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100 Words Encountered in

Religion - Christianity

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theology
She studied theology at Yale Divinity School.
theology = the study of religion
DefinitionGenerally theology means:
the study of religion; or a particular system or school of religious beliefs
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evangelist
Rick Warren may be today's most admired evangelist.†
evangelist = a Christian who tries to convince others to become Christian — especially on television, radio, or in large gatherings

or when qualified (such as "an ecosystem evangelist"):  anyone who tires to convince others of something
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ecclesiastical
Many consider The Bishop of Rome to be a first among equals in this ecclesiastical fraternity.
ecclesiastical = associated with a church
DefinitionGenerally ecclesiastical means:
of or associated with a church — especially a Christian Church
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Judaism
Jerusalem is a holy city for Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
Judaism = the oldest of the three major monotheistic religions — whose believers are known as Jews
DefinitionGenerally Judaism means:
the oldest of the three major monotheistic religions —  having its spiritual and ethical principles embodied chiefly in the Torah and in the Talmud
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catholic
When the Apostles Creed uses the word "catholic", it does not reference the church headed by the Pope, but rather a universal church.
catholic = universal; or inclusive of a wide range of people or interests
DefinitionGenerally this sense of catholic means:
universal or inclusive of a wide range of people or interests
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doctrine
She challenges accepted doctrine.
doctrine = generally accepted beliefs
DefinitionGenerally doctrine means:
a belief (or system of beliefs or principles) accepted as authoritative by some group
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denomination
as in:
the Baptist denomination
Downtown synagogues, mosques and churches of various denominations joined to assist the homeless.
denominations = a group of religious congregations (such as churches, temples, masques...) sharing distinctive beliefs and belonging to the same organization
DefinitionGenerally this sense of denomination means:
a group of religious congregations (such as churches, temples, masques...) sharing distinctive beliefs and belonging to the same organization

or more rarely (and less formally):  any categorization of people
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disciple
She was his favorite student and disciple.
disciple = someone who believes and helps to spread the teachings of another
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testament
His success raising numerous small contributions is testament to his popularity.
testament = evidence for something
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revelation
It was a revelation to me. Until they gave us those tests, I had no idea that I was better than most people at clerical accuracy.
revelation = something previously unknown and now learned (revealed)
DefinitionGenerally this sense of revelation means:
something that was previously unknown — especially something that is surprising; or making such a thing known
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parable
Many people have heard the parable of the prodigal son.
parable = a short story told to teach a moral lesson — especially those told by Jesus in the New Testament
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liturgy
She supports a more contemporary liturgy.†
liturgy = a specific form prescribed for public worship
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baptism
She was baptized at the same church as her grandmother.
baptized = "spiritually renewed" in a Christian ceremony
DefinitionGenerally baptism means:
a Christian ceremony signifying spiritual cleansing and rebirth

or:

a challenging experience that initiates or purifies
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Reformation
Most scholars date the reformation from Luther's 1517 publishing of The Ninety-Five Theses to the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia.†
Reformation = a series of Christian efforts to reform the Catholic Church which led to major protestant denominations separate than the Catholic Church
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affirm
Maria affirmed that she has complete faith in the other members of the team.
affirmed = expressed a firm belief
DefinitionGenerally affirm means:
a firm statement that something is true

or:

expressing emotional support or encouragement for someone
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reign
as in:
She reigned over England
The arranged marriage solidified the alliance between two of Europe's most important reigning families.
reigning = ruling
DefinitionGenerally this sense of reign means:
rule (like that of a king or queen); or the time during which one ruled
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Protestant
Protestant churches deny universal authority of the Pope.
Protestant = any of the Western churches that separated from the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation
DefinitionGenerally Protestant means:
a member of or relating to any of the Western churches that separated from the Roman Catholic Church during the Reformation
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temporal
as in:
temporal world
She focuses more on the spiritual while his main concern is with temporal existence.
temporal = concerned with the material (in contrast to the spiritual) world
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repentance
Prisoners who show repentance are more likely to be released on parole.
repentance = regret for having done wrong with a desire to be a better person in the future
DefinitionGenerally repentance means:
the feeling or expression of regret for having done something wrong with a firm decision to be a better person in the future
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canon
as in:
a canonical requirement
Their actions violate the canon of proportional response.
canon = an official or established rule or principle; or a collection of such rules or principles (often in reference to rules or principles of a church)
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monk
a Tibetan monk wearing an orange robe
monk = a male member of a religious order typically living under vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience
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monastery
Henry VIII's Dissolution of the Monasteries was the largest legally enforced transfer of property in English history since the Norman Conquest.
monasteries = the residences of religious communities
DefinitionGenerally monastery means:
the residence of a religious community
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gospel
2 meanings
as in:
a gospel song
The earliest surviving complete copy of the gospels dates back to the 4th century.
gospels = the four books in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) that Christian's believe tell the story of Jesus Christ's life and teachings
DefinitionGenerally this sense of gospel means:
the religious teachings of Jesus

or:

one of the four books in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) that Christian's believe tell the story of Jesus Christ's life and teachings

or:

a type of vocal music that originated in African-American churches in the United States
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as in:
they consider it gospel
She takes it as gospel.
gospel = an unquestionable truth
DefinitionGenerally this sense of gospel means:
a set of beliefs firmly held by a group

or:

an unquestionable truth
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testimony
Her emotional testimony moved the jury.
testimony = the statement of a witness at a trial
DefinitionGenerally testimony means:
something that serves as evidence — especially a statement at a trial or hearing
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Jerusalem
Palestinians demanded that Israel halt construction in East Jerusalem.
Jerusalem = capital and largest city of the modern state of Israel; a holy city for Jews, Christians and Muslims
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dwell
as in:
It dwells in the forest.
The creature dwells in the forest.
dwells = lives in
DefinitionGenerally this sense of dwell means:
make one's home in; or to live in; or to stay (in a place)
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parish
Are we talking about a governmental or a religious parish?
parish = a local church community

or in Louisiana:  a jurisdiction of government like a county
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New Testament
The dominant message of the New Testament is to love.†
New Testament = the second half of the Christian Bible which describes the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, as well as other Christian teachings
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Old Testament
The Bible consists of the Old and New Testaments.†
Old and New Testaments = the collection of books comprising the sacred scripture of the Hebrews which is the first half of the Christian Bible
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apostle
2 meanings
as in:
an apostle for the cause
an apostle of revolution
apostle = an ardent early supporter of a cause or reform

or:

any important Christian missionary — especially the first to a country or region
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as in:
chosen by Jesus
Paul claimed the role of Apostle to the Gentiles.
Apostle = Christianity:  one of the original 12 disciples (followers) chosen by Jesus Christ to preach his gospel
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Abraham
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam each revere Abraham as a founding patriarch.†
Abraham = religion:  father of Isaac (Judaism and later Christianity) and of Ishmael (Islam); tested when God asked him to sacrifice his son Isaac; pleaded for Sodom and Gomorrah
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pious
The cartoon with a drawing of Muhammad outraged many pious Muslims.
pious = highly religious
DefinitionGenerally pious means:
behaving in a highly moral or religious manner

or less commonly:  behaving highly moral in a self-righteous or holier-than-thou manner
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divine
as in:
to forgive is divine
Her pies are divine.
divine = wonderful
DefinitionGenerally this sense of divine means:
wonderful; or god-like or coming from God
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righteousness
extremism fed by unquestioned belief in the righteousness of their cause
righteousness = moral correctness
DefinitionGenerally righteousness means:
morally correct
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providence
On the eve of battle, he prayed that providence was in our favor.
providence = luck; or God's plan
DefinitionGenerally this sense of providence means:
resulting from God's intervention or plan; or lucky — especially with regard to when something happened
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ecumenical
It's an ecumenical organization that provides food and shelter to the homeless.†
ecumenical = pertaining to the working together in harmony of different religious groups
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advent
as in:
it is Advent
Christians began celebrating Advent in the fourth century.
Advent = Christianity:  the period that includes the four Sundays preceding Christmas
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sacrament
Augustine defined a Christian sacrament as "a visible sign of an invisible reality."†
sacrament = an important Christian ceremony such as baptism or communion
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Jesuit
The University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy is an outstanding college-prep school.
Jesuit = a member of the Society of Jesus (known for their schools and missionary work)
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clergy
Under labor law, the clergy can be required to uphold the beliefs of the religion they have chosen.
clergy = formal religious leaders (typically in Christianity)
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materialistic
She thinks Americans are too materialistic.†
materialistic = concerned with wealth and possessions at the expense of other interests
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atone
To atone for sins is a common religious theme.
atone = fix or make up (for a wrong)
DefinitionGenerally atone means:
to fix or make up for a wrong — especially a sin
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monotheism
the three great monotheistic religions:  Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
monotheistic = belief in a single God
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polytheism
Polytheism was the typical form of religion during the Bronze Age and Iron Age.†
polytheism = belief in multiple Gods
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deity
has made prosperity his deity
deity = any god or goddess — especially God
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deify
He deified science, then poetry, and then returned to belief in God.†
deified = exalt to the position of a God
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theist
An interesting combination — a theist married to an atheist.†
theist = a person who believes in the existence of a God or gods

or:

a person who believes God actively intervenes in daily life
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Anglican
He has no authority, but he asked Anglican vicars to retire if they don't believe in God.†
Anglican = referencing churches (or their members) whose traditions trace back to the Church of England
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atheist
While many atheist decline any non-material reality, others have a spiritual outlook on life.
atheist = someone who does not believe in the existence of god
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agnostic
He's agnostic — about the existence of God and the proof of any non-physical belief.
agnostic = someone who is doubtful or noncommittal about something — especially belief in God
DefinitionGenerally agnostic means:
a person who believes they lack true knowledge about the existence of God (but believes that God might exist)

or more rarely:  someone who is doubtful or noncommittal about something
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consecrate
The priest consecrated the chapel.
consecrated = made holy (typically by means of religious rites)
DefinitionGenerally consecrate means:
make holy by means of religious rites
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Ascension
Many of the books of the New Testament describe Jesus' Ascension to heaven.†
Ascension = Christianity:  celebration of the Ascension (rising) of Christ into heaven; observed on the 40th day after Easter
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The Trinity
In the popular novel, The Shack, three characters represent the Trinity.†
The Trinity = Christian description of three simultaneous forms of God:  the Father, the Son (Jesus Christ), and the Holy Spirit  (that provides strength and guidance to Christians)
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Martin Luther
Martin Luther was dismayed at atrocities committed in his name during the Peasants'  War.†
Martin Luther = German theologian who led the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines of Lutheran, Protestant and other Christian traditions with his belief that salvation comes from personal faith (not deeds) and does not require mediation from the church (1483-1546)
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Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas was posthumously excommunicated, but later pronounced a saint.†
Thomas Aquinas = exceedingly influential philosopher who greatly furthered Catholic reconciliation of faith and reason (1225-1274)
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omnipotent
She believes God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.
omnipotent = all powerful
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omniscient
She believes God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.
omniscient = all-knowing; i.e., to know everything
DefinitionGenerally omniscient means:
all-knowing (to know everything)
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omnipresent
She believes God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.†
omnipresent = being present everywhere at once
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beatitude
Her favorite Beatitude is "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth."
beatitude = one of the nine sayings of Jesus at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount
DefinitionGenerally beatitude means:
a state of supreme happiness

or:

one of the nine sayings of Jesus at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount — each of which begin with the word "blessed" ("beatus" in Latin)
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John the Baptist
I was moved by Rodin's sculpture of Saint John the Baptist.†
John the Baptist = New Testament:  a preacher and hermit and forerunner of Jesus (whom he baptized); beheaded by Herod at the request of Salome
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Apocrypha
Since 1826, most protestant Bibles have excluded the Apocrypha.†
Apocrypha = books which were included in the Roman Catholic version of the Old Testament but not accepted in the Hebrew or Protestant Bibles

or more rarely:

early Christian writings never included in any version of the Bible
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Francis of Assisi
El Greco's painting, Saint Francis in Prayer, is recognized by many art lovers.†
Saint Francis = an Italian and the Roman Catholic monk who founded the Franciscan order (1181-1226)
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anguish
I felt unbearable anguish when my 4-year-old child died from brain cancer.
anguish = extreme distress
DefinitionGenerally anguish means:
extreme distress of body or mind
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Puritans
The Pilgrims who we remember on Thanksgiving were Puritans.
Puritans = English Protestants who in the 16th and 17th centuries thought there were too many rituals in worship and who stressed hard work above pleasure
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dogma
he believed all the Marxist dogma
dogma = a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative by some group
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Quakers
Quakers are known for their pacifism.†
Quakers = a member of the Religious Society of Friends founded by George Fox (the Friends have never called themselves Quakers)
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invocation
Any invocations must be done so they do not advance any particular faith or belief.†
invocations = a prayer asking God's help as part of a religious service
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crusade
as in:
First Crusade to Jerusalem
Resentments date back to the Crusades.
Crusades = any of the more or less continuous military expeditions in the 11th to 13th centuries when Christian powers of Europe invaded Muslims in the Holy Land in the Middle East
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Holy Communion
There are those who would like to deny Holy Communion to pro-choice politicians, but most see such a policy as violating the separation of church and state.
Holy Communion = sharing of bread and wine to remember Jesus' death (also called Eucharist)
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Eucharist
Though to most Christians there is no distinction between the Catholic and Protestant view of the Eucharist, Protestants are not supposed to take communion at Catholic services.†
Eucharist = sharing of bread and wine to remember Jesus' death (also called Holy Communion)
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blaspheme
Did she blaspheme against the Prophet Muhammad?†
blaspheme = utter obscenities or profanities; or to speak disrespectfully of something considered sacred — especially of God or religion
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apostasy
Are there governments that still punish apostasy with death?†
apostasy = renouncing one's religion or (less precisely) political party or other cause
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apostate
When apostates are executed in the Muslim world, it is usually done by non-governmental groups operating with impunity from the government.†
apostates = someone who abandoned their religion

or:

someone not faithful to a cause or a friend
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serene
While I lie awake worrying, she sleeps serenely.
serenely = calmly and peacefully
DefinitionGenerally serene means:
calm and untroubled
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John Calvin
During Calvin's lifetime, executions for heresy were common, but not in Geneva.†
Calvin = arguably the greatest theological thinker of the Reformation whose legacy includes Calvanism and Presbyterianism (1509-1564)
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Middle East
It is as likely as fair weather in southern California and unrest in the Middle East.†
Middle East = a region comprising the lands around the southern and eastern parts of the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf (though there is no agreement on an exact to definition)
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epistemology
Her faith and reason led her to study epistemology.†
epistemology = the study of how we know what we know
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tithe
Although she no longer attends services, she still tithes.†
tithes = to pay a portion of one's income — especially a tenth of income to a church
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prodigal son
The prodigal son returns.†
prodigal son = one of the most famous parables in the New Testament — often referenced as an example of love and forgiveness of one who repents for wrong-doing
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venial
If it was a sin, it was venial.
venial = easily excused or forgiven
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Calvinism
The doctrine of predestination is probably the most controversial aspect of Calvinism.†
Calvinism = the theological system of John Calvin and his followers emphasizing omnipotence of God and salvation by grace alone
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Francis Xavier
Francis Xavier died before reaching the Chinese mainland.†
Francis Xavier = famous Catholic missionary who (with Ignatius) helped found  the Society of Jesus (commonly known as the Jesuits) and who spread Christianity to the East (1506-1552)
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recusant
a recusant imprisoned in the Tower of London†
recusant = history:  a Catholic who broke the law by refusing to attend services of the Church of England between the 16th and 18th centuries
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Council of Trent
The Council of Trent ended the sale of indulgences.†
Council of Trent = a council of the Roman Catholic Church convened between 1545 and 1563 to examine and condemn the teachings of Martin Luther and other Protestant reformers; redefined the Roman Catholic doctrine, abolished various ecclesiastical abuses, and strengthened the papacy
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Thomas More
The film, A Man for all Seasons is based on the life of Thomas More.
Thomas More = English statesman who accepted execution rather than take an oath against his beliefs; executed by Henry VIII; coined the word "utopia" (1478-1535)
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Age of Reason
The Age of Reason saw a separation of philosophy and theology.†
Age of Reason = a movement in the 17th century that advocated the use of reason in the reappraisal of accepted ideas and social institutions — especially in Britain, France, & Germany
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Saint Peter
Jesus invited the fisherman, Peter (Simon Peter), to become a fisher of men.†
Simon Peter = most prominent of the disciples of Jesus and leader of the Apostles; regarded by Catholics as the first Pope; crucified (?-c. ad 64)
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Spanish Inquisition
The Spanish Inquisition had precedents in earlier Inquisitions.†
Spanish Inquisition = Spanish investigation and punishment of those who were not good Catholics — noted for its cruelty in the 16th century
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Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.†
Joan of Arc = French heroine and military leader inspired by religious visions to organize French resistance to the English; captured by the English, tried for heresy, and burned at the stake when she was 19 years old (1412-1431)
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stigmata
Stigmata are primarily associated with the Roman Catholic faith.†
stigmata = marks resembling the wounds on the crucified body of Christ
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road to Damascus
It was a road to Damascus moment for me.†
road to Damascus = one's "road to Damascus" references a life-changing revelation (so-named because of the Christian story of Paul's trip to Damascus)
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hubris
another example of hubris preceding a fall
hubris = excessive pride, arrogance, or confidence
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Desiderius Erasmus
As Erasmus said, "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king."†
Erasmus = Dutch humanist and theologian who was the leading Renaissance scholar of northern Europe; although his criticisms of the Roman Catholic Church were instrumental to the Reformation, he opposed violence and condemned Martin Luther (1466-1536)
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Methuselah
He's as old as Methuselah.
Methuselah = Old Testament:  grandfather of Noah who is said to have lived 969 years
DefinitionGenerally Methuselah means:
Old Testament:  grandfather of Noah who is said to have lived 969 years

or more rarely:  a man who is very old
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David & Goliath
It's a feel-good, David and Goliath story.†
David and Goliath = story of a brave, young David who surprisingly defeats a formidable opponent, Goliath, by hitting him with a stone thrown from a sling
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Teutonic Knights
The Teutonic Knights were defeated by a combined Polish-Lithuanian army in 1410.†
Teutonic Knights = Knights of the Teutonic Order; an organization of Germanic crusaders founded in Palestine in 1190; disbanded 1525
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Saint Patrick
Legend (known not to be true) is that St. Patrick rid Ireland of snakes.†
St. Patrick = Apostle and patron saint of Ireland; an English missionary to Ireland in the 5th century
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High Holidays
I especially hate to be away from family during the High Holidays.†
High Holidays = the ten-day period in Judaism which begins with Rosh Hashanah, is followed by the ten days of repentance, and ends with Yom Kippur (the day of repentance)
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† 
Sample usage followed by this mark was not checked by an editor. Please let us know if you spot a problem.
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