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Year 11 - R&S - Unit 1: Religion through the ages: Religion in Australia

Study Design

Key knowledge
the distribution of and adherence to major religious traditions in Australia, past and present
the influences of recent religious and non-religious trends on Australian religious composition
the influences of government policies on the religious composition of Australian society over time
the way collective identity is expressed by religious traditions in Australia through relevant aspects of religion
the personal meaning and identity that is found and further developed through engagement with relevant aspects
of religion, in particular, spiritual experience
tensions that can occur between members of a religious tradition over issues of authority, freedom, interpretation
of beliefs and teachings, and behaviour
interactions between different religious traditions and within the wider Australian society and reasons for these,
in particular:
– the role of religion in providing social infrastructure in Australian society
– the role of interfaith and ecumenical interaction in Australia.
Key skills
describe data on the distribution of and adherence to major religious traditions
explain influences on religious composition
outline how collective identity is expressed by religious traditions
outline the personal meaning and identity that is found and further developed through engagement with
relevant aspects of religion
describe tensions that can occur between members of a religious tradition
explain interactions between different religious traditions and within the wider Australian society and reasons
for these
interpret, synthesise and apply primary and secondary source material.

Databases

Books from the Library

Indigenous Australian Beliefs

Indigenous Initiation

Initiation
Young adolescent male Aboriginals will go through an Initiation ceremony somewhere between the ages of 10-16 years. Once the boy goes through this process he is considered part of the adult community. Initiation permits the young Aboriginal male to knowledge of the past such as mythology and Dreamtime stories and to share in the embodiment of the ancestors. The initiate’s blood becomes the blood of his ancestors and he passes into the sacred world of these spirits. There are various stages of initiation where only certain levels of information are given out and taught. These stages can vary in length for a few days to a few months or longer. The ceremony explains the customs and laws of Aboriginal society. Physical elements occur in initiation such as circumcision, tooth avulsion, plucking of bodily hair, scarification and the pulling out of fingernails. These test the initiate - if they cannot endure the pain, then they cannot be trusted with the secrets of the tribe. It is thought that if these ceremonies don’t continue then the sacred Law will not survive as the secrets and knowledge of the Aboriginal elders will not be passed on to those who are uninitiated.
Information from MBANTUA

 

Ceremonies 

To this day Ceremonies play a very important part in Australian Aboriginal peoples’ culture. Ceremonies, or rituals, are still performed in parts of Australia, such as in Arnhem Land and Central Australia, in order to ensure a plentiful supply of plant and animal foods.
They contrast in different territories and regions and are an important part of the education of the young. Some ceremonies were a rite of passage for young people between 10 and 16 years, representing a point of transition from childhood to adulthood. Most ceremonies combined dance, song, rituals and often elaborate body decoration and costume. The Elders organized and ran ceremonies that were designed to teach particular aspects of the lore of their people, spiritual beliefs and survival skills.

Information from Artlandish
 

Religions of Australia Today

Videos