Language and Religion mind map

  • Created by: Ahja16
  • Created on: 27-01-20 09:13
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  • Religious Language
    • Religious language can be in both modes – spoken and written.
      • Sacred texts – The Bible, The Book of Common Prayer etc.  These contain the key doctrines or core beliefs of Christianity.
        • Prayers – special forms of polite command or requests made to God.
        • Sermons – a type of prepared speech made by a priest or minister to give moral guidance or instruction.
        • Liturgies – chants, thanksgivings, hymns and psalms
    • Religion addresses people’s spiritual side which may require a more serious and dignified form of  communication.
      • Religion often involves rituals which require a special form of language to reflect their seriousness.
      • nReligion is often highly traditional and will tend to rely on long-established texts and forms of words.
    • Subject-specific with specialist religious terms such as disciples, church, altar, parable, pray, forgive, repent etc.
      • Frequently archaic e.g.: brethren for brothers, cleansed  for cured, abide  for stay, smite for defeat
      • Formulaic phrases and idioms.  Certain groupings and patterns of words appear repeatedly 
        • e.g.: Let us pray, dearly beloved, we beseech thee (to introduce a prayer), Amen (to conclude a prayer)
      • •Lord, Father, almighty God, most merciful Father, heavenly father, Son of God, Son of Man, the Son, only-begotten Son, the Christ, the Messiah, Jesus, Jesu,  
        • the good shepherd , lamb of god. King of the Jews, Jesus the Carpenter, Jehovah, the Immortal, saviour, holy ghost, Christ almighty, Immanuel, 
      • A variety of naming conventions are used for God / Jesus because:
        • References are frequent and so avoids excessive repetition
        • May emphasise a particular aspect of the Godhead (e.g. saviour – comes to save us)
        • nMay contain modifiers which give additional information for thought / reflection (e.g. merciful Father emphasises compassionate nature of God)
    • Religious texts frequently contain vocatives.  This is the grammatical case of a noun used for directly addressing someone e.g.:
      • O Lord, Almighty Father, Our Father in heaven, Merciful 
        • nModifiers – frequently emphasize divine or powerful attributes:
          • mighty, merciful, righteous, all-powerful, all-knowing,  heavenly
      • O Mum, My friends, A2 language students, Ladies and Gentlemen etc
        • Pronouns
          • Archaic pronouns are often favoured (e.g. ye, thou, thee, thine ). Thee / thou / thine suggests intimacy or familiarity between believers and God / Jesus.
          • First person singular (I, my, mine etc) is rarely used.  First person plural (we, us, our etc) is often favoured.  This has the effect of identifying believers together as a group.
    • Pronouns are often post-modified 
      • Thou, who takest away the sins of the world
      • Verbs
        • Many archaic inflections (verb endings) i.e. –(e)th –(e)st
        • nArchaic auxiliaries e.g. they did eat, he is come etc.
      • Sentence construction
        • Sentences are often complex with many clauses
        • Co-ordinators often come at the start of sentences
          • And God called        And God said
        • Sentence functions – Declaratives are common.  Imperatives are often used in prayers.
      • Inversion (switching around) of verb and subject is common e.g.
        • (   verb  ) (subject) Then answered the Lord
    • Semantics
      • Religious texts use a lot of figurative language (metaphor, simile, personification, symbol).
        • These add an extra layer of meaning to the stories from the bible e.g.
          • I am the true vine
          • And the fire of the Lord burnt among them
          • Fight the good fight with all thy might
    • Rhetoric
      • Religious texts often seek to persuade people to believe.  Look for techniques such as:
        • Repetition of key words and phrases
        • Antithesis (contrasts) – heaven / hell, death / resurrection, good / evil
        • Parallel phrasing 
      • nMay the Lord answer you when you are in distress . . . May he send you help from the sanctuary . . . May he remember all your sacrifices


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