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Religion is an integral part of many people’s lives. It shapes how they see themselves, their environment and the world. Therefore, at the DSJ, we take the topic of religion seriously and nurture religious consciousness and sensitivity. We recognise that many different religions are represented in our school, from Buddhism, through many denominations of Christianity, to Hinduism, Islam, Judaism as well as many others. Every person is respected and acknowledged in his or her religious views. No one is marginalised for what they believe. Atheists and agnostics also have a place in our religion studies lessons. We encourage dialogue and respectful conversation amongst all the religious groups.
No one is forced to accept any one particular religious perspective, nor is anyone judged or disadvantaged because of his or her beliefs.
As we are a German school, however, founded 125 years ago by a Lutheran pastor, we also do not deny our Christian heritage and roots. The ethics and value system of our school is akin to the Christian values system of the Western world. For this reason, when learning about topics of ethical nature, our view will be dominated by this system of values. Those learners for whom this value system is foreign, will be introduced it – though not in a way that denigrates their own.
So, in summary, in religion studies at the DSJ we learn about ethics and morality, but also about how different faith communities live out their faith. We learn how to critically distinguish good and bad, right and wrong. We learn how to critically establish what belief system we accept or not. We learn about God, Allah, Jesus, Gautama Buddha, Mohammed, Moses and the Israelites, about Shiva, Brahman and Ganesh. We learn about the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Tripitaka and the Vedas – and what these teach their followers. We learn about Christmas, the Ramadan, Passover, Yom Kippur and Divali.
We are proud of the fact that we are a school with such diversity – in terms of culture and religion. And we want to learn from each other and help each other on the path of finding who we are and who we want to be.
Religion Studies Department