9. What does it mean to be religious today?
This session explores whether you have to belong to one of the major six world religions or other ancient and historical belief systems such as Taoism or Shinto in order to be considered ‘religious’. In an era of growing new religious movements and many people describing themselves as ‘spiritual’ rather than religious, this session also asks students to consider their opinions on whether following the game of football could be considered as being religious.
Ask the students to respond to such questions as:
does being religious necessarily mean belonging to a well-
an you be considered religious if you belong to a more recent religious movement?
Explain to the students that some people think that the game of football is fast emerging as a new religion. Furthermore, the recent religion that has been set up by a fan based around the rapper Kanye West, has once again raised the question of what is a religion and what it means to be religious today.
Play the students the following clip from BBC Class Clips:
Stimulus: Is football the new religion? http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningzone/clips/12605.html
Show students the website of ‘Yeezianity’ the religion established in January 2014 by Brian Liebman (BMAN), a fan of rapper Kanye West:
[See also a short interview with Liebman at: http://www.christianpost.com/news/yeezianity-
and ask them to respond to such questions as:
After listening to students’ views on these questions introduce a new question:
Stimulus: Ask students to try and come up with a definition of what spiritual or spirituality is.
Type into Google Images ‘spirituality’, which brings up a myriad of different images related to spirituality. Ask students to think about what each image says about what it may mean to be spiritual and whether this could also be termed as religious. Do they think there is any difference between being spiritual and being religious?
Ask students to think of their own definition of what a religion is and what it means to be religious. Ask them whether their views have changed in any way after this session. Encourage them to compare their views to see if there is any consensus or agreement.
A printable (pdf) version of this session can be found here
Sea of Faith Network is a Registered Charity, number 1113177
Sea of Faith Network
Resources for Schools