Click here for a list of examples of where an interest in Texts and Traditions can lead you, including University Courses, TAFE courses and Apprenticeships. Information provided by the IMVC in their Subject Selection Kit
Why Study Texts & Traditions
This study enables students to develop an understanding of texts and their interpretation within traditions, the variety of types of text associated with traditions and their place and use within societies and cultures. It also explores texts’ historical development and the ways in which their message is shaped and communicated. Many traditions have a special relationship with a set of writings. These writings have particular authority for the tradition and may act as an important reference and foundation for its social organisation, rituals, beliefs, values and behaviour.
These texts of a tradition usually include important stories which shape the tradition, in addition to other types of literature. There is much to be learned about traditions if they are examined in relation to the texts upon which they are founded, and to which they continue to relate as they develop and respond to changing circumstances. In many cases the texts themselves provide a stimulus for change. Moreover, the texts often exert an influence on the culture of the society well beyond the limits of the tradition’s formal membership.
While texts are frequently the reference points and foundations of traditions, their continued significance depends on the social organisation of the tradition and its relationship with the society in which it is located. For instance, those who are given authority by tradition to interpret and protect the texts may differ in their emphases and opinions. The interpretation of texts can also be subject to determination by official bodies within the structures of the tradition.
Particular social settings, for example places of worship and schools, become the means by which members learn of different interpretations of the text. Traditions have a complex relationship with their foundation texts. There can be different ways of understanding the authority of a text. Levels of commitment to particular parts of a text may
vary. Conflict and dissent over how much texts should influence individual behaviour are common. It is the complexity of the social relationship of the tradition with its texts that makes it an appropriate special study within senior secondary education.
Why Study Religion and Society?
The beliefs, values and ideas of religious traditions can play an important part in maintaining and shaping culture. Religious beliefs about the nature of existence and the purpose of human life provide an ultimate frame of reference for understanding the world and for guiding daily personal and communal action. This study of Religion and Society is designed for all students interested in the great questions of life. It also seeks to develop understanding and respect for the perceptions of the participants in religious traditions. Therefore it values and promotes open inquiry without bias towards any one tradition while drawing on the personal and collective experience of the students.
(Extracted from V.C.A.A. website: Texts & Traditions (2001-2009), & Religion & Society (2006–2010)
Texts & Traditions – industry & related information
www.ajhs.org American Jewish Historical Society
www.catholic.org.au Catholic Church in Australia
www.buddhanet.net/ Buddhist Information Network
www.caritas.org.au Caritas Australia
www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.html Medieval Sourcebook
www.fas.harvard.edu/-pluralism New Religious Pluralism
www.materialreligion.org Religious Artifacts
www.sociologyofreligion.com/ Sociology of Religion
www.bham.ac.uk/theology/goodacre The New Testament Gateway; site includes Judaica. Historical Jesus, Gospels and Acts, Early church, Maps
www.h-net.msu.edu/~africa/citation.html A brief Citation Guide for Internet Sources in History and the Humanities
www.breslov.com/bible/ Jewish Publication Society Bible
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