Religious Studies - Community Cohesion

RS Community Cohesion Edexcel

  • Created by: Bex Tott
  • Created on: 15-05-12 09:21


How attitudes have changed in the UK towards the roles of men and women

  • women could own a property but had to pass it on to their husband when they married
  • very few women worked in 1900
  • in 1882, women could own a property
  • 1970 Equal Pay Act and 1975 Sex Discrimination Act gave women full rights

Why attitudes have changed

  • during the war, women took on roles that men usually did, and did them well
  • The Suffragettes showed women no longer wanted to be treated badly

Catholic attitudes

Men and women should have equal roles and rights in society. But Jesus nominated Peter to be the leader of the Church, so only men can be Priests. Men and women were created on the same day, Jesus' closest apostles were all men and priests follow on from them

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Women Continued

Traditional Protestants

Evangelical see women an men as having different roles so they can't be equal in religion. Women bring up children and men provide for the family. Only men are church leaders. St Paul teaches that women should not speak or teach in church. Men made before women, so they have more rights

Modern Protestants

Men and women are fully equal and now have women ministers and priests. Jesus treated women as his equal. St Paul said women and men were equal in the eyes of God

Traditional Muslims

Men and women are seen as having different roles in religion and in daily life, so they should have different rights. They believe this because, Qur'an states that men must support women, as they are stronger, it states that women are designed to give birth, and traditionally only men became Imams

Modern Muslims

Men and women are completely equal in religion and education. They think this because, the Qur'an teachesthat they are both equal, Muhammed allowed women in the mosque to worship, early Islam had women religious leaders and women want rights that women have earned in other parts of the world

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Multi-ethnic Society

Benefits of racial harmony

  • the UK has a wide variety of music, culture, food and clothes 
  • it can make a more peaceful world as different people from different races learn to work and live alongside each other
  • it is good for religions to see members of different ethnic groups following their religion

Problems of discrimination and racism

  • Prejudiced employers may not give jobs to certain religious groups
  • Prejudiced teachers may get ethnic children expelled
  • Prejudiced police might stop black people or not treat them seriously
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Community Cohesion

How the government promotes it

  • schools have to promote community cohesion
  • RRA - illegal to discriminate against black people due to race
  • appointing MPs from ethnic backgrounds

Why is it important

  • without it, different groups have their own agendas which can lead to violence, e.g. riots


  • The bible opens with a description about God creating everyone in his image, so prejudice and discrimination are wrong
  • in the good samaritan Jesus tells people to help whoever, regardless of race or religion
  • there are Christian leaders of every colour and race
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Community Cohesion Continued


  • Muhammed's first prayer caller was a black African
  • all humans are made by God
  • Muhammed said all Muslims were brothers
  • Islam is a world wide religion made up of all races

Benefits of living in a multi-faith society

  • learn what other religions are about from friends and neighbours
  • may make you think about your own religion more
  • people become a lot more understanding
  • cause more religious tolerance which means less conflict
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Multi-faith Society

Issues for religion in a multi-faith society

1. Conversion - teachings can conflict with each other. Some see it as their duty to convert others and this could cause problems, arguments and violence

2. Bringing up children - in the UK children come into contact with lots of other religions and they may go against their parents. Some parents say that they must keep their children in their faith in order to see them when they die. Could cause friction between parents and children

3. Interfaith marriage - people of different religions meet and fall in love. Causes problems, where they will marry, which religion will their children grow up in. If these are not worked out, could lead to hatred and violence 

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How religions work to promote community cohesion i

1. Work with other religions to see what they have in common and try to find ways of living together

2. Develop ways of having interfaith marriages 

3. Respond to how children should be brought up

4. Join together in special groups to explore ways of helping community cohesion, e.g. the InterFaith Network has members of lots of different religions working together to promote good relations between religions

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The Media - Equal Rights for Women

The Vicar of Dibley

We see a new vicar arrive and the locals are shocked to see that it is a woman. The episode sees Geraldine struggle to be accepted into the community.

FAIR to religious beliefs - the vicar is very normal with a good sense of humour. Shows Christians in a positive light. Presents basic arguments for and against women as vicars in a fair an balanced way which is a clear attempt to not upset Christians

UNFAIR to religious beliefs - many of those against the female vicar are seen as posh, rude and sexist. This is not a fair view of Christians and could offend. At the time, female vicars were a topical, strong debate and many objected to it happening, some even left the Church... so should this topic be focussed on in a comedy light?

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Community Cohesion - Key Words

Equality - the state of everyone having equal rights regardless of gender/colour/race

Sexism - discriminating against people because of their gender

Multi-ethnic society - many different races and cultures living together in one society

Prejudice - believing some people are inferior or superior without even knowing them

Discrimination - putting prejudice into practice by treating people less favourably because of their race/gender/colour/class

Racism - the belief that some races are superior to others

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Key Words Continued

Racial harmony - different races living together happily

Multi-faith society - many different religions living together in one society

Religious pluralism - accepting all religions as having an equal right to coexist

Religious freedom - the right to practice and change your religion 

Community cohesion - a common vision and shared sense of belonging for all groups in society

Interfaith marriage - a marriage where the husband and wife are from different religions

Ethnic minority - a member of a race which is much smaller than the majority group

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