AQA GCSE Religious Studies - full revision notes.

These are the notes I used for my exam - they include key teachings, key words, and the religious beliefs of all the main religions we studied (Christianity, Sikhism, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism). The topics we did were animal rights, life and abortion, prejudice and religion and war. These really helped when I had my exam...

Hope they help you too. Good luck!


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  • Created by: Harmanjit
  • Created on: 17-04-11 12:51
Preview of AQA GCSE Religious Studies - full revision notes.

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Religion and Prejudice
Women's Rights: not allowed anything before, had to obey fathers and husbands, but now, yes! After WWI, when women took over men's work while
the men were fighting, their status began to change. Only until last 50 yrs that married women were allowed to work, despite this though, women
still earn less than men, and find it difficult to get promoted ­ also unfair interviews and harassment @ work. Religious teachings below:
Western Faiths
-all Christians agree discrimination goes against the idea of God's design
-God created men and women in his own image; therefore, we are all of equal value
-`love neighbour as yourself' was explained in the parable of the Good Samaritan. In the story, the Samaritan, an enemy of the Jews, was the hero.
Jesus taught that anyone who needs help, regardless of background, should be treated kindly. He welcomed tax collectors and sinners to God's
kingdom. He healed sick and disabled people, even the servant of a Roman centurion, and treated people with different religious beliefs with
-see religious teachings
-Christians fight racism actively ­ 2005 ­ Anglicans elected first black bishop, John Sentamu, though still not many black/Asian priests.
-Some protestant denominations + Anglicans allow women to be priests/ministers, but Roman + Orthodox Churches do not ­ they say this is not
discrimination; women just have different roles to play
-Allah created all people equal, whatever race, gender or background
-differences show the wonderful variety of God's creations
-Mohammed preached against slavery ­ tribe, race colour or traditions are not an excuse for unjust treatment
-equality shown on Hajj ­ pilgrimage to Makah ­ all wear simple white garments regardless of status
-Worldwide Muslim community contains people of every background
-Islamic Law ­ based on justice and protects rights of non-Muslims living in Muslim countries to practice their own religions
-women equal to men, but have different roles ­ to bring up children in their faith
-most women don't pray with men at mosque and a woman cannot become an imam
-Muhammad taught: a believer who does good for Allah's sake will be rewarded, whether man or woman
-humanity created by God in his image so all are equal in his sight
-Torah ­ `love your neighbour as yourself' ­ to treat all with compassion
-Prophets ­ Amos and Isaiah taught God is more pleased by social justice than religious ceremonies
-prophet Jonah's narrow-minded prejudice against the people of Nineveh city was punished by God
-have been victims of anti-Semitism (hatred of Jews), prosecutions, terrorism ­ know how evil racism is, and act on it too
-accept converts from other races ­ many African Jews
-men + women have equal status, but different roles
-orthodox Jews ­ women not allowed to sit with men in synagogue, not allowed to handle Torah scrolls or become rabbis
-women can have careers as long as they fulfil important roles as wives and mothers ­ responsible for bringing children up in faith
-Reform Jews allow all Orthodox Jews do not
Eastern Faiths
-Buddha left wealthy lifestyle as he realised wealth did not bring happiness ­ he rejected the caste system (divided people into classes)
-everyone is equal ­ equal potential for reaching enlightenment ­ all members of `sangha' (community) are equal
-Right Action, Right Speech + loving kindness - Buddhists to treat people equally, avoid prejudiced talk and show tolerance + consideration
-although reluctant at first, Buddha ordained women because of social conditions at that time
-in countries where culture allows, women can become nuns
-Dalai Lama ­ Buddhist leader, believes people need to increase mutual understanding and respect, whatever culture or belief (but don't have to
agree with each other or go to same temple to achieve this)
- `The things which divide and separate people ­ race, religion, gender, social position...are all illusory.'
-regard everyone with respect as they are creations of the same God
-God = present in every living being, and loves all equally ­ all men + women of any caste can reach the spiritual goal of moksha (release) if they
seek God. Traditionally Hindus were divided into 4 castes: Brahmins (priests and teachers), Kshatriyas (soldiers and rulers), Vaishiyas (merchants
and farmers), and Shudras (labourers and craftsmen). People could not marry / mix with people from different castes. Below the Shudras were
`untouchables' who had few rights ­ so low, they were not on the caste system list. Discriminations against them ­ outlawed in 1949, influenced by
Gandhi's support for them - Bad caste ­ believed to be result of bad karma in previous life. D + P still exists
- Hinduism has many paths to God (due to many deities) so Hindus are tolerant of other peoples' religions
- men + women = equal, but have different roles. Priests must be men, and women perform puja (prayer) in the home.
-Women have more rights to be educated, take well paid jobs + own property.
-1966 ­ Indira Gandhi = 1st woman prime minister of India
-men + women = equal; both children of God, their creator.
-since God has no colour or form, is wrong to discriminate on grounds of race, gender or religion
-Sikhs are tolerant to all religions ­ Guru Granth Sahib contains Muslim and Hindu writings
-Guru Nanak Dev thought idea of `untouchables' was mere superstition, banned custom of wife throwing herself on her husband's funeral pyre,
and said `There is no Hindu nor Muslim'
-women deserve respect ­ through them, the human race continues
-Gurudwara ­ everyone sits on floor ­ equality, though men + women sit separately, but can sit together, and both genders take full part in worship.
Any educated Sikh can be a granthi (leads service, and read Guru Granth Sahib).
-Non-Sikhs are made welcome ­ offered karah-parshad (blessed sweet-meal) and invited to eat langar (blessed food in kitchen)
-Vegetarian food provided as all Sikhs are meant to be vegetarian

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Religions and War
Christianity and War:
-Jesus taught peace, forgiveness and overcoming evil with good ­ he also vigorously opposed wrongdoing e.g. he used force to drive out those who were
turning the Temple into `a den of thieves'
-Roman Catholic Church ­ promotes peace by working to end the causes of injustice ­ condemns use of weapons of Mass Destruction but recognises
self-respect as a last resort
-Some Christians ­ reluctantly accepted necessity of violent action e.g.…read more

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Religions and Peace
Christians and Pacifism:
-some Christians (long ago) who practiced non-violence would not take revenge on even their prosecutors
-Christian pacifists today follow Jesus ­ did not resist arrest and allowed himself to be crucified for love of the human race ­ Jesus taught followers to
live and work for peace.…read more

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Religious Views on when Life begins
-life begins even before conception as all living things are caught up in the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Therefore, there is no point in time
where life `begins'.…read more

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Rights, Pro-choice and Pro-life
- Law ­ rights for mother, unborn child, mother's existing children ­ no rights for the father ­still his legal responsibility to support his children
Rights of the Unborn Child:
-has a life of some sort (disputes about when that life begins)
-Dependent on mother ­ distinct from her ­ needs protection as it cannot speak for itself
-baby = unique and deserves same right to life as any person
-if woman voluntarily has unprotected sex, she has a responsibility…read more

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-sanctity of life
-children are created in the image of God and are a blessing, a precious gift from God
-Roman Catholics + other Christians ­ life beings at conception ­ murder to abort life
-God has given everyone a purpose in life, and abortion goes against the plan for that individual
-Breaks a commandment ­ deliberate killing -some accept this under certain circumstances
-Methodists and Anglican think that sometimes abortion may be the lesser of 2 evils, such as in the case of…read more


jinn cabal

Thanks alot. Hav exam in couple of days so i hope this helps.

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