TOEFL Preparation: Lesson 10 - Spirituality

Updated: Aug 15

Target Words 1. agnostic 2. animism 3. atheist 4. be inclined to

5. contemplate 6. deify 7. ecclesiastical

8. exalt 9. pious 10. sacrifice

Definitions and Samples

1. agnostic 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

2. animism 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

3. atheist 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 4. be inclined to 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

5. contemplate 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

6. deify 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

7. ecclesiastical 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

8. exalt v. To praise or honor He would often exalt the virtues of his new wife. Parts of speech exaltation n

9. pious 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

10. sacrifice 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. In order to succeed in his career, he had to sacrifice his private life and his leisure time. 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


Choose the likely meaning of the word part that is shared within each set of words. 1. animism, animal, animation The root anim 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

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 Structure— Here As patriarch means “while working in the position of church leader.”


1. Which sentence best expresses the essential information of this passage?

  1. The Russian Orthodox Church was banned under Soviet control.

  2. Few Russians believe in a god.

  3. Aleksey II has updated the church’s image.

  4. 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

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