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This guide is a supplement to your notes and to the Blogs with
: further notes and links to all topics.
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/ You are studying for the EDEXCEL GCSE Religious Studies Unit A Religion and Life
w based on the study of Christianity and at least one other religion (we have looked
at Judaism).
w
w You have 2 Hours for the exam.
There are 5 Sections (You have 20 minutes to answer each section)
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m Revision must be active to be useful.
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GCSE RELIGIOUS STUDIES. RELIGION AND LIFE. EDEXCEL

Week Topic
Read
This revision programme
beginning
Make a mind map, write a quiz, create mental images assumes a minimum of 30
or mnemonics
Belief in God
Issues of Life and Death minutes per week will be
Marriage and Family Life
spent on revision each week.
Social Harmony
Wealth + Poverty Review
(EXAM WEEK)

Reasons why people DO believe in Reasons why people do not believe in God:
God:
U – Upbringing. If you are brought up in a
family that does not believe in God you are more
likely to think the same.
M – Miracles. S – Science has answered many of the
U – Upbringing. Taken to church, mysteries that led to religious belief. E.g. –
prayers at meal times, youth groups, Evolution explains how humans developed
without the need for a God.
F First Cause. Thomas Aquinas
E – Experience. If someone has prayed to God
C argued “How else did we get
and it has not been answered this may
here without a God?” Nothing happens
encourage disbelief.
without a cause so something must
have caused the universe. S – Suffering and Evil. How can an all loving, all
powerful God allow such bad things to happen?

D –Design. William Paley said
the world is too complex to have
happened by accident or luck. The problem of
E –Experience. People claim to have suffering and
felt God in some special way,
answered prayer, a miracle or a sense
of awe from looking at nature. This is
called… If God is:
N – Numinous (a sense of God’s BENEVOLENT (LOVING)
presence in some special way) OMNISCIENT (ALL KNOWING)
OMINPOTENT (ALL POWERFUL)
Create a mental picture of a
Manchester United supported in Then why does God allow people to suffer?
a den praying to God If God loved people and is powerful surely
God would stop suffering!
Responses to the problem of suffering
and evil:

FREE WILL (remember the whale that was set free?) God gave people a
choice to do right or wrong, without choice we are not human. People choose
to do bad.

JESUS’ DEATH. Jesus was God on Earth. He shared in human suffering when he
died on the cross. God understands suffering.

HEAVEN. This life is just a preparation for when people stay with God forever in
Heaven.

? MYSTERY. God’s ways are a mystery. Humans will never fully understand why
God allows suffering.

PRAYER + HELP: People will respond to the issue by asking God to help others and
by helping others themselves.

Past Question: Find 4 things it has done well to answer the question.

Outline what is meant by religious experiences. (6)

A religious experience is something out of the ordinary that brings a person closer to God. An
example of this might be being somewhere very beautiful like inKey questions:
the mountains and getting a

?
What
sense that it was created by God. This sort of happens
experience is when
calledwe die?
a numinous experience.
When does life start and end?
People might also pray to God for something to happen and it does. Again this is a religious
experience because people believe that GodIshas it ever
done the right thing
something to do to take human life?
for them.

Some people get a sudden feeling that they are to change their life because God has spoken
to them. This is a conversion experience, it happened to Nicky Cruz, a gang leader who
became a Christian.
2. Matters of Life and Death


What happens when we die?
Christian Beliefs:
 when die?
What happens

Muslim
RESURRECTION: Some Christians
believe they will be brought back to
Resurrection:- We stay in the
life at the end of the world when
God judges the world. grave until the end of the world.
An angel will sound a trumpet
IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL:
and the world will end.
Many Protestant Christians believe
their soul goes straight to God when Judgement – Allah will judge
they die, they are then sent to people on how they have lived
Heaven or Hell. (Not all Christians (have they followed the
believe in Hell).
teachings of the Qur’an?).
PURGATORY: Roman Catholic Those who pass go to heaven,
Christians believe that their souls those who fail go to Hell.
are made clean in Purgatory before
being allowed to go to Heaven. Non
Christians go to Hell.

Abortion (ending a pregnancy)
Only God should give and take life.
The Sanctity Life is a gift from God 
 Abortion and the Law:
A woman can have an abortion in the UK if: Facts
- The mother’s life is at risk.
- There is physical or mental risk to the mother. In 2005 186,400 were
Human life is Holy (special to God)
- 0Other children’s physical or mental wellbeing is at carried out in England
ecame human in Jesus showing how special human life is.
risk.


- The baby may be born with a serious handicap.
24
Of Life
weeks 
and Wales (NHS).
36
- The
At opinion
120 days of believe
Muslims 2 Drs the
arefoetus
needed.
gets a soul Abortion was made weeks
legal in the UK in

This
Thisaffects
affectsbeliefs
beliefsabout
aboutabortion
abortionand
andeuthanasia
euthanasia
Conception.
36 weeks – full term.
elieve Roman
a foetusCatholics
can’t live outside the womb before this time.
believe life
starts here

Muslims believe that up until 22
weeks

Arguments Against Abortion (Pro Life)
Arguments in Favour of Abortion (Pro
M – Murder. If Life starts at conception Choice)
abortion is taking a life. - Life does not start at conception; it’s
A – Alternatives. People can have babies stopping a potential life.
adopted. - Having an unwanted baby puts a huge
strain on the mother.
R – Right to life. Every life is created by
- God is loving and forgiving. Sometimes
God and has a right to live.
having an abortion is the loving thing to
S – Sanctity of life (see notes) do (E.g. if someone was raped or could
not cope)
Bible:
“You knew me before I was born.” Bible:
“You shall not kill.” “Love your neighbour as yourself”

Euthanasia (helping
someone to die painlessly)
Arguments in Favour of Euthanasia The Law + FactsArguments Against Euthanasia
- Euthanasia is illegal in Britain. To help someone die is murder.
“If
- someone is suffering and about to die then euthanasia is OK.” Do you agree? Give
- It is legal
Quality of to turn
life. If off a life
someone issupport
in painmachine- that is keeping
Sanctity someone
of Life. alive.
Only God should give
reasons for
- Euthanasia your answer, show that you have considered other points of view and
and know they isare legal in some
about to diecountries
Euthanasia
include religious views in your answer. (4)
(E.g. and
Holland)
take life.
is loving. - Hospices. These are Christian centres
- some
In Technology. Advances
ways I agree thatineuthanasia
medicine mean to help
is Ok in this peopleI think
situation. who are
this dying and their
because…
that people who would normally have died families.
Another point is…
are kept alive. Allowing people to die - Drs make mistakes. Someone could be
means machines can be used to help diagnosed as dying but actually live a long
However, some people think euthanasia is always wrong because…
others. time.
- Choice.
Many Some and
Christians argue that God
Muslims gave
would - It makes Drs killers and patients may
disagree because…
choice to humans. lose trust in them.
- It is loving to allow someone to die with
their friends and Answer this question
family around them and using the writing frame. You
without pain.
should spend no more than 5 minutes writing it.
3.Marriage and Family Life
Children
ng point of a stable, happy society (children learning canvalues
good be brought up safely, have their needs met in a s
from parents).

Religious beliefs customs and practices are passed down. E.g. celebrating Eid (Mu

to give themselves totally to their religion. E.g. Monks, Nuns and Roman Catholic Priests.

 Christianity + Family Life
 Islam + Family Life
How the Church Teachings:
Teachings: Helps Family - Parents should
make sure children How The Mosque
Bible: - Church schools learn Islamic law Helps:
“Honour your (Roman Catholic (Halal) and the 5
father and your and Church of Pillars of Islam -Most Mosques run
Mother.” England) encourage - Children should a madrasah, to
Christian values. respect and look teach about the
“Children, respect - Many churches after their parents. faith to children.
your parents. run youth clubs - Children should -Mosques run youth
Parents, do not and Sunday learn to read the clubs.
treat your Schools. Qur’an -There are some
- Family Church Muslim schools to
services. help them keep the
- Many childrens’ faith.
charities were set -Some use “Zakah”
up by Christians to help families
with money
Weddings + Divorce problems.
Both Muslims and Christians are taught that Sex outside of marriage is a sin. This means
not having sex before marriage or having sex with someone else once married (adultery).

Cohabitation (living together as though married).
Most Christians believe this is wrong but some churches are starting to accept that it
is a more common practice that still involves commitment.

A Christian Wedding
A Muslim Wedding
- Bible Readings and Talk on
Love. - A declaration that they are entering
- Prayers for the couple. the marriage through free will.
- Rings are exchanged. - Signing a contract (mahr)
- Vows (promises) are made in - Readings from the Qur’an and talk by
public and before God. the Imam on the nature of marriage.
- Prayers
- A wedding feast.

ecause people make promises in front of God to commit to each other until death parts them. Some relig

- Roman Catholics say Divorce cannot happen. Marriage is a sacrament that can’t be
broken (even if a court allows it God doesn’t). Roman Catholics may have their

 marriage annulled (see glossary).
- Church of England (Remember Henry VIII?) will sometimes allow a divorced person
to re-marry in church.
- Other Protestant churches will allow divorce and re-marriage. They believe people

Some branches of Islam say divorce should not be allowed – marriage is for life.
Most Muslims believe divorce should be allowed. The Qur’an teaches a man
should tell his wife 3 tines it his intention to divorce her (over 3 months).
5. Religion, Wealth and Poverty
Why are there so many poor people and what do religions have to say about it?

Absolute Poverty is:
- Living on less than $1 per day
(75p)
Your life being at risk because you:
- Can’t get enough food. Christian Teachings on Wealth
- Can’t get clean water
- Can’t get medical care
easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter God’s kingdom” Jesus.
- Catch preventable diseases.
tians are told that the love of money is the root of evil.
Over 1,000,000,000 live in
absolute poverty (1 Billion)

“You can’t love both God and money”

Christians would say that while having money is not in itself bad it is clear that
Jesus set an example of helping the poor. Jesus himself was born into poverty.
Therefore they have a duty to help the poor.

 Muslims can not earn money in ways that harm or exploit (gambling, alcohol,
sex industry). Wealth is something given by Allah and should be shared.
Causes
of
inequality in the world: GREED, DEBT, NATURAL DISASTERS, POOR HEALTHCARE,
UNFAIR TRADE RULES

WHAT they do:
Raise money.
EMERGENCY AID. Help is given after a disaster such as an earthquake.
WHERECAMPAIGN.
they help Urging world leaders to make the world fairer. E.g. to drop debt owed and to mak
n over 60 countries.LONG TERM AID. By helping communities in LEDCs through projects that allow them to help
EDUCATION – Helping people to understand the problems faced.
ess Economically Developed Countries.
With church or community groups.
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