Ex. 1. Read the text and
discuss it with your partner
Many religions exist on our
planet. Among them there is Christianity, the Orthodox, Buddhism, Islam,
Judaism and others. But God is unique for every confession.
The science says that there
are physical laws that govern the physical universe. The Church says that
there are spiritual laws which govern our relationship with God.
The universe, the world and
man came into existence in the beginning when God created heaven and earth and
all creatures. The Bible presents a true and historical account of Creation.
Man was created by God in his
own image. He was created perfectly and without sin. Man can talk with God by
praying with his mouth or simply his heart since God knows man's heart.
The Bible promises eternal
life to all who believe in Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God. Jesus lived a
life without any sin.
He was then crucified to pay
for our sins. By faith in Jesus as people's Savoir from sin, they have the
confidence that they will join him in heaven after the die.
Faith in Jesus Christ is a
living force within the believer given by the Holy Spirit. They may live
peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness knowing that their sins
are taken away by God.
They know that Jesus Christ
will come again. Though no one can tell the exact time of Jesus' return.
This is what people believe,
teach and confess.
Christianity – христианство
Orthodox – православие
Islam — мусульманство
Ex. 1. Think of names for
belief in a god or gods (religion)
to admit that you have done something
illegal or wrong (confess)
relating to the part of a person that many
people believe continuous to exist after death (spiritual)
to make something new to exist or happen (create)
an action, thought, or way of behaving
that is wrong according to religious laws (sin)
to kill someone by fastening them to a
cross with nails or rope (to crucify)
a strong belief that someone or something
is good (faith)
a name that Christians sometimes use for
Jesus Christ who saves us from trouble or danger (Savior)
Ex. 2. Answer the questions:
What religions do you know?
Is there any difference between science
What does the Bible present?
How man can talk with god?
Why was Jesus Christ crucified?
What do people believe in?
What religion do you belong to?
Ex. 3. Complete the sentences:
Many religions …
god is unique …
The Church says that there are …
Man was created …
The Bible promises eternal life to …
By faith in Jesus Christ …
They know that Jesus …
Though no one can tell …
Ex. 4. Give the description of
religion; confess; spiritual;
create; sin; to crucify; faith; Saviour
Ex. 5. Reread the text and
give a short summary of it using new words and word combinations.
Ex. 6. Read some more
information about religion of the British people and put questions to these
The British People
Throughout British history
religion has been closely connected with kings, queens and politics. England
was a Roman Catholic country until 1534. Why did this change?
In 1525 King Henry VIII
decided to divorce his queen, Catherine of Aragon who, at the age of forty,
was five years older than Henry. Also, she had only given him a daughter, and
Henry wanted a son. He fell in love with Anne Bolleyn who was younger, but
when Henry asked the Pope for permission to divorce Catherine, he refused.
Henry was so angry with the Pope that he ended all contact between England and
Rome, divorced Catherine of Aragon without the Pope's permission and married
Anne Boleyn. In 1534 Parliament named Henry head of the Church of England.
This was the beginning of the Anglican Church. This quarrel with Rome was
political, not religious. The Anglican Church did not start as a Protestant
Church and Henry certainly did not regard himself as a Protestant. In fact,
the Pope had given Henry the title of "Defender of the Faith" in 1521 for
words he wrote attacking Martin Luther, the German Protestant. (British kings
and queens still have this title, and you can see the letters FID DEE or F. D.
on British coins today). However, the Protestant movement in Europe was
growing very strong at this time. When Henry quarrelled with Rome and ordered
the Bible to be translated into English, the way was open for Protestantism to
spread in England. Over the years many people changed to this new religion.
In 1533 Mary, Henry's daughter
by Catherine of Aragon, became Queen of England. Because she was a Roman
Catholic, the country re-entered the Roman Church. While Mary was Queen, many
Protestants were burned at the stake for their beliefs. She also put her
non-Roman Catholic sister, Elizabeth (the daughter of Henry and Anne Boleyn),
into prison in the Tower of London. Protestants were glad when Mary died in
1557 and Elizabeth became Queen. Elizabeth also became Head of the Anglican
Church, like her father, and Roman Catholicism was never again the established
(official) religion in England.
The Different Religions
Studies show that about 9 in
10 Americans identify with a religion and that about 6 in 10 belong to a
church. About 94 percent of Americans who identify with a religion are
Christians. Among Christians there are more Protestants than Catholics.
However, there are many different Protestant denominations, or groups. For
example, Protestants include, among others, Baptists, Methodists, and
Lutherans, and each of these groups is divided into smaller groups. So
Catholics, although outnumbered by Protestants, are the single largest
religious group. Jews are the largest non-Christian group, with about 4
percent of the population. About 2 percent of the population is Moslem, and
smaller numbers are Buddhists and Hindus. Native Americans of ten preserve
their tribal religions.
Ex. 1. Read and translate the
text using the dictionary if necessary:
already studied cultural universals, i.e. general practices found in every
culture — such as dancing, food preparation, the family, and personal names.
Religion is clearly such a cultural universal and religious institutions are
evident in all societies. At present, an estimated 3.6 billion persons belong
to the world's major religious faiths.
Religion is found
throughout the world because it offers answers to such ultimate questions as
why we exist, why we succeed or fail, and why we die. It is difficult
to determine with certainty when religious behavior began, but anthropological
evidence suggests that such behavior was evident at least 100 000 years ago.
the world's principal religions include the following religious
Christianity or the Christian religion. This religion is based
on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and is named after him. Jesus Christ
was expected to save the Jews. He established Christianity and was considered
by the Christians to be the son of the God. Christianity was established in
the 1st century AD. and later developed into a ruling religion. Now it is one
of the world's major religions.
course of time Christianity was divided into several branches Roman
Catholicism is a branch of the Christian religion, the Roman Catholic
Church, whose leader, the Pope, rules from Rome. Protestantism
is a part of the Christian Church that separated from the Roman Catholic
Church in the 16th century. These two religious faiths are the national
religions of many countries in Europe, North and South America, and Australia.
The third major branch of Christianity is Orthodox. The Orthodox
Church or the Eastern (Greek) Church is contrasted with the Roman or Western
Church. It came into being with the fall of the Roman Empire in the 4th
century and developed into a world's major religion in the IX-X1 centuries in
the Eastern part of the Roman Empire, Byzantium. Nowadays the Orthodox Church
includes the national churches of Eastern Europe. Among the other Christian
faiths is the Anglican Church or the Church of England which was
established in the 16th century as a branch of the Christian Church and now it
has about 30 mln followers. All in all, there are over 1.6 billion total
Christians in the world.
The founder of this religion is the
great Arabian prophet Mohammed or Muhammad (570(?)—632 AD). The followers of
Islam are called Moslems or Muslims. This religious faith is the national
religion of many countries in Asia and Africa. The followers of this religion
worship Allah (the Arabic word for «God»).
This religion is founded by Buddha,
the great religious teacher who lived in India about 2500 years ago. The
followers of this religion are called Buddhists. This is the national religion
of India and some other countries of Asia.
the religion of the Jews.
the religious system of the Hindus
(the largest social and religious subdivision of the population of India).
Chinese Folk Religions.
Although some particular
religious faiths dominate some areas and countries of the world, nowadays even
within the same society, there is a diversity of beliefs, rituals, and
experiences that characterize its religious life, and people turn to a variety
of religions for answers to ultimate questions of existence
societies religious behavior is organized in four basic forms: the ecclesia,
the denomination, the sect, and the cult.
ecclesia is a religious
organization that claims to include most of or all the members of a society
and is recognized as the national or official religion. Examples of an
ecclesia include the Lutheran church in Sweden, the Catholic church in Spain.
Islam in Iran. In a society with an ecclesia the political and religious
institutions often act in harmony and mutually reinforce each other, though
within the modern world, the ecclesia tends to be declining in power
denomination is a large
organized religion that is not officially linked with the state or
government. Though considered respectable within a society, it lacks the
official recognition and power held by an ecclesia. No nation of the world has
more denominations than the United States because many settlers in «the new
world» brought with them the native religions of their homelands. Thus, there
is a diversity of Christian religions in the United States and some
non-Christian faiths as well.
sect is a relatively
small religious group that has broken away from some other religious
organization to renew what it views as the original vision of the faith. Sects
are fundamentally at odds with society, they are often short-lived and do not
seek to become established national religions.
cult is a
generally small, secretive religious group that represents either a new
religion or a major innovation of an existing faith.
Sociologists have recognized the critical importance of religion in human
societies. They see its appeal for the individual and due to that appeal they
view religion as a social institution and evaluate its impact on human
religion is a cultural universal, it fulfills several basic functions within
human societies. In viewing religion as a social institution sociologists
stress the following major functions of religion in modern society:
integration, social control, and social support. Religion offers people
meaning and purpose for their lives, it gives them certain ultimate values
which help a society to function as an integrated social system, reinforce
other social institutions and the social order as a whole. Religion can offer
people social support. Most of us find it difficult to accept the stressful
events of life — death of a loved one, serious illness, bankruptcy, divorce,
and so forth, especially when something «senseless» happens. Religion
encourages us to view our personal misfortunes as relatively unimportant, as
being “God's will”. This perspective may be much more comforting than the
terrifying feeling that any of us can die senselessly at any moment. Besides,
religion offers consolation to people by giving them hope that they can
achieve eternal happiness in an afterlife.
all social scientists look upon religion in this perspective. Karl Marx
described religion as an «opiate» particularly harmful to oppressed peoples.
In his view and later in the view of conflict theorists, religion often
drugged the masses into submission by offering them a consolation for their
harsh lives on earth: the hope of happiness in an ideal afterlife. In simpler
terms, religion keeps people from seeing their lives in political terms and
diverts their attention from earthly problems. From Marx's perspective,
religion promotes stability within society and therefore helps to maintain
social inequality. Religion reinforces the interests of those in power and the
subordination of the powerless.
Marxists suggest that religion lessens the possibility of collective political
action that can end oppression and transform society.
contemporary industrial societies, scientific and technological advances have
increasingly affected all aspects of life, including the social institution of
religion. The term secularization refers to the process
through which religion's influence on social life diminishes. But despite the
fact that this process is evident and other social institutions — such as the
economy, politics, and education — maintain independence of religious guidance
at present, it would be incorrect to conclude that religion is in decline.
Religion will survive in the private spheres of individual and family life and
on a personal level because people appear to be turning to religion as they
lose confidence in other important institutions of social life. At present,
religion continues to be an important influence on human society.
Find in the text English equivalents of the following:
вера (вероучение), по
крайней мере, с течением времени, отделиться от, сравниваться с
(противопоставляться чему-либо), возникнуть, падение Римской империи,
установить, последователь, основатель (основать), пророк, поклониться
кому-либо, разнообразие (2), экклесия (верность церкви), вероисповедание
(отличное от официальной религии), секта, культ, претендовать (заявлять),
взаимно усиливать друг друга, терять власть, не иметь официального признания,
отделиться (порвать с), привлекательность, социальная поддержка, несчастье,
утешать (успокаивать), бессмысленно, утешение, приводить кого-либо к
покорности, тяжелая жизнь, проще говоря, отвлекать чье-либо внимание от земных
проблем, обеспечивать стабильность, сохранять неравенство, власть предержащие,
бесправные, успехи, уменьшаться (снижаться), несмотря на, руководство, выжить,
терять веру в, вечные ценности.
Supply the missing words and word combinations choosing among those given
Cultural universals are ... found in every culture. 2) Religion is ... such a
cultural universal, and religious institutions are ... in all societies. 3) It
is difficult to ... with certainty when religions behavior began. 4)
Christianity is ... on the life and ... of Jesus Christ. 5) The Orthodox
Church is ... with the Roman Church. 6) Although some particular religious
faiths ... certain areas and countries of the world, people turn to ... of
religions for answers to ... questions of existence. 7) In a society with an
ecclesia, the political and religious institutions often act... and mutually
... each other. 8) Most of us find it difficult to accept... events of life.
9) Religion ... us to view our personal ... as ... unimportant. 10) Religion
offers ... to people by giving them hope of... happiness in ... . 11) Karl
Marx described religion as particularly ... to oppressed peoples. 12) From
Marx's perspective, religion ... stability and helps ... social inequality.
13) In ... industrial societies, scientific and technological ... have ...
affected all aspects of life. 14) At present, other social institutions
maintain ... of religious ... . 15) People ... to be turning to religion as
they lose ... in other important institutions of social life. 16) At present,
religion continues to be an important ... on human society.
influence, appear, confidence, independence, guidance, contemporary, advances,
increasingly, promotes, to maintain, harmful, consolation, eternal, an
afterlife, encourages, misfortunes, relatively, stressful, in harmony,
reinforce, dominate, a variety, ultimate, contrasted, based, teachings,
determine, clearly, evident, general practices.
Study the following word combinations and use them in sentences of your own:
to, to offer answers to ultimate questions, in the course of time, to come
into being, to be recognized, to decline in power, to break away from, to
renew smth, to be at odds with, to offer social support, to offer consolation,
to look upon smth, to drug smb into submission, to keep smb from doing smth,
to reinforce the interests of those in power, to lessen a possibility to do
smth, to. maintain independence of, to lose confidence in, to be an important
Reread the text and answer the following questions.
1) Why do
you think that religion is a cultural universal? 2) What are the world's
principal religions? 3) What are the basic forms of organized religious
behavior? What is the difference between them? 4) Why do you think
sociologists have recognized the critical importance of religion in human
societies? 5) What are the major functions of religion, if viewed from the
sociological perspective? 6) How are these functions fulfilled by religion? 7)
In what perspective did Karl Marx and other conflict theorists look upon
religion? 8) What diminishes the role and influence of religion within the
contemporary society? 9) How can you prove that religion will survive and
remain an important aspect of life in modern industrial societies?
Ex. 2. Define
the following key terms and memorize the definitions:
ecclesia, denomination, sect, cult, secularization.
Speak on the following topics:
world's principal religions. 2) Basic forms of religious behavior. 3)
Functions of religion as a social institution. 4) Different sociological
approaches to religion. Which of them do you share and why? 5) Secularization
of modern society. 6) The increasing influence of religion within the
contemporary Russian society.
Revise the active vocabulary and the definitions of the key terms of unit and
translate the following into English.
крайней мере, уже 100 000 лет назад. Хотя
определенные религиозные вероучения господствуют в некоторых областях и
странах мира, сейчас даже внутри одного общества существует большое
разнообразие верований и обрядов, которые характеризуют религиозную жизнь
этого общества. В современном мире экклесия имеет тенденцию ослаблять свою
власть. Ни одна нация в мире не имеет столько вероисповеданий, как Соединенные
Штаты, так как переселенцы в «Новый свет» привезли с собой религию своей
родины. Социологи признают важное значение религии в человеческом обществе и
ее привлекательность для отдельного индивидуума. Религия предлагает людям
вечные ценности, которые помогают обществу укрепить другие социальные
институты и общественный порядок в целом. Религия предлагает людям утешение,
давая надежду на вечное счастье в загробном мире. Карл Маркс и другие
теоретики рассматривали религию как опиум, особенно опасный для угнетенных
народов, так как религия отвлекала их внимание от земных проблем и снижала
возможность коллективного политического действия, направленного на то, чтобы
покончить с угнетением и преобразовать общество. Секуляризация современного
общества ослабляет влияние религии на общественную жизнь, но было бы неверно
заключить, что религия в наше время находится в упадке.
Comment on the following quotations thinking like sociologists.
is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the feelings of a heartless world....
It is the opiate of the people» (Karl Marx «Introduction to the
Critique of the Hegelian Philosophy of Right», 1844).