Year 11 General Unit 2, Mod 5 - Religion in Australia

The place of religion in society

The place religion has within Australian society can be described in many different ways. One way to understand the place of religion in Australian society is to examine the role it plays in society. In doing this it is important to consider how individuals and groups, as well as institutions such as the media and government respond to religion.

Supporting religious faith

People respond to questions of the human heart and develop their experience of God when they:

  • pray
  • think about God
  • join groups to find spiritual experiences
  • ponder on the creation of the universe
  • wonder about their future after death
  • return to places where they feel God is present
  • try to work out how God wants them to behave in daily life situations
  • feel dissatisfied with material things
  • look for more from life than success
  • desire the freedom to not to give in to personal confusion, negative selfimage and control by peer pressure.
  • try to treat others as the Creator intends

The role of religion in society

Sometimes the participation of a religion or its followers in a society is welcomed and supported. In other cases it may be treated with suspicion and hostility. The role religion plays in society can be classified in different ways. Four useful categories are:

Religious – supporting people in their religious way of life. 

Social – providing a service or support to people or groups within society. E.G. Hospitals, schools and welfare services.

Political – promoting, explaining, and supporting the beliefs and values of a religion within society.

Cultural – using art, music, literature to give expression to how people find meaning and purpose in their life