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
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