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Religion and Society Unit 2


There are no prerequisites for this unit.

Course Description

Religions and ethics are defined as those forms of belief and practice through which human beings express their sense of ultimate reality. Such beliefs and practices form an important part of human experience and this experience is both individual and collective. Religious and ethical communities are formed and traditions of belief and practice are developed. This study proposes that religions can be understood in a general way by focussing on certain key aspects.

These two units focus on the beliefs, values and ideas of religious traditions, and the important role they can play in shaping and maintaining culture. It aims to build the knowledge students have of religious beliefs about the nature of existence, the purpose of human life, and how religions and ethical frameworks can guide our principles and actions. The units provide a frame of reference for understanding the world, culture, traditions and people while students are guided in their own daily personal and communal action. 

Areas of Study

Ethical Method in Pluralist Society

  • Introduction to Ethics - the discipline that investigates the various methods for making ethical decisions.
  • Recognise that choosing values is fundamental to being human.
  • Explore the concepts underpinning ethical decisions and influences on these.
  • Reflect on what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, and ‘good’ and ‘bad’.
  • Apply and evaluate ethical frameworks to human decisions and actions.
  • Discuss and justify moral choices.
  • Identify ethical arguments and analyse the reasoning behind them.
  • Examine various approaches to ethical decision-making.

Religion and Morality in Pluralist Society

  • Explore at least two religious traditions’ approaches to ethical decision making.
  • Examine ethical perspectives within the religions.
  • Analyse how the ethical perspectives of a religion are expressed through that religion.

Contemporary Ethical Issues in Pluralist Society

  • Apply the knowledge gained of ethical perspectives to the examination of debates.
  • Appraise contemporary ethical issues in light of student investigations.
  • Explain an ethical issue and identify the contributing factors to the debate. 


Assessment Tasks
(school-assessed coursework)

Explain ethical decision-making in pluralist society.

Complete a case study, presenting a particular ethical perspective and explaining how it would be used to resolve an issue.

Explain the ethical perspectives and moral viewpoints upheld by at least two religious traditions in pluralist society.

Select a contemporary ethical issue and present the perspectives of at least two religions and an ethical framework on the issue.
Analyse and evaluate two or more debates on contemporary ethical issues in pluralist society.

Overall Final Assessment

End of Semester Examination – 1.5 hours.

Information can be obtained from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, Victoria, Australia: