Lower IV’s studies in R.E.

Posted: 5th May 2022

St Oscar Romero and Abraham.

Ms Corkery, Head of Religious Studies, tells us of the researches Lower IV have been undertaking in  R.E.:

“Lower IV have been busy studying the topic of conscience and St Oscar Romero recently. They have also been designing their own El Salvadorian crosses, inspired by their own communities, background, culture, ethnicity, nationality, etc. Hijiri designed an amazing cross with explanations based upon her own Japanese cultural background. The attention to detail and effort has to be commended. Well done Hijiri”

St Oscar Romero was the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of San Salvador, El Salvador from 1977 until his assassination in 1980.  During his time as archbishop he denounced violence and spoke on behalf of the victims of the civil war raging in El Salvador at the time.  He was murdered while he was saying Mass on 24th March 1980 and canonised by Pope Francis on 14th October 2018.  St Oscar was true to his conscience.  As the CAFOD website says:  ‘Romero is, in particular, an inspirational figure to hundreds of millions of Catholics around the world. He didn’t simply talk about the need to love your neighbour, but courageously named the injustices that plagued his country. He reminded us that Christ is found in people living in poverty, and that we cannot ignore the suffering of our brothers and sisters in need.’

Mrs Corkery also reports on a study of Abraham written by Salma in Lower IV.  “Well done to Salma in Lower IV who has written a great evaluative essay for a recent timed assessment. Salma wrote this extended writing piece under timed conditions, with only three selected quotations written on a post-it note as a memory aid. Her evaluative skills are impressive, as she argues both for and against the statement, seeing the positive and negative aspects of the life of Abraham, as well as use quotes as evidence to justify her arguments. This topic was part of a wider Judaism unit which explored other Jewish patriarchs, such as Joseph and Moses, as well as key Jewish beliefs and practice today, such as the Seder meal, Brit Milah and Bar/Bat Mitzvah.  The topic was: ‘Abraham is the greatest Jewish patriarch.’ Evaluate’.  Here is Salma’s study:

‘Abraham is the greatest Jewish patriarch’ is a statement that provokes for and against arguments. Some people may argue that Moses or Joseph were the greatest Jewish patriarchs and others may say that Abraham is the greatest because he was one of the first patriarch to go down in history. The first argument to support this statement is that Abraham was the founding father of Judaism and plays a prominent role in Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Evidence to support this is the Islamic teaching. Muslims know him as a prophet and messenger of God, who fulfilled all of God’s commandments and in return God nurtured him throughout (Ibrahim) Abraham’s lifetime. Muslims regard him as an important prophet of faith.

The second argument to support this is how God made a covenant with Abraham on behalf of his people. Abraham and his wife, Sarah, didn’t have a son, and were getting old, so God promised them a son if they went on a journey of faith. God also promised them a land. Furthermore, Abraham was the first person who taught everyone that we have only one God, and this is called monotheism. Evidence for monotheism being important is in the Ten Commandments, (found in the Tanakh or Torah) where it states “do not worship any other Gods besides me” and “You shall not make for yourself a sculptured image”. The third argument to support this statement is God promised Abraham both a land and descendants. God would redeem Abraham and all his descendants, and in return God asked Abraham to perform circumcision as a sign of the Abrahamic covenant, and for Abraham to sacrifice some of his livestock. Evidence for this is found in the Bible “I am God Almighty… I will confirm my covenant with you and me and greatly increase your numbers… This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you… Every male against you shall be circumcised”. This is still happening today through the Brit Milah ceremony where Jewish boys are circumcised.

However, some people may argue that Abraham is a bad patriarchal leader. The first argument to support this is because Abraham slept with Hagar when he was married to Sarah, and Sarah encouraged it. This is a bad example because Abraham disobeys one of the Ten Commandments which came later: “Do not commit adultery”. The second argument to disagree with the statement is because God asked him to kill his one and only son Isaac, and Abraham seemed willing to do so. Arguably, this shows Abraham’s faith and trust in God, but it would have been breaking one of the commandments: “Do not murder.”

To conclude, I think Abraham is a good leader of faith because of his complete trust and faith with God is very strong, and sets a good example to people of faith. Also, he seemed to do everything willingly which encourages other people of faith to follow. He is also seen as a refugee metaphorically and lots of people make that journey today. People look at his words and follow his commandments, so as a whole I agree with this statement. However, other people may disagree with me and say that he broke many of the commandments himself.’

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