OCR support material – Judeo-Christian influences

RELIGIOUS STUDIES H172: PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION G571

Suggested teaching time6 hoursTopicJudeo-Christian influence on the philosophy of religion
Topic outlineSuggested teaching and homework activitiesSuggested resourcesPoints to note
The concept of God as Creator:

The way the Bible presents God as involved with his creation

  • Introduce topic and give students, in pairs, copies of Genesis chapter 1 and 2. What similarities or differences are there in the account? Give guidance on writing up findings in a table.
  • Explain briefly the idea of source criticism and the context in which each story was believed to be written. Revisit table and suggest reasons for differences.
Imagery of God as craftsman

Creatio ex nihilo

  • Students to work on structured piece of writing exploring concept of God as creator using notes from previous lesson and other resources. Key areas include how is God presented in each story? Is the creation ex-nihilo?
  • Foundations for Study of                    Religion (Ahluwalia)
The concepts of omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence

Compare this view with Aristotle’s Prime Mover

  • Present students with a list of the traditional attributes of God. Match these words to a set of jumbled definitions.
  • Discuss which of the attributes would also be an attribute of Aristotle’s Prime Mover. What is the difference between the Jewish and Greek ideas of God?
  • Chapters 2 & 3 of The Thinker’s Guide to God.’ (Vardy & Arliss)
Religious Studies H172: Philosophy of Religion G571
Suggested teaching time6 hoursTopicJudeo-Christian influence on the philosophy of religion
Topic outlineSuggested teaching and homework activitiesSuggested resourcesPoints to note
Discuss, whether, if God created the universe, God is therefore responsible for everything that happens in it
  • Class debate: “If God creates everything, He is responsible for everything” Key issues may include the problem of evil, free will, evolution, etc.
  • Students to write a couple of paragraphs summarising the discussion.
The goodness of God
  • Stimulus: Give students a series of sentences describing things as good, eg A good night out, a good dog, a good table, a good person, etc. What does the word good mean in each context? What does it mean to say that God is Good?
  • Issue different passages from the Bible to each group. Groups to report back to class on what happens and how it shows God to be Good.
  • A modern translation of the Bible
  • A wide selection of passages to show the different aspects of God’s goodness is essential. Passages may include the Ten Commandments, the answering of Hannah’s prayer, a prophecy of judgement from the OT.
Consider whether, in a biblical context, God commands things because they are good, or whether things are good because God commands them
  • Stimulus: present students with some strange OT commands. Briefly explain the difficulty of linking God and morality. What are the consequences for each of the options? Students to write up discussion.
  • Ethical Studies (Bowie)
  • Ethics (Simon Blackburn) has a spoof Internet letter entitled “Dear Dr Laura” which parodies some unusual OT commands                    by applying them to modern situations.

 

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