Why do we suffer?

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Objective: To consider a variety of forms of suffering, consider how religious people respond to suffering and how this might lead people to ask “fundamental questions”, to reflect on suffering and the impact that it has in our lives today.

Key Questions: How do we cause/contribute to suffering? How have Christians and Buddhists responded to suffering? Is curiosity a good thing? How do Christians and Buddhists show they value knowledge and what do they mean by “know”?

By the end of this unit:

All learners will: know a variety of examples of suffering and explain various responses and explanations; explain the premise on which Christians and Buddhists base their beliefs about suffering, and have knowledge of one scripture teaching about suffering, including an explanation of the suffering of Jesus; make informed responses to these ideas; give an account and explanation of the work of an individual or charity which has worked to combat or care for the suffering; begin to relate suffering to fundamental questions in life; state and reflect on examples of when they have suffered.

Most learners will: give more than one example of more than one type of suffering, possibly naming categories; know one scripture story about suffering and explain in simple terms how and why Jesus suffered; have considered whether a knowledge of suffering makes it more bearable.

Some learners will: explain clearly the premise on which Christians and Buddhists base their ideas about suffering, and support this explanation with detailed reference to scripture teaching about suffering, including an explanation of the suffering of Jesus, and also other religious material, such as The Creed or the Noble Eight-Fold Path; be able to respond with examples of suffering in their life and how this affected their knowledge and views of the world.

N.B. many lessons are accompanied by short film clips which you may find useful as a part of your lesson.

Why do we suffer? - KS3 - All - Lesson 1 of 7

To consider:

• what suffering is

• Specific examples of suffering

• Different types of suffering

• That there are questions that are difficult to answer

Lesson items

    • Lesson Plan
    • Film clip - Islamic Relief
Why do we suffer? - KS3 - Christianity - Lesson 2 of 7

To explore:

• how people respond to suffering

• Christian and secular responses to situations of suffering

• how the suffering of Jesus affects Christians

• their responses to suffering

Lesson items

    • Lesson Plan
    • Film clip - BCM shelter
Why do we suffer? - KS3 - Christianity - Lesson 3 of 7

To develop:

• understanding of the causes of suffering

•  to link the issue of suffering with the case for/against the existence of God

•  To explore various explanations as to why people suffer, including Christian responses

• To reflect on why these reasons are given

Lesson items

    • Lesson Plan
Why do we suffer? - KS3 - Christianity - Lesson 4 of 7

To develop:

• understanding of the causes of suffering

•  to link the issue of suffering with the case for/against the existence of God

•  To explore various explanations as to why people suffer, including Christian responses

• To reflect on why these reasons are given

Lesson items

    • Lesson Plan
    • Film clip - People traffiking drama
Why do we suffer? - KS3 - Buddhism - Lesson 5 of 7

To explore:

• what  Buddhism teaches about suffering

• Buddhist teachings on the nature of suffering

• different types of suffering

•  consider how suffering recurs in life

Lesson items

    • Lesson Plan
Why do we suffer? - KS3 - Buddhism - Lesson 6 of 7

To consider:

• how Buddhists believe how people can gain freedom from suffering

• Buddhist concepts of rebirth

• suffering that Buddhists would see in modern situations

•  Buddhist belief that suffering can be overcome

• ways in which suffering can be overcome

• how do I cause/contribute to suffering?

Lesson items

    • Lesson Plan
    • Film clip - Bahai youth event
    • Film clip - Buddhist meditation
Why do we suffer? - KS3 - All - Lesson 7 of 7

To explore:

• the other fundamental questions do people ask

•  other related fundamental questions for human beings

• To reflect personally on these fundamental questions

Lesson items

    • Lesson Plan
    • Film clip - Being curious in the Bahai faith
    • Film clip - Christian Theology lecturer