STUDY GUIDE What is Religion?





This STUDY GUIDE is designed to stimulate discussion among members of different religions around the fact of different views about the nature and role of religion in contemporary society.

 A diverse range of activities are suggested in the GUIDE.  Selection, sequencing and adaptation of these activities are required to suit local circumstances.  Resources suggested for use in these activities can be found in the Firm Foundations/Resources page of this website.



  • Distribute copies of the article The Foundations on which to build to all participants before the session starts.  This document could be used as a discussion starter throughout the different sessions of this study.

  • Welcome participants and explain how the session will proceed.

  • Organise a panel of 3/4 'experts' to share in a Q&A session on the topic: "A Contemporary Understanding of the Nature and Role of Religion in Human Society."

  • Four or five questions may need to be collected before the Q & A session begins and given to the panellists.

  • Show the YouTube clip ‘The Impossible Dream’ and discuss the notion of global interfaith harmony as an ‘impossible dream’ and/or as 'reaching for an unreachable star’.



  • Distribute copies of the North Brisbane Interfaith Group’s Credo.  Through group discussion try to arrive at a consensus on an appropriate statement of shared beliefs and procedural values necessary to guide constructive interfaith relationships.

  • Expand the list of ultimate or "unanswerable" questions for which different religions offer ‘belief' or ‘faith' answers.

  • Members collect several newspaper/magazine/digital articles highlighting behaviour or statements of religious groups and/or individuals.

  • Collate the media articles according to their origin/relevance under the headings: LOCAL, NATIONAL and INTERNATIONAL.

  • Discuss the extent to which each article reflects the views of participants in the group.



  • Each individual writes a 'Review' or 'Letter to the Editor' relating to one of the articles used in the previous group activity.

  • These can be shared through social media and/or at subsequent meetings of the Study Group.

  • Each individual offers a judgement on whether the author of each article presented is a religious believer, neutral observer, purveyor of stereotypes or anti-religious advocate.

  • Each participant in the study reads the short essays in the RESOURCES section of the FIRM FOUNDATIONS page of this website.

  • Each of these personal activities can be the basis for further group discussion.



STUDY GUIDE - Firm Foundations No.2


Tags: Religion, RE, Interfaith, Garth Read

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