The American Religious Heritage

BEFORE YOU READ

Preview Vocabulary

A. Read the following sentences from the chapter and notice the words in italics. Use context clues to help you figure out the meanings. Then choose which definition is best for the italicized word. These key AWL words will help you understand the chapter reading.

____ 1. Although the overwhelming majority of Americans are Christians, all

religions make important contributions to the American culture.

a. things you give or do in order to help make something successful

b. official statements made by religious leaders to inspire people

____ 2. In contrast to Catholic traditions, Protestant leaders had a different

attitude toward work. They believed that the work of all people was holy.

a. the opinions, feelings, or beliefs about something

b. particular practice or customary behavior

____ 3. The idea of mixing materialism (love of things) and religion may seem

contradictory. Religion is considered to be concerned with spiritual matters, not material possessions.

a. different

b. similar or almost the same

____ 4. Many businesses encourage their employees to do volunteer work, such as

helping clean up parks or doing other community projects in their spare time.

a. without being paid

b. necessary or required

______ 5. Perhaps the most dramatic example of the idea of self-improvement is

the experience of being “born again.”

a. uncertain or undecided

b. exciting and impressive

____ 6. America’s religious heritage seems to have encouraged certain basic

values that members of many diverse faiths find easy to accept. This has helped to unite many different religious groups in the United States without requiring any to abandon their faiths.

a. to leave behind a particular idea or principle

b. to try to convince others to join your religious faith

B. In this chapter, there are words dealing with religion, such as priest, soul, and church. Other words have to do with wealth, such as money, financial, and sum.

Look at the words below and classify them into one of these two groups. Write R next to words dealing with religion and W next to words dealing with wealth.

1.

bless

9.

prosperity

2.

faith

10.

Protestant denomination

3.

forgiveness

11.

riches

4.

fortune

12.

save and invest

5.

holy

13.

sin

6.

material success

14.

soul

7.

missionary

15.

spiritual

8.

pray

16.

tax credit

Preview Content

A. Read the questions below and discuss them with your classmates.

1. Read the quotation by Thomas Jefferson at the beginning of the chapter. What do you think he meant? How could this belief affect religion in the United States?

2. What do you know about religion in the United States? Do you think that the United States has the same religions as your country? Fill in the Venn diagram with the names of religions found only in your country, only in the United States, or in both countries.

Religions

image041

B. Before you read the chapter, look at the headings for each section. Which sections do you think will have the answers to these questions? Write the heading of the section in the space below each question.

1. Do many Americans believe in God?

2. What is the most popular religion in the United States?

3. Do Americans have an official national religion?

4. How has religion shaped American values?

Updated: 18th July 2015 — 3:16 pm