Looking for Meaning

  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 09-04-13 12:41

The existence of God


  • God exists and always has done
  • The existence of the universe, the world and its inhabitants are proof of that
  • Religious experience and revelation also point to the reality of God
  • Jesus is the best way to know about God


  • There is one Gid, an underlying spirit, called Brahman. He is everything and everything is in him
  • There are hundreds of deities who are all manifestations (avatars) of Brahman.
  • Three most well known deities are Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu
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The nature of God and ideas about God


  • God is one, but is known and experienced through three distinct persons: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. This is known as the Trinity
  • Is a God of love (like a caring father) also judgement (who will reward and punish)
  • He love the world and all people in it, and sent his son Jesus to teach people about him, and to save people from their sins
  • Creator and sustainer of the world
  • Full of mercy and offers forgiveness to all willing to receiver it
  • Best known through Jesus


  • God is one, and is known as Brahman
  • He is in all things and all things are in him
  • There are many manifestations of Brahman
  • He is creator, destroyer, preserver
  • Everything is in him
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Why do some people believe and some not believe in

  • It is hard to believe when there is so much suffering
  • God is closer to me than anyone else
  • I have confidence in God because of my experiences
  • It is difficult to prove God exists
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What influences people's understanding of God?

  • When you have a deep spiritual experience there is no further need of proof
  • Experience of a miracle
  • The religious community is like a family to me
  • Religion and belief in a Gid was never really part of my family life
  • I have been brought up to believe in God
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What is the value of religion in a secular society

  • Religious faith gives people the motivation to live a good life
  • Religion has no place in secular society; it is from the past and we should be more up to date now
  • Religion gives people a sense of purpose and meaning in their lives, and so is appropriate in any age or time
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Why do some people use symbols?

  • Symbols help me to understand the deep riches of my faith
  • I like to have something to focus on when praying or meditating
  • It is impossible to describr religious or spiritual things without symbolic language and ideas
  • It is important to use symbols as some things about God are beyond human language
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Religious symbols

Christinity - Crucifix

Reminds Christians of the death of Jesus on the cross, which they believe was for all people, and was the greatest act of love. His resurrection was the overwhelming of sin and death, so the bringing of new life and hope to the world.

Hinduism - Ganesha

Elephant-headed deity, who is Lord of all beings. The elephant head is a sign of strength, and he is the one many Hindus pray for the removal of obstacles from their lives

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Acts of Worship


  • Most denominations observe Sumday as a holy day, and a time for communal worship
  • Preaching or teaching is usually part of an act of worship in a church or chapel
  • Private devotions - prayer, reading the Bible, meditating - are encouraged on a daily or regular basis


  • Puja is a daily act of worship that most Hindus will observe in their own homes
  • Temples allow worship to be undertaken alone or communally
  • Offerings of fruit, flowers, and gifts are common in worship, as is the arti ceremony
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How do people experience God?

  • Through the way they are treated by others
  • I think that God is an imagined 'thing' and experience
  • Through miracles such as Lourdes
  • I know that God us talking to me through holy texts
  • Through God in worship and times of prayer
  • Through the beauty of the world and of nature
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How do people respond to God through worship?

  • Taking part in communal prayer
  • Taking part in personal prayer
  • Trying to help others
  • I make sure that I pray and worship regularly, to show I know God is there
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How do religious believers respond to God through

  • God calls all believers to worship only him, and to look after his world. This is their duty
  • I chose my job as a teacher so that I could help others
  • I have renounced everything of the world and its pleasures, and live life through service
  • God is the centre of my life - after all, he gave me all things to enjoy; and I serve others too - it is my duty.
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How important is worship?

  • For some religions worship is a duty
  • Worship and prayer are the centre of my life
  • You can worship on your own, you dont have to do it with others
  • For me teaching and preaching to others is my is my response to all that God has done for me
  • To go on a pilgrimage is a wonderful experience, but it is also a response to what God has done for me
  • I find worship hard but it is something that you learn how to do over time
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Death and the afterlife


  • There is eternal life after death, which is received through faith.
  • Entry to heaven depends on a person's response to Jesus, and to those in need on earth
  • Resurrection is expected, because of the resurrection of Jesus
  • There is a hell - the opposite of heaven - a place of separation from God

Roman Catholic

  • The souls of very good believers will go straight to heaven
  • Most other believers will go to purgatory, a place of cleansing that is between earth and heaven


  • Reincarnation or the rebirth of the atman into another body takes place after death
  • Moksha (salvation) is eventually reached, where the atman is reunited with Brahman
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Funeral Rites


  • Interment (burial) is a choice for many Christians, with a cross or memorial stone placed over the grave
  • Many choose cremation, and the ashes are scattered or sometimes buried in a special box
  • Most funerals will include Bible readings, hymns and reference to the resurrection and new life
  • Priests wear white robes; white is the colour for life after death and ressurection


  • Cremation is always preferred as it helps to release the atman (soul). Only sadhus (holy men) and children may be buried
  • Scriptures are read and symbolic offerings of water and rice cales to ancestors take place
  • Ashes are scattered into running water - normally River Ganges
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How important is a belief in the afterlife?

  • I have no fear of death as I know that God has prepared an afterlife and will reward me for my faithfulness in this life
  • Death is the end of life and the only afterlife is the heritage we leave behind and the memories of those who knew us
  • I am not afraif to die. I have had a good life and experienced many things, good and bad.
  • Throughout my life I have tried to be honest and thoughtful of others; there is no more I could have done
  • Its what I do on earth that is most important
  • Death is a certain fact of life but my faith in God gives me confidence to know that there is an afterlife that is eternal and centred on God and his goodness
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How important are funeral rites?

  • Funeral rites deal not only with the dead body but also help the relatives and friends of the person who has died; it helps to remember the person has gone to a better place
  • It is important to show respect to the body of someone who has died; it is a measure of the life we valued
  • When I die, I do not want to be cremated - I want to be buried because I believe in the resurrection of the dead
  • I think all bodies should be cremated. It is healthier and after all the body will eventually rot away anyway
  • The way we treat the bodies of those who die shows our beliefs in the importance of faith and following Gods teaching in life
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