ableism noun: discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities

abolition noun: to end the observance or effect of slavery

affirmation noun: to assert as valid or confirmed

Agnostic noun: a. a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable b. one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god

Allah noun: the term for God used in Islam

Anabaptist noun: a Protestant sectarian of a radical movement arising in the 16th century and advocating the baptism and church membership of adult believers only, nonresistance, and the separation of church and state

animism noun: a doctrine that the vital principle of organic development is immaterial spirit

Atheist noun: one who believes that there is no deity or higher power

atonement noun: a. the reconciliation of God and humankind through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ b. in Judaism: at-one-ment, derives from a ritual of reconciliation carried out at Yom Kippur. Can be read in hope and trust, not fear and abasement.

assimilation noun: the process of receiving new facts or of responding to new situations in conformity with what is already available to consciousness


benevolence noun: a. disposition to do good b. an act of kindness c. a generous gift

Baha’i noun: an adherent of a religious movement originating in Iran in the 19th century and emphasizing the spiritual unity of humankind

baptism noun: a. a Christian sacrament marked by ritual use of water and admitting the recipient to the Christian community  b. a non-Christian rite using water for ritual purification

Baptist noun: a member or adherent of an evangelical Protestant denomination marked by congregational polity and baptism by immersion of believers only

Bible noun: a. the sacred scriptures of Christians comprising the Old Testament and the New Testament b. the sacred scriptures of some other religion (as Judaism)

Buddha noun: Sanskrit, enlightened; akin to Sanskrit bodhi enlightenment –
a. a person who has attained Buddahood b. a representation of Gautama Buddha

Buddhism noun: a religion of eastern and central Asia growing out of the teaching of Gautama Buddha that suffering is inherent in life and that one can be liberated from it by mental and moral self-purification


Calvinism noun: the theological system of John Calvin and his followers marked by strong emphasis on the sovereignty of God, the depravity of humankind, and the doctrine of predestination

catalyst noun: an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action

catechism noun: a summary of religious doctrine, often in the form of questions and answers

Catholic adjective: a. of, relating to, or forming the church universal b. of, relating to, or forming the ancient undivided Christian church or a church claiming historical continuity from it c. Roman Catholic

Christ noun: a. Messiah or Son of God b. Jesus c. the Jewish religious teacher whose life, death, and resurrection as reported by the Evangelists are the basis of the Christian message of salvation — called also Jesus Christ

Christian noun: a. one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ b. disciple of Christ

communion noun: a Christian sacrament in which consecrated bread and wine are consumed as memorials of Christ’s death or as symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and communicant or as the body and blood of Christ

Confucius noun: Variant(s): Chinese K’ung-Futzu or K’ung-tzu
Function: biographical name: 551-479 B.C. Chinese philosopher

congregation noun: a. an assembly of persons. gathering,  especially. an assembly of persons met for worship and religious instruction b. a religious community

Covenant noun: In the Hebrew scriptures, an agreement or treaty among peoples or nations, but most memorably the promises that God extended to humankind (e.g., the promise to Noah never again to destroy the earth by flood or the promise to Abraham that his descendants would multiply and inherit the land of Israel). God’s revelation of the law to Moses on Mount Sinai created a pact between God and Israel known as the Sinai covenant (Judaism). In Christianity, Jesus’ death established a new covenant between God and humanity. Islam holds that the Last Covenant was between God and the Prophet Muhammad.

conservative adjective: a. tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions b. traditional values or views

conversion noun: a. the act of converting; the process of being converted experience associated with the definite and decisive adoption of a religion

creationism noun: a doctrine or theory holding that matter, the various forms of life, and the world were created by God out of nothing and usually in the way described in Genesis (first book of the Christian Bible) – contrast withevolution

creed noun: a. a brief authoritative formula of religious belief  b. a set of fundamental beliefs

credential adjective: warranting credit or confidence–used chiefly in the phrase credential letters

crucible noun: a severe test

crucifixion noun: to put to death by nailing or binding the wrists or hands and feet to a cross, as in the crucifixion of Jesus


damnation noun: the act of damning. the state of being damned: being sent to hell for eternity

Deism noun: a movement or system of thought advocating natural religion, emphasizing morality, and in the 18th century denying the interference of the Creator with the laws of the universe

denomination noun: a religious organization whose congregations are united in their adherence to its beliefs and practices

devotional adjective: of, relating to, or characterized by an act of prayer or private worship

disciple noun: a. one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another b. one of the twelve in the inner circle of Christ’s followers according to the Gospel accounts. see follower

dissident adjective: disagreeing especially with an established religious or political system, organization, or belief

Divine adjective: a. of, relating to, or proceeding directly from God or a god b.heavenly, godlike

doctrine noun: a. something that is taught b. a principle or position or the body of principles in a branch of knowledge or system of belief; dogma: c. a principle of law established through past decisions

dogma noun: a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a church


Eastern Orthodox adjective: of or consisting of the Eastern churches that form a loose federation according primacy of honor to the patriarch of Constantinople and adhering to the decisions of the first seven ecumenical councils and to the Byzantine rite

ecclesiastical adjective: a. of or relating to a church especially as an established institution b. suitable for use in a church

emancipate transitive verb: a. to free from restraint, control, or the power of another; especially. to free from bondage b. to free from any controlling influence (as traditional mores or beliefs)

empowerment verb:  to give official authority or legal power to or enable

Episcopal adjective: Episcopal Church in the United States of America or Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States. It was formally organized in Philadelphia in 1789 as the successor to the Church of England in the American colonies. In points of doctrine, worship, and ministerial order, the church descended from and has remained associated with the Church of England.

Eucharist noun: also called Holy Communion, or Lord’s Supper; a Christian sacrament commemorating the action of Jesus at his Last Supper with his disciples, when he gave them bread saying, “This is my body,” and wine saying, “This is my blood.” The story of the institution of the Eucharist by Jesus on the night before his Crucifixion is reported in four books of the New Testament.

evangelism noun: a. the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christb. militant or crusading zeal

evangelist noun: a. a writer of any of the four Gospels b. a person whoevangelizes; specifically. a Protestant minister or layman who preaches at special services

evolution noun: theory in biology postulating that the various types of plants, animals, and other living things on earth have their origin in other preexisting types and that the distinguishable differences are due to modifications in successive generations. The theory of evolution is one of the fundamental keystones of modern biological theory.   contrast with creationism


feminism noun: a.  the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes b. organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

follower noun: a. one in the service of another. retainer b. one that follows the opinions or teachings of another: see disciple

fundamentalism noun: a. a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as fundamental to Christian life and teaching b. a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles


God noun: a. the supreme or ultimate reality b. the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe

Gospels noun: Any of the four New Testament books narrating the life and death of Jesus. The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are placed at the beginning of the New Testament and make up about half its total text.


heathen adjective: of or relating to heathens, their religions, or their customs: see Pagan

heretic noun: a. a dissenter from established religious dogma; especially. a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church who disavows a revealed truth b. one who dissents from an accepted belief or doctrine; nonconformist

Hindu noun: an adherent of Hinduism

Hinduism noun: the dominant religion of India that emphasizes dharma (karma) with its resulting ritual and social observances and often a mystical contemplation and ascetic practices

homily noun: a. a usually short sermon b. a lecture or discourse on or of a moral theme

holy adjective: exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness

Holy Ghost (or Holy Spirit) noun: In Christianity, the third person of the HolyTrinity. Though references to the spirit of Yahweh (God) abound in the Old Testament, Christian teaching about the Holy Spirit is derived mainly from theGospels. The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus at his baptism, and outpourings of the Spirit are mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, in which healing, prophecy, exorcism, and speaking in tongues are associated with its activity.

Humanism noun: a. a doctrine, attitude, or way of life centered on human interests or values b. a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual’s dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason


idealism noun: a. a theory that ultimate reality lies in a realm transcending phenomena b. a theory that only the perceptible is real b. a theory that only mental states or entities are knowable

indoctrination verb: to instruct especially in fundamentals or rudiments; teach

integration noun: a. incorporation as equals into society or an organization of individuals of different groups (as races) b. coordination of mental processes into a normal effective personality or with the individual’s environment

invocation noun: a prayer of entreaty (as at the beginning of a service of worship)

Islam noun; Islamic adjective; Islamics noun plural: a. the religious faith of Muslims including belief in Allah as the sole deity and in Muhammad as his prophet b. the civilization erected upon Islamic faith c. the group of modern nations in which Islam is the dominant religion


Jesuit noun: a member of the Roman Catholic Society of Jesus founded by St. Ignatius Loyola in 1534 and devoted to missionary and educational work

Jesus noun: a. the Jewish religious teacher whose life, death, and resurrection as reported by the Evangelists are the basis of the Christian message of salvation — called also Jesus Christ b. In Christianity, the son of God and the second person of the Holy Trinity

Jew noun: a. a member of the tribe of Judah b. one whose religion is Judaism

Judaism noun: a religion developed among the ancient Hebrews and characterized by belief in one transcendent God who has revealed himself to Abraham, Moses, and the Hebrew prophets and by a religious life in accordance with Scriptures and rabbinic traditions

Judeo-Christian adjective: having historical roots in both Judaism and Christianity


Kaddish noun: a Jewish prayer recited in the daily ritual of the synagogue and by mourners at public services after the death of a close relative

Koran (also Quran or Qur’announ: the book composed of sacred writings accepted by Muslims as revelations made to Muhammad by Allah through the angel Gabriel


liberal adjective: not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms

liturgy noun: a rite or body of rites prescribed for public worship

Lutheran noun: a member of a Lutheran church. Lutheranism is a movement within Christianity that began with the theological insights of Martin Luther in the 16th century, which launched the Protestant Reformation of the Western church. The “confessions” or “symbolical writings” of the Lutheran Church are contained in the Book of Concord, published in German in 1580, and in Latin in 1584


Martin Luther (1483 –1546) was a German monk, priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer. His teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines and culture of the Lutheran and Protestanttraditions, as well as the course of Western civilization.

Mass noun: the liturgy of the Eucharist especially in accordance with the traditional Latin rite (see Roman Catholic)

meditation noun: a discourse intended to express its author’s reflections or to guide others in contemplation

Messiah noun: a. the expected king and deliverer of the Jews b. Jesus

Methodist noun: a member of one of the denominations deriving from the Wesleyan revival in the Church of England, having Armenian doctrine and in the United States modified Episcopal polity, and stressing personal and social morality

ministry noun: the office, duties, or functions of a minister or clergy member

Moses noun: a Hebrew prophet who led the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery and at Mt. Sinai delivered the Law establishing God’s covenant with them

Muhammad (the Prophet) biographical name: circa 570-632: Arab prophet & founder of Islam

Muslim noun: an adherent of Islam

mystic adjective: having magical properties


naturalistic adjective: of, characterized by, or according with a theory denying that an event or object has a supernatural significance; specifically. the doctrine that scientific laws are adequate to account for all phenomena

New Testament noun: the second part of the Christian Bible comprising the canonical Gospels and Epistles and also the book of Acts and book of Revelation


Old Testament noun: the first part of the Christian Bible containing the books of the Jewish canon of Scripture

ordain verb: to invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority

original sin noun: the state of sin that according to Christian theology characterizes all human beings as a result of Adam’s fall

orthodox adjective: a. conforming to established doctrine especially in religion b. of, relating to, or constituting any of various conservative religious or political groups (esp. Eastern Orthodox or Orthodox Judaism)


pagan noun: [ definition under review ]

pantheist noun: [ definition under review]

parish noun: a. the ecclesiastical unit of area committed to one pastor b. a local church community composed of the members or constituents of a Protestant church

pastor noun: a spiritual overseer; a clergyman serving a local church or parish

pastoral adjective: a. of or relating to spiritual care or guidance especially of a congregation b. of or relating to the pastor of a church

philosophy noun: 1a. pursuit of wisdom 1b. a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means 1c. an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs 2a. the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group 2b. calmness of temper and judgment befitting a philosopher

pilgrim noun: one who travels to a shrine or holy place as a devotee

pilgrimage noun: a journey of a pilgrim; especially. one to a shrine or a sacred place

pluralism noun: a. a state of society in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain an autonomous participation in and development of their traditional culture or special interest within the confines of a common civilization b. a concept, doctrine, or policy advocating this state

preach verb: to deliver a sermon

predestination noun: the doctrine that God in consequence of his foreknowledge of all events infallibly guides those who are destined for salvation

predilection noun: an established preference for something

Presbyterian adjective: of, relating to, or constituting a Protestant Christian church that is Presbyterian in government and traditionally Calvinistic in doctrine

prophecy noun: a. an inspired utterance of a prophet b. the function or vocation of a prophetspecifically. the inspired declaration of divine will and purpose c. a prediction of something to come

prophet noun: one who utters divinely inspired revelations: as a (often capitalized) the writer of one of the prophetic books of the Bible b. one regarded by a group of followers as the final authoritative revealer of God’s will (e.g. Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah)

Protestant noun: a. a member of any of several church denominations denying the universal authority of the Pope and affirming the Reformation principles of justification by faith alone, the priesthood of all believers, and the primacy of the Bible as the only source of revealed truth b. a Christian not of a Catholic or Eastern church


Rabbi noun: a Jew trained and ordained for professional religious leadership; specifically the official leader of a Jewish congregation

racism noun: a. a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race b. racial prejudice or discrimination

Redeemer noun: a person who redeems; to atone for

Reformation noun: a 16th century religious movement marked ultimately by rejection or modification of some Roman Catholic doctrine and practice and establishment of the Protestant churches

religion noun: a. the service and worship of God or the supernatural b.commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance c. a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices

Renaissance noun: the transitional movement in Europe between medieval and modern times beginning in the 14th century in Italy, lasting into the 17th century, and marked by a humanistic revival of classical influence expressed in a flowering of the arts and literature and by the beginnings of modern science

Resurrection noun: a. the rising of Christ from the dead after his crucifixion b.the state of one risen from the dead

revelation noun: a. an act of revealing or communicating divine truth b.something that is revealed by God to humans

reverent BSA Handbook: A Scout is Reverent toward God. He is Faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

Roman Catholic noun: a member of the Roman Catholic Church, the largest denomination of Christianity, with more than one billion members. The Roman Catholic Church has had a profound effect on the development of Western civilization and has been responsible for introducing Christianity in many parts of the world. It regards itself as the only legitimate inheritor of the ministry ofJesus, by virtue of an unbroken succession of leaders beginning with Saint Peter the Apostle and continuing to the present day. It holds that the Pope is the infallible interpreter of divine revelation. Church organization is strictly hierarchical.


sacred adjective: a. dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity b. worthy of religious veneration; Holy

sacrament noun: a. a Christian rite (as baptism or the Eucharist) that is believed to have been ordained by Christ and that is held to be a means of divine grace or to be a sign or symbol of a spiritual reality b. a religious rite or observance comparable to a Christian sacrament salvation

salvation noun: a. deliverance from the power and effects of sin b. the agent or means that effects salvation

savior noun: one who brings salvation; specifically capitalized. Jesus

secular adjective: a. of or relating to the worldly or temporal <secularconcerns> b. not overtly or specifically religious <secular music> c. not ecclesiastical or clerical <secular courts>

seminary noun: a. an institution of secondary or higher education b. an institution for the training of candidates for the priesthood, ministry, or rabbinate

sermon noun: a religious discourse delivered in public usually by a clergyman as a part of a worship service

Shabbat noun: the Jewish Sabbath

shaman noun: a priest or priestess who uses magic for the purpose of curing the sick, divining the hidden, and controlling events

shibboleth noun: a. a word or saying used by adherents of a party, sect, or belief and usually regarded by others as empty of real meaning b. a widely held belief

Socinian noun: an adherent of a 16th and 17th century theological movement professing belief in God and adherence to the Christian Scriptures but denying the divinity of Christ and consequently denying the Trinity

spiritual adjective: a. of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit b. of or relating to sacred matters c. ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal d.concerned with religious values

supplicant noun: one who asks humbly and earnestly of

synagogue (also synagognoun: a. a Jewish congregation b. the house of worship and communal center of a Jewish congregation


theism noun: belief in the existence of a god or gods; specifically. belief in the existence of one God viewed as the creative source of the human race and the world who transcends yet is immanent in the world

theological adjective: a. of or relating to theology b. preparing for a religious vocation

theology noun: the study of religious faith, practice, and experience;especially. the study of God and of God’s relation to the world

transcendentalism noun: a philosophy that emphasizes the a priori conditions of knowledge and experience or the unknowable character of ultimate reality or that emphasizes the transcendent as the fundamental reality

transubstantiation noun: the miraculous change by which according to Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox dogma the Eucharistic elements at their consecration become the body and blood of Christ while keeping only the appearances of bread and wine

Trinitarian adjective: of or relating to the Trinity, the doctrine of the Trinity, or adherents to that doctrine

Trinity noun: In Christian doctrine, the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (or Holy Ghost) as one God in three persons. The word Trinity does not appear in the Bible. It is a doctrine formulated in the early church to interpret the way God revealed himself, first to Israel, then in Jesus as Savior, and finally as Holy Spirit, preserver of the church. The doctrine of the Trinity developed in the early centuries of the church and was explicitly stated at the Council of Nicaea in 325.


unanimity noun: the quality or state of being unanimous

Unitarian noun: a. one who believes that the deity exists only in one person b.a member of a denomination that stresses individual freedom of belief, the free use of reason in religion, a united world community, and liberal social action

Universalism noun: a. a theological doctrine that all human beings will eventually be saved b. the principles and practices of a liberal Christian denomination founded in the 18th century originally to uphold belief in universal salvation and now united with Unitarianism

UUA noun: Unitarian Universalist Association

UUSC noun: Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

UUSO noun: Unitarian Universalist Scouters Organization


worship noun: a. reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power b. a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual


YRUU noun: Young Religious Unitarian Universalists

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