Religion and Life – KEY TERMS

Key Terms


Abortion – the deliberate termination of a pregnancy

Afterlife – beliefs about what happens after we die

Animal Rights – belief that animals should be given rights and protection

Awe – an overwhelming feeling of wonder  and amazement

Big Bang Theory – scientific theory which states that the universe began with a cosmic explosion 13-15 billion years ago

Charles Darwin – the scientist who put forward the theory of Evolution

Conception – when sperm meets egg

Conservation – t repair the environment or to protect it

Creation – idea that God created the universe ex nihilo, out of nothing

Dominion – to be put in charge of

Environment – the world around us

Euthanasia – a gentle or easy death

Evolution – idea that living creatures have changed over time to reflect their environment. This is by the process of natural selection

Fossil Fuels – the Earth’s natural resources eg coal and oil

Hospice – a place which offers palliative or end of life care. They will support the dying with pain relief but also the emotional and psychological issues linked to death

Hypothesis – a proposed idea for something

Natural Selection – process by which the strongest characteristics are passed on to the next generation. Natural selection drives the process of evolution

Pesticide – chemicals used to kill pests especially on crops

Pro Choice – belief that a woman has the right to choose what happens with her body including the right to choose an abortion

Pro Life – belief that all life is sacred and should be protected. This includes the unborn child

Quality of life – a judgment on how ‘good’ a person’s life is

Right to die – a belief that humans should have the right to decide when they die eg if they are suffering from a terminal illness

Sanctity of Life – Life is special and God given. God gives life only God has the right to take it away

Science – knowledge gained through observable experiments

Stewardship – a belief that humans have been placed in a position of great power. With that power comes great responsibility to care for what they have been given eg animals and the environment

Sustainable energy – resources that are renewable eg wind power or solar power


Exam Tip – Make sure you know the definitions of the words above


Scientific Truth Versus Religious Truth

Scientific truth comes from making a hypothesis and testing if it is true. This is usually done through experiments, recording results and reviewing the original hypothesis. Science is very good at answering the ‘what’ and ‘how’ questions.

Science is very fast paced and ideas change rapidly.

Religious truth comes from mainly from faith and holy texts. Religion attempts to give us answers to the ‘why’ questions such as why are we here?


Exam Tip – Much of what you cover in this unit is also relevant in the beliefs section as well as the unit on revelation


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