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Санкт-Петербургский государственный университет

Факультет Международных отношений

World religions and Religious Issues

(2 курс, 4 семестр)




6.1.2. Church flocks in steady decline 11

LISTENING 6.1. Archbishop says Christmas story a legend 15


6.2. ISLAM 18

6.2.2. Clarke launches guidance on religious education 23

LISTENING 6.2. Trousers woman' in Islamic World 27


6.3. BUDDHISM 30

6.3.2. The real teenage Witches 32




Vocabulary list 6

Faith: belief, cult, veneration

spiritual values; to transmit values to a new generation; religious beliefs

regular church-goer; attendance; liturgy;

to give sermons in some language; to preach; to worship; regular worshipper; to pray

secularism; to favour one religion over another; to resolve church-state controversies; the right of the state to accommodate differing religious views; to break off relationship with the church;

free exercise of religion; religious tolerance; religious diversity and multiformity; multiplicity of sects/factions;

to intervene/ to meddle in political life; to recognise/ challenge the authority of…; to persecute; to flee from persecutions; to incite to religious hatred

Institutionalised religion; official/established church; non-established church; schism; denomination; confession; sect; heresy; dissent (from); obscurantism; conformity; nonconformity; atheism; agnosticism

theology; religious studies

Christian Religions: Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Protestantism, Anglicanism, the Kirk, Nonconformism (Methodists, Baptists, Pentecostalists);

archbishopric; evangelical; episcopal;

diocese; parish

People in the Church: Pope; archbishop; bishop; vicar; rector; dean; cardinal; Imam; rabbi

priest/ ordained minister; reverend (Rev)

chaplain; clergy; parson; prelacy;

to ordain women as priests;

community; congregation;


baptism; confirmation; Eucharist; confession,

to observe rites; to take the sacrament;

consecration; sacrifice;

sacriledge; profanation; to desecrate; to defile; to profane;

to curse; to excommunicate; to interdict; to unchurch; to anathematize;

to practice a religion; service; holy mass; prayerbook;

sacred; holy; saint; ecumenic; ecclesiastical; spiritual; mundane; secular; lay; devout; pious; zealous; divine; supernatural; evil; occult;

the Bible; the Holy Scripture; scriptures; testimony; the Ten Commandments; the Old/ New Testament; the Gospel; the Koran;

temptation; sin; mortal sin; hell; inferno; devil; fiend;

prophet; disciple; apostle; infidel; martyr; crusader; saviour; saint; guardian angel; patron saint; to canonize;

Non-Christian religions:

Islam (Muslims,Moslems), Judaism (Jews), Sikhism (Sikhs), Hinduism (Hindus), Buddhism (Buddhists); Confucianism; Paganism;

circumcision; infidel

Muslim, Moslem, revelation, the Five Pillars of Islam, the Sunni, the Shi'a, converts, supplication, fasting, moderation

Imam; rabbi

Places of worship: cathedral; church; chapel; synagogue; mosque; sanctuary; temple

Inside the temple

aisle; pew; dome; crypt; altar; shrine;

magic; witchcraft; to cast a spell; coven;

6.1. Christianity


Christianity is a monotheistic religion  based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament.

The four primary divisions of Christianity are Roman Catholicism, the Orthodox Church, Anglicanism, and Protestantism. There are other Christian groups that do not fit neatly into one of these primary categories. There is a diversity of doctrines and practices among groups calling themselves Christian. These groups are sometimes classified under denominations, though for theological reasons many groups reject this classification system. 


The Catholic Church comprises those particular churches, headed by bishops, in communion with the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, as its highest authority in matters of faith, morality and Church governance. Catholics maintain the "one, holy, catholic and apostolic church”, but also acknowledge other Christian churches and communities and work towards reconciliation among all Christians. With more than 1.1 billion baptized members, the Catholic Church is the largest church representing over half of all Christians and one sixth of the world's population.


Like the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church also traces its heritage to the foundation of Christianity. A number of conflicts with Western Christianity over questions of doctrine and authority culminated in the Great Schism.

Eastern Orthodoxy is the second largest single denomination in Christianity, with over 200 million adherents.

The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) is often said to be the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches in the world and second only to the Roman Catholic Church among Christian churches, numbering over 135 million members world wide and growing numerically since late 1980s. According to the data made public December 12, 2008, the Church had 157 dioceses including 29,263 parishes served by 203 bishops, 27,216 priests and 3,454 deacons.


Estimates of the total number of Protestants are very uncertain, partly because of the difficulty in determining which denominations should be placed in these categories, but it seems clear that Protestantism is the second largest major group of Christians after Catholicism in number of followers (although the Orthodox Church is larger than any single Protestant denomination).

A special grouping are the Anglican churches descended from the Church of England and organised in the Anglican Communion. Some Anglican churches consider themselves both Protestant and Catholic. 


All Christians believe Jesus is the son of God, God having become man and the savior of humanity. Christians, therefore, commonly refer to Jesus as Christ or Messiah.

The foundation of Christian theology is expressed in the early Christian ecumenical creeds, which contain claims predominantly accepted by followers of the Christian faith.These professions state that Jesus suffered, died from crucifixion, was buried, and resurrected from the dead to open heaven to those who believe in him and trust him for the remission of their sins (salvation). They further maintain that Jesus bodily ascended into heaven where he rules and reins with God the Father.


Christianity regards the Bible, a collection of canonical books in two parts (the Old Testament and the New Testament), as the authoritative word of God. The New Testament mentions several resurrection appearances of Jesus on different occasions to his twelve apostles and disciples, before Jesus' Ascension to heaven. Jesus' death and resurrection are commemorated by Christians in all worship services, with special emphasis during Holy Week which includes Good Friday and Easter Sunday

Most denominations teach that Jesus will return to judge all humans, living and dead, and grant eternal life to his followers. He is considered the model of a virtuous life and physical incarnation of God. Christians call the message of Jesus Christ the Gospel ("good news") and hence refer to the earliest written accounts of his ministry as gospels.

According to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born from the Virgin Mary. Little of Jesus' childhood is recorded in the canonical Gospels while his adulthood, especially the week before his death, are well documented in the Gospels contained within the New Testament.


Christian churches, denominations, and sects are divided regarding the number and operation of the sacraments. Sacraments are generally held to have been instituted by Jesus Christ and represent a rite,that mediates grace of God. They are usually administered by the clergy to a recipient or recipients. Administering the rite priests use such things as water, oil, and bread and wine, which are blessed or consecrated.

The two most widely accepted sacraments are Baptism and the Eucharist, however, the majority of Christians recognize seven Sacraments or Divine Mysteries: Baptism, Confirmation (Chrismation in the Orthodox tradition), and the Eucharist, Holy OrdersReconciliation of a Penitent (confession), Anointing of the Sick, and Matrimony


As of the early 21st century, Christianity has between 1.5 billion  and 2.2 billion adherents.Christianity represents about a quarter to a third of the world's population and is the world's largest religion. In addition, Christianity is the state religion of several countries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Orthodox_Church

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