What do people of faith think about death and the afterlife?
Email a believer provides a facility for students to email a member of one of the six main religions (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism) with a question. Alternatively, they can check through a long list of previous questions to see if the answer they are looking for has already been provided. This provides an excellent opportunity for students to access authentic viewpoints from the community of faith, and to develop a deeper understanding of differences of emphasis and the reasons for this.
a) Ask students to analyse the FAQ area of this resource to see whether a question on life after death has already been asked. If there is nothing there, ask them to draft a question, in consultation with the teacher, using existing knowledge and understanding which could be sent as a class email to several of the believers offering to respond to emails, asking what they think about life after death both as a personal response and from the perspective of their religion. They could include:
(i) the position of the religion
(ii) and scriptural evidence
(iii) any quote from religious leaders (a source of authority)
(iv) a personal viewpoint.
b) Alternatively, ask a variety of faith community members known to the school the questions decided - either by email or, even better, by inviting them into the classroom. Look for a variety of differing viewpoints.
For more ideas:
- Questions in RE: Ways of Living, edStephen Pett, includes a section of activities on exploring how a person’s way of life can be affected by an encounter with death. Christianity and atheism is the focus. This publication is available online from RE Today; further details are available here.