400 Must Have Words for the TOEFL » LESSON 10 - Spirituality

Word List
  • agnostic [æɡˈnɑstɪk] adj.
    Believing that humans cannot know whether there is a god
    His devoutly Christian parents had problems with his agnostic beliefs.
    Parts of speech     agnostic n., agnosticism n.
  • animism [ˈænəˌmɪzəm] n.
    The belief that natural objects, such as trees, have souls
    Desert cultures that practice animism often believe that winds contain spirits.
    Parts of speech     animistic adj.
  • atheist [ˈeɪθiəst] n.
    One who does not believe in the existence of a supreme being
    He argued that his scientific training made it impossible for him to be anything but an atheist.
    Parts of speech     atheistic adj.
  • be inclined to [ɪnˈklaɪn] v.
    To favor an opinion or a course of action
    He couldn’t say which candidate he favored, but he had always been inclined to vote Republican.
    Parts of speech     incline n., inclination n.
  • contemplate [ˈkɑn(t)əmˌpleɪt] v.
    To consider thoughtfully
    If you contemplate each step for so long,we will never complete this project on time.
    Parts of speech     contemplation n., contemplative adj.
  • deify [ˈdiəˌfaɪ] v.
    To worship as a god
    When people deify the leader of their country, the leader is able to abuse power more easily.
    Parts of speech     deity n.
  • ecclesiastical [əˌkliziˈæstək(ə)l] adj.
    Relating to a church
    He was looking specifically for a university where he could study ecclesiastical history.
    Parts of speech     ecclesiastic n., ecclesiastically adv.
  • exalt [ɪɡˈzɔlt] v.
    To praise or honor
    He would often exalt the virtues of his new wife.
    Parts of speech     exaltation n.
  • pious [ˈpaɪəs] adj.
    Having or exhibiting religious reverence
    Sometimes she was so pious that the rest of us felt like heathens.
    Parts of speech     piousness n., piety n., piously adv.
  • sacrifice [ˈsækrəˌfaɪs] v.
    Anything offered to a deity as a religious thanksgiving; giving up something in order to have something more valuable later on
    Every harvest time, the Fadeloni people sacrificed vegetables to their gods as a show of thanks.
    Parts of speech     sacrifice n., sacrificial adj., sacrificially adv.

TOEFL Prep I Complete each sentence by filling in the blank with the best word or phrase from the list. Change the form of the word if necessary. Use each word or phrase only once.

  • be inclined to
  • contemplate
  • deify
  • exalted
  • sacrifice
  1. Traditionally, the Camerian society __________ its leaders, considering them to be sent from the land of the gods.
  2. To do well in his university courses, he had to __________ a lot of his personal time.
  3. The generation of American leaders known as “the Founders”are __________ by many scholars for their wisdom and courage.
  4. She knew she would always __________ agree with what her mother said, so she struggled to remain unbiased.
  5. The human resources department __________ whether they should let Mary go.

TOEFL Prep II Circle the likely meaning of the word part that is shared within each set of words.

  1. animism, animal, animation
    The root anima probably means
    • a. color
    • b. death
    • c. many
    • d. life
  2. atheistic, amoral, apathetic
    The prefix a probably means
    • a. not
    • b. loving
    • c. excessive
    • d. surely
Answer Key
  1. deifies
  2. sacrifice
  3. exalted
  4. be inclined to
  5. contemplated
  1. d
  2. a
Answer Key

TOEFL Success Read the passage to review the vocabulary you have learned. Answer the questions that follow.

In Russia, several religions coexist, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and animism. The most common religion is Christianity, and most Christians are members of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Church has existed for over 1,000 years, surviving even the official atheism of the Soviet era and the agnosticism that may have been even more prominent at the time. During the communist years, many Russians who practiced Orthodoxy sacrificed career and educational opportunities. The tenacity of Russian Orthodoxy may explain why even nonreligious Russians are inclined to call themselves Russian Orthodox. That same staying power drives the Church today, which is run by Aleksey II of Moscow. Born Aleksey Mikhailovich Ridiger, the future patriarch was from a very pious family. As a boy, Aleksey was often taken by his parents on their annual pilgrimages, when he most certainly began contemplation of the religious way of life he was to choose. As patriarch, Aleksey is exalted in the Church governance, but he is not deified. Aleksey has published articles on Church history and peacemaking in both the ecclesiastical and secular press, broadening the Church’s image both in Russia and abroad.

Bonus StructureHere As patriarch means “while working in the position of church leader.”

  1. Which sentence best expresses the essential information of this passage?
    • a. The Russian Orthodox Church was banned under Soviet control.
    • b. Few Russians believe in a god.
    • c. Aleksey II has updated the church’s image.
    • d. The Russian Orthodox Church has a long history of strong membership in Russia.
  2. According to the passage, Aleksey II of Moscow is
    • a. a god
    • b. a high church official
    • c. a secular leader
    • d. an atheist
Answer Key
Answer Key
  1. d
  2. b
Favorite Books

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