, prayer, meditation, celebration and pilgrimage, as well as the religious artefacts, holy times and festivals associated with them.

Key question for RE: how do people keep in touch with their faith/philosophy?

Related discipline: phenomenology.

C.  Ways of Expressing Meaning

i)         Appreciating that individuals and cultures express their beliefs and values through many different forms.

The many different ways in which prophets, artists, poets, writers, architects, theologians, composers, performers and story-tellers have attempted to express their beliefs and values.

Aspects for investigation could focus on religious music, songs, pictures, symbols, metaphors, poetry, parables, stories, myths, jokes, sculpture, carving, dance, drama, buildings, creeds, prayers, ritual writing, rituals, calligraphy, attitudes, behaviour and lifestyles.

Key question for RE: how do people communicate their beliefs and values to others?

Related discipline: language.

D.  Questions of Identity, Diversity and Belonging

i)      Understanding how individuals develop a sense of identity and belonging through faith or belief.

ii)     Exploring the variety, difference and relationships that exist within and between religions, values and beliefs.

 

Religious and non-religious ideas about human individuality and society.

Aspects for investigation could focus on: relationships, experiences, local / national / global / virtual communities, individuality, personality, feelings, preferences, faith, causes of conflict, dialogue between faiths and philosophies.

Key question for RE: what do people say about human nature?

Related disciplines: anthropology, psychology, sociology.

E.  Questions of Meaning, Purpose and Truth

i)      Exploring some of the ultimate questions that confront humanity, and responding imaginatively to them.

 

The ups, downs and meaning(s) of life’s journey.

Aspects for investigation could focus on: religious and non-religious views about life’s wonders and sadnesses, its triumphs and tribulations, the place and role of human beings within the natural world and on the search for meaning, purpose and truth in philosophy, religion and science.

Key question for RE: how do people tackle the big questions of life?

Related discipline: ontology.

F.  Questions of Values and Commitments

i)      Understanding how moral values and a sense of obligation can come from beliefs and experience.

ii)     Evaluating their own and others’ values in order to make informed, rational and imaginative choices.

 

Moral issues in today’s world.

Aspects for investigation could focus on: religious and non-religious influences on values, commitments, laws, attitudes, behaviour, and moral guidelines, and study of the sources of moral authority which might guide decision making.

Key question for RE: what is the best possible use of life?

Related discipline: ethics.

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