GCSE Edexcel Religious Studies catholic christianity - believing in god

Revision notes for the Catholic christianity exam

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1.1 ­ The main features of a Catholic upbringing and how it may lead to a belief in God
The main Children are often baptised as a baby. As part of this sacrament, parents will promise to bring up their
features of child as catholic.
a Catholic They will probably teach the children prayers, take them to church and send them to a catholic school
upbringing where RE is taught in a catholic Christian environment.
As part of their vows, parents also have to encourage their children to make their first confession and
Holy Communion, as well as full confirmation later.
It makes a belief in God seem NATURAL because:
How a
Parents will tell them about God, and young children will believe ANYTHING their parents tell them
Catholic parents will teach their children how to pray to God and about Jesus' disciples and other saints
of the church. This makes prayer natural and encourages children to believe in God
may lead
When they go to church, so many people pray and believe in God so it makes children think there must
to, or
be a God as so many people believe in Him.
Children's liturgy supports a belief as children would learn what and why Catholics believe in God
belief in
Going to a catholic school as God and Christianity would become a normal part of life. They would have
RE lessons and their teachers would also believe in God, making children more likely too believe that
it's true.
Confirmation as they learn more about God in the confirmation lessons and possibly have a religious
experience when the priest lays his hands on them.
Having a catholic upbringing is likely to lead to belief in God because children are taught that God exists and
they spend most of their time with people who believe God exists.
1.2 ­ How religious experience may lead to belief in God
1- The Numinous = the feeling of the presence of God. When you look at something beautiful or amazing, you
numinous feel that there must be something greater than humans, meaning God (experience of the transcendent)
and belief This experience may lead to a belief in God as it will make them feel that God is real. If you become
in God
aware of a presence greater than you, you are likely to believe that the presence is God and so you will
believe in him.
Conversion = an experience of God which leads to the person wanting to change their life and commit

themselves to God in a special way. OR it can lead to someone changing their religion or from
agnosticism or atheism to belief in God. (regenerative experience)
and belief
in God This experience may lead to a belief in God as they will feel that God is calling them to do something for
him. E.g. when Jesus spoke to Paul from a bright light in the sky, he converted to Christianity.
Miracle = an event that seems to break a law of science and the only explanations seems to be God.
3 - Miracles
and belief Miracles usually involve a religious experience.
in God This experience may lead to a belief in God as if a miracle has really happened; it means that God has
acted on earth, giving people direct contact with him. If an agnostic person views a miracle, finding no
other explanation, they may turn to God.
Most famous example: Bernadette at Lourdes. She saw Mary appear 18 times, making it a place of
pilgrimage for Christians.
4- Prayer Prayer = a way to communicate with God. It is a gift with God, meant to come from the heart.
This experience may lead to a belief in God as it feels as if God is listening. If a prayer is answered, it
may encourage someone to believe more strongly that God exists.
Summary People experience God in the numinous, conversion, miracles and answered prayers. Religious experience
makes people feel that God is real.

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­ The argument from design and belief in God
What is Design = involves things working together according to a plan to produce something that was
design? intended. E.g., a car ­ it is clear that it was designed.
Evidence of Laws of science ­ the universe works according to laws (gravity, electricity, motion, bonding, gases,
design in the etc.) all involve complex things working together.…read more

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­ Scientific explanations for the world and agnosticism and atheism
Evidence for Red Shift Effect ­ the red shift in light from other galaxies is evidence that the universe is expanding.
the Big Bang
Evidence for The fossil record ­ shows how life has developed over time
evolution The similarities between life forms being discovered through genetic research
How the Science can explain the origins of the world and humans without reference to God.…read more

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­ Why unanswered prayers may lead to agnosticism or atheism
Not feeling If a person is unable to feel God's presence when they pray, it is likely to make them feel that
God's something is wrong.
presence They may ask for advice or trying praying harder.
when After all that, they may just give up and accept that there is no God.
praying The feeling that no one is listening to their prayers may lead to agnosticism or atheism.…read more

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­ Evil and suffering
Moral evil Moral evil = evil caused by humans misusing their free will, choosing to do evil.
E.g. war ­ causes large amounts of evil and suffering
E.g. suicide bombers ­ actively choose to cause suffering to innocent people so as to draw attention
E.g. rape, murder, burglary, as well as famines caused by growing cotton rather than food
Also known as sins as it goes against what God wants them to do.…read more

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­ How two programmes about religion may affect a person's attitude to belief in God
Examples Songs of Praise, The Convent, A Seaside Parish, The Miracles of Jesus, The Simpsons, The Vicar of
Make notes 1 ­ Write a summary of the programme
on: 2 ­ Decide which parts of the programme might have encouraged belief in God in some people and
write down four reasons (using evidence from the programme) for this
3 - Decide which parts of the programme might have encouraged…read more


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