Religious Studies in the Sixth Form
Friday 20th May 2016
Peace in the world
Mrs McDermott, Head of Religious Studies, here writes about what the Sixth Form have been studying in their general Religious Education lessons.
‘Over the last few months in General R.E., the Sixth Form have been investigating the work of Pax Christi. Some of the students shared their reflections during their last lesson.
We learnt that what politicians think they should do sometimes contrasts with Christian views. We believe that for the optimal decision to be made we should combine social, political and ethical morals in order to benefit the whole of society. This will in turn result in less conflict between people.
Simran had never before heard of Pax Christi and she now thinks that it has a positive impact on society with its peaceful approach and the different ways they advocate campaigning for causes which are important to us such as lobbying politicians and boycotts. Monica had never considered the origins of the products she was buying, but learning about consumer choices opened her eyes to the power she had to make a change.
We analysed various Biblical passages in the context of the first century and evaluated how Jesus’ actions and teachings can impact our lives today. We concluded that Jesus’ teachings are just as relevant now as they were many years ago and we learnt how to apply them to our daily lives.
It was interesting to learn about the bravery of Blessed Franz Jaegerstatter and how we can learn from him and stand up for what we believe in. (Blessed Franz was an Austrian conscientious objector during World War II and was sentenced to death and executed. He was later declared He was later declared a martyr and beatified by the Catholic Church). Even his priest didn’t support him, telling him to just obey Hitler, but his faith was so much stronger than any earthly command. For Blessed Franz, Hitler’s power couldn’t overcome his love and devotion to God. He said “I am convinced that it is still best that I speak the truth, even if it costs me my life.”
This interlinks with our school motto Veritas, which has inspired us to take forward this truth into the hardships we face.
We were able to identify how we approach certain conflicts in our daily lives and then, through secondary research of how religious people handled their conflicts, we were able to see how we could positively react to potentially negative situations. Now we are more inspired to undertake research into the lives of other Christians to see if there are any that resemble ours so we can draw from their strength.
If you are interested in finding out more about the work of Pax Christi visit their website http://paxchristi.org.uk/