Humanity seeks meaning and purpose in life. Many religious traditions propose that the answer to this search is found in our encounter with a Transcendent being. Consequently, religion is accepted as an essential characteristic of many societies. Religious knowledge is fundamental to an understanding of self, others, the world and God. Religious education promotes an understanding of story, ethics, ritual and symbol that have shaped humanity from the earliest times. It helps students appreciate the role of prayer, beliefs, sacraments and sacred texts in people’s lives.
In a Catholic school, religious education attends to the spiritual development and faith formation of each person, acknowledging and celebrating the Spirit at work, inviting relationship with God and a Christ-like stance towards others. It is at the same time a disciplined process of ‘faith seeking understanding’, where the questions of God, beliefs and life and culture are articulated and explored in a dialogic interplay with the Catholic Tradition to develop students’ faith lives and stimulate a search for meaning and truth.
Religious education invites students to appreciate the value of the Catholic faith and to respect the other faiths and worldviews that permeate Australia’s diverse society. This knowledge and understanding is essential for a rich spiritual life and for informed and committed participation in a globalised world, working for the common good.