Audio Glossary


Teachers and students alike are often puzzled as to how to pronounce words they come across when studying religions, or learning about religious education. To help overcome this problem it is intended that all the words in this glossary will, in time, have an associated sound file, which you will be able to activate by clicking on the word. Of course this enterprise has some intrinsic difficulties. In the same way as there are differences between the way in which different native English speakers will pronounce a word, depending on regional or national accent, so too with most other languages. We do not claim to offer the “right” pronunciation, only a close approximation to a generally recognisable common pronunciation.

The glossary will also be a useful resource to look to when puzzled by the meaning of words found in RE textbooks or other material about religions. Of course there are other glossaries you might look at, for example the one produced by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. More likely you will just google the word or expression you are puzzled by. Here too there are likely to be disputes as to whether we have explained some words or expressions accurately or clearly.

And then there is the problem of spellings: arti or aarti? Vaisakhi or Baisakhi? Diwali or Divali or Deepavali? Our initial choices are to some extent arbitrary, although as far as possible they reflect the most common usage – Google can find about 4 million entries for Diwali, half a million for Divali.

We will try to add alternative spellings to later versions of the glossary.

If you think there is a mistake, or a clear improvement to be made on what we are saying, then please tell us about it using the contact button opposite. We promise we will read and give serious consideration to any suggestions you make. Also, if there is a word or expression you were looking for and did not find, tell us about that too. We intend to update and improve this glossary regularly.
Link to the QCA Glossary of Terms for Religious Studies (this was originally developed with the support of members of Shap and published by the Secondary Examination Council in collaboration with the Religious Education Council).

Proceed to the glossary text