RE Key Terms/Concepts - Religion and Human Experience

These key terms and concepts cover the topics; Relationships, Looking for Meaning, Is it fair? and Our World. These also have examples which are required in the exam and cover Christianity and Hinduism only.


Responsibilities - Actions you are expected to carry out e.g. chores at home.

Commitment - A sense of dedication or obligation to someone or something e.g. marriage commitment.

Chastity - The belief in remaining sexually pure until marriage e.g. the 'Silver Ring Thing'.

Conflict - The stresses and strains within relationships e.g. when people disagree/argue with one another.

Reconciliation - Making up after an argument e.g. saying sorry.

Love - One of the most powerful human emotions e.g. Eros - sexual love.


Christian Types of Love: Eros - Sexual love, Agape - Unconditional love e.g. love of God, Storge - Love of objects, animals, the environment, Philia - Love of family and friends .

Hindu Types of Love: Karuna - Compassion for all, Kama - Sensual love, Bhakti - Religious love, Ludus - Playful Love.

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Is it fair?

Equality - the belief or state that everyone should have equal rights e.g. being treated in the same way and not disciminated against, as we are all part of God's creation.

Authority - power over others through position or moral teaching e.g. religious leader.

Discrimination - the action of treating groups of people differently e.g. racism.

Injustice - where everyone is not treated fairly e.g. their human rights are ignored.

Prejudice - judging people to be inferior or superior without reason e.g. judging a person before you know them or have any evidence about who they are as a person.


Human rights - the rights to which every person is entitled e.g. right to education.

Human dignity - the right to respect and fair treatment.

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Looking for Meaning

Afterlife -  the belief that human existence continues after death e.g. heaven and hell.

Awe - a sense of wonder, something which is beyond belief e.g. the existence of God, a miracle

Community - a group of people who are joined together because they share something in common e.g. if people go to the same church they believe in the same things.

God - the ultimate and supreme power which people worship e.g. someone who is greater than anyone else, has power and is worshipped by others.

Revelation - the ways in which God chooses to reveal himself to people e.g. through the natural world, prayer, holy building, religious leaders.

Symbolism - an idea which is shown through images or actions e.g. a cross symbolises the death of Jesus, someone’s hands together symbolise prayer.

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Looking for Meaning Pt. 2 - EXTRAS

Secular - non-religious

Secularisation - the act of changing something (art, society etc.) so it is no longer under the control or influence of religion

Monotheism - one belief in God//Polytheism - multiple Gods and beliefs – Hindu’s believe there is a Supreme God (Brahman) and has many different aspects (Trimurti – Vishnu (the preserver), Brahma (the creator), Shiva (the destroyer))

Transcendent - that which is beyond our senses and experience

Holy Trinity - God is a single spirit who has 3 persons (trinity)

Symbol - a picture or word which has meaning and represents something else.

Religious symbols - crucifix, Bible, St. David’s star on the Israel flag, cross on top of churches, Yantra (pictures for mediation), on clothing – priests collar, dove (holy spirit), fish (early Christianity), rosary (prayer beads), OM (the sound of the divine), pilgrimage.

Re-incarnation - the belief that when we die our atman is re-born into another body.

Puja - (the act of worship) - offerings, Mandir, Vedas, Murti

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Looking for Meaning Pt. 3 - EXTRAS

Theist - someone who believes in God and is convinced God is real.

Atheist - someone who does not belive in God and is in convinced God is not real.

Agnostic - someone who is not sure if God is real and feels that proof of his existence is beyond human knowledge and experience.

Miracle - something that seems to break a law of science and makes you think that only God could have done it.

Numinous  - 'the feeling of a prescence greater than yourself, often in awe and wonder'.

Omnipotent - God is all-powerful

Omnipresent - God is everywhere

Omniscient - God is all-knowing

Omnibenevolent - God is all-loving

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Our World

Creation - theories about how the world was made e.g. the Big Bang, or Genesis (world created in seven days)

Dominion - belief that we were put in charge of the planet for God e.g. Christians believe we should look after the planet.

Environment - the natural world that surrounds us e.g. plants, animals, insects all around us.

Humanity -  caring or compassion for other people e.g. serving others voluntarily.

Soul -  the part of a human that is not physical, the spiritual part e.g. a reflection of the ‘image of God’ in human beings.

Stewardship -  responsibility to guard over something e.g. Christian belief that we have to look after the world.


‘Ex Nihilo’ - nothing was there until it was created.

The Big Bang - the universe comes from a giant explosion that happened 15,000 years ago; Evolution - humans are actually developed from monkeys via natural selection.

Literalist/Creationist - believe everything in the Bible happened exactly the way it is said.

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