Religious studies short course

This is a short course revision card set for religious studies


The big picture: relationships 

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Key concepts

Commitment: Making and keeping a promise, such as wedding vows 

Chastity: The Decision not to have sex before marriage and refraining from sexual intercourse e.g. The Jonas Brothers 

Celibacy: Christians who choose to remain unmarried and refrain from sexual relationships on a permenant basis. (A monk, nun or catholic priest) 

Conflict: Working against each other rather than in unity. Conflict in marriage can lead to divorce 

Cohabition: The act of lving together in a commited sexual relationship(Anglian church allows cohabition), not married but living together

Love: To have a deep affection and express it through words and actions.

Reconciliation: Apologise or say sorry, and become friends again.Many faith communities have reconciliation advice and help services. 

Responsibilities: Duties you should carry out, such as looking after family members 

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The four types of love

Philia- Love for those who we are close to e.g. friends and family. This is a stronger bond between people but is not sexual. 

Eros- Sexual love: passionate and physical love between two people.

Storge- Affection for particular places, things and animals. Sometimes described as ''sentimental love''.

Agape- Unconditional love, given freely and unreservedly. Eternal,selfless christian love. A deep concern for the feelings of others. A love that gives and seeks nothing in return 

These are all described in the Greek of the new testament

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Christianity and sex

Christians believe that's sex is a gift from God. However, it should be only for couples within a marriage. Some do allow sex before marriage arguing they have a loving, committed relationship, but this does go against traditional christian teachings. 

Roman catholics primarily believe that the purpose of sex is to produce children. (This is why they do not approve of the use of contraception). Other denominations (e.g. Anglican, baptist) believe that the primary purpose of sex is to express love within a committed relationship (this is why they allow sex within cohabitation) 

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Christian teaching on sex

All christian teachings are based on the teachings of the Bible, especially that of Jesus. Jesus taught 'At the beginning, the creator made them male and female, and said 'for this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and be united with his wise, and the two will become one flesh' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together let no man separate.' This shows that a man should be united with a women in a sexual relationship only when she is his wife.

Saint Paul wrote 'If they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for its better to marry than to burn with passion' This teaches that sexual desire should be channeled into marriage i.e. there should be no sex outside of marriage 

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Should sex be for within marriage only

These days few brides are virgins on their wedding day. Today most people have sex outside marriage. 

Christians (and other religious people) argue that this devalues sex. They believe that sex is holy. It was invented by God and given so that two people who have committed their lives to each other can express their love and commitment.

Some people, and this may include Christians argue that sex outside of marriage is all right providing that the couple love each other. Some Christians accept that a couple can show commitment through a couple living together rather than marrying, although they feel this is not what God intended.

There is also controversy between peoples definition of 'love'. Young people can fall in and out of love easily and be in love with different  people at different times . Christians believe that people should wait until they're married as that's what God intended. Young people are experimental with sex and Christians believe this is bad as young people can get hurt from this early experimentation, girls may become pregnant and find out their ''partner'' has no real commitment to them, or feel used by the boys who they have had sex with.

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Christian marriage - teachings

Jesus taught, 'At the beginning, the creator made them male and female, and said 'For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother, and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together let no man separate.' Jesus taught that a man should leave his mother and father and be joined with his wife i.e. set up a new family. He added, 'what God has joined together let no man separate.' This means marriage should be for life.

This is reflected in the christian marriage vows, in which the bride and groom promise to be faithful to each other 'until death us do part'. 

All christian denominations believe that marriage is for life, although some a stricter than others. 

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Key religious Teachings on Marriage and same sex r

  • Marriage is a sacrament within certain denominations such as Roman Catholicism.
  • Different attitudes to same sex relationships 
  • Anglican church may bless the same sex couple 
  • Quakers have welcomed same sex couples for many years
  • Roman Catholics teach that marriage is a union between a man and a woman
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Same sex relationships

The bible seems to state that in Christianity homosexual relationships are wrong - although the relevant passages are interpreted differently by some people. Some argue that the scriptures were written against a very different cultural background from ours, so we cannot apply those standards today. Christianity no longer condemns homosexuality , but it isn't seen as the ideal and many still view homosexual sex as a sin. So many religious gays opt for celibacy (they don't have sexual relationships) 

Civil partnerships have been legal since 2005. They give homosexual couples the same rights as married couples concerning things like the custody of children and shared finances. A civil partnership ceremony takes place in a register office or private venue such as a hotel and is performed by a registrar. The church of England  

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