Religious Education (T, A, M)

Religious Studies              (T, A, M) 

Religious Education is currently a  compulsory subject.  All students at St Francis Xavier College study Religious Education from Years 7 to 12.

Religious Studies involves learning about the phenomenon of religion in general, and the expression of it within specific traditions.  Religion exerts an important influence on the lives of individuals and societies.  Understanding the nature of religion, its practices and its expression gives students’ greater understanding of themselves and the world in which they live.

The two compulsory Religious Studies units introduce students to the big questions of life. The central question really is “What is a good life and how do I live this life with meaning and purpose in this global and diversified world?


How do we find meaning and purpose in life through religion, spirituality, and philosophical world views?  In this unit we ask:

  • How others find meaning in their lives?
  • What is the role of religion in the local community?
  • What are the big of questions in life?
  • What are the challenges of life?
  • Who am I? Why am I here? What do I believe?
  • Is there a God? Why is there suffering and evil?
  • What are the connections between science and religion


What does it mean to be human according to various ethical and religious perspectives? How should we live our lives as human beings? How do we avoid moral pitfalls such as cheating at cricket and bringing disrepute to your team and your country?

What are the various ethical issues we might explore?

  1. Capital punishment
  2. Just war
  3. Human Cloning
  4. Gender selection of babies
  5. Genetic manipulation of embryos
  6. The Arms trade
  7. Pharmaceutical patents on medicines
  8. Animal experimentation
  9. Environmental ethics
  10. Performance enhancing drugs


History of Christianity to 1517

This unit examines the development of Christianity from its roots in the Judaic faith and culture to 1517 CE. Major events such as the formation of the Holy Roman Empire, the Crusades and the discovery of the New World are examined.

Religion and the Media

This unit is a study of the way religions are represented and constructed in contemporary media. It will provide students with the opportunity to critically evaluate the way religion, religious themes and religious figures are presented in the news and current affairs, film, music, websites and advertising.

Religion Worship and the Arts

Students will examine both sacred and secular artworks to understand and appraise the religious ideas evoked by the art. Students will be exposed to many art forms, including any of the following: Architecture, Dance/movement, Drama, Film/media, Literature, Music, Painting Photography, Sculpture, Tapestries, Textiles, Dance/movement

Religion and Science

This unit attempts to find the bridge between religion and science and to appreciate the role of both religious and scientific truth in a contributing to building a peaceful and just world.

Religion and Literature

Universal human experiences and themes such as love, hope, peace, tolerance, forgiveness, the nature of evil and redemption are explored in this unit. Students will critically examine how such experiences and themes are conveyed in literary texts such as short stories, novellas, novels, poetry, song, and drama.

Social Justice

This unit explores the foundation, principles, origins and teachings of social justice and human rights in various religious and philosophical traditions. It examines such topics as human rights, poverty, hunger, sexism, work related issues, globalisation, fair trade, slavery, discrimination and the environment.

Youth Ministry

This unit is designed for students who want to explore the possibilities of ministry to both the college and wider community through such activities as reflection days. volunteering etc.


With the exception of Social Justice, all units offered in Semester 2 of Year 11 are offered in Year. Units are run on the basis of student choice. The following additional units are also offered.

History of Christianity from 1517

In this unit students will examine the development of Christianity from the Reformation, focusing on developments in theology, science, technology, society, politics, economics and philosophy and their impact on the beliefs, values and development of Christian Church.

Religion and Politics

This unit explores secular and religious ideas of government, examining the relationship between Church and State throughout history and in the present day. Students will examine the interaction of social structures and belief systems. Political systems such as political theocracy, secular humanism, and the divine right of monarchy and the absolute authority of a god-king will be investigate.

Religion, Psychology and Relationships

Human experience and relationships in the light of psychological, spiritual and religious insight and teaching is the focus of this unit. Students will examine the capacity of the psychological, spiritual and religious perspectives to influence, positively and negatively on faith development, spirituality, happiness, relationships and wellbeing.

Independent Study

This unit is designed for students who have highly developed and reflective understandings of concepts they have studied in Religious Studies to date and who can work independently with confidence and initiative at a high level. Students will need to apply to do this unit. They are expected to formulate their own research thesis on some aspect of Religious Studies and prepare a 3000-word research report.