Knowing once to capitalize religious terms can be hell. Or have to that be Hell? and also there we acquire to the crux the the matter. Are words from religions always capitalized? Is the only as soon as you use these state in a spiritual context? Or must you just say “to heck with it” and stop caring?

Well, prior to you do that, check out our overview to capitalizing spiritual terms.

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When to Capitalize religious Terms

As a guideline, you have to usually capitalize the an initial letter of spiritual terms when they are supplied as a ideal noun. This is a noun the names a distinctive entity, such together “Barbra Streisand” or “Donald Duck.”

In a spiritual context, ideal nouns might include:

Religions and spiritual movements (e.g., Judaism, Methodism)Religious figures and also deities (e.g., Jesus, Zeus)Holy messages (e.g., Bible, Quran)Religious holidays (e.g., Easter, Diwali)Titles when supplied with a name (e.g., Reverend Green)

However, there room some cases where the exactly capitalization depends on just how you’re using a term. We will certainly look at a few of this below.

God, Gods, Goddesses and Proper Nouns

As discussed above, friend should always capitalize the first letter in a ideal noun. If you to be referring to the Christian deity, for instance, friend would must capitalize the “G” in “God”:

I am here only by the grace of God.

But part words, favor “god,” can be either ideal or usual nouns depending on how we use them. So if you to be referring come gods and also goddesses in general, or any god or goddess whereby “god” is not component of their name, girlfriend would have to use a lower instance “g” instead:

Prior to Christianization, the Anglo Saxons venerated the germanic gods and also goddesses, consisting of Ēostre, the goddess that the dawn and also spring.

Notice that us do, however, capitalize Ēostre in the example above, also though we use a lower case “g” because that “goddess.” This is due to the fact that Ēostre is the name that a goddess, so it is a proper noun.

Other Inconsistent Capitalization

“God” is the most prominent example of something we only capitalize in particular cases. However, there room many religious terms that have 2nd meanings. And also you need to only capitalize these words if you use them in a religious context, not as soon as they’re provided elsewhere.


For instance, we would capitalize “Catholic” in “the Catholic Church.” yet “catholic” can also mean “all-embracing.” and also we would certainly not usage a funding “C” to write about someone with interests in a selection of watch unrelated points (i.e., someone through “catholic tastes”).

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“Catholic” tastes ≠ A liking for Gothic architecture and also stained glass.

Likewise, we would capitalize the “M” in “Mass” if us were talking about the religious ceremony. Yet we would not typically capitalize the very same word when using it together an adjective in “mass market” or “mass transit.” it pays, then, to twin check whether spiritual terms have other uses.

Holy Pronouns

In the past, the was common to capitalize the very first letters of pronouns once referring to religious figures. This is well-known as reverential capitalization. For instance, if we provided “his” to describe God, we might capitalize the “H”:

Our hearts chandelier rejoice in God and His divine name!

This is quite unusual in contemporary writing. However, if you carry out use reverential capitalization, there are two crucial rules come follow:

Only apply it to pronoun that refer to deities and also divine beings.Apply it repeatedly throughout her writing.

To certain consistency, you may likewise want to have your writing proofread. However if friend do, let her editor understand which terms you’ve preferred to capitalize.

Heaven and Hell

Finally, we have heaven and hell. Together a rule, you do not must capitalize these terms. This is true even when introduce to the Christian ideas of “heaven” and “hell.” take Matthew 5:18 from the NIV Bible, because that instance:

For truly ns tell you, until heaven and planet disappear, not the the smallest letter, not the least stroke that a pen, will certainly by any means disappear indigenous the legislation until everything is accomplished.

However, some spiritual institutions carry out prefer come capitalize the indigenous “Heaven” and also “Hell.” and also you should constantly capitalize ‘Heaven’ when referring to the famous gay nightclub in London.

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Is this what Belinda Carlisle was to sing about?(Photo: Nick Cooper/wikimedia)

The capitalization of “Heaven” is, in fact, among the few areas wherein evangelical Christians and also the LGBT+ neighborhood truly watch eye come eye. And also that, at least, should be celebrated.