Knowing as soon as to capitalize religious terms can be hell. Or have to that it is in Hell? and there we get to the crux that the matter. Space words native religions always capitalized? Is the only as soon as you use these state in a religious context? Or have to you just say “to heck v it” and also stop caring?

Well, prior to you execute that, examine out our guide to capitalizing spiritual terms.

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When come Capitalize religious Terms

As a guideline, you have to usually capitalize the very first letter of religious terms once they are provided as a ideal noun. This is a noun that names a distinctive entity, such together “Barbra Streisand” or “Donald Duck.”

In a religious context, proper nouns might include:

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

However, there space some cases where the correct capitalization counts on exactly how you’re using a term. We will look in ~ a couple of of this below.

God, Gods, Goddesses and also Proper Nouns

As pointed out above, girlfriend should always capitalize the first letter in a suitable noun. If you to be referring come the Christian deity, because that instance, you would have to capitalize the “G” in “God”:

I am here only by the elegant of God.

But some words, prefer “god,” can be either ideal or typical nouns depending on how we use them. So if you were referring come gods and also goddesses in general, or any type of god or goddess where “god” is not part of their name, you would should use a lower case “g” instead:

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

Notice that us do, however, capitalize Ēostre in the example above, even though we usage a lower case “g” for “goddess.” This is because Ēostre is the name the a goddess, so it is a ideal noun.

Other Inconsistent Capitalization

“God” is the most prominent instance of something we just capitalize in details cases. However, there room many spiritual terms the have second meanings. And also you have to only capitalize this words if you use them in a religious context, not when they’re provided elsewhere.


For instance, we would capitalize “Catholic” in “the Catholic Church.” however “catholic” can also mean “all-embracing.” and we would not use a capital “C” come write about someone v interests in a selection of seemingly unrelated points (i.e., someone v “catholic tastes”).

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

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

Holy Pronouns

In the past, it was common to capitalize the first letters the pronouns once referring to religious figures. This is known as reverential capitalization. For instance, if we offered “his” to refer to God, we might capitalize the “H”:

Our hearts shall rejoice in God and His divine name!

This is fairly unusual in modern-day writing. However, if you perform use reverential capitalization, there room two an essential rules to follow:

Only apply it to pronouns that describe deities and also divine beings.Apply it repetitively throughout your writing.

To ensure consistency, friend may likewise want to have actually your creating proofread. Yet if you do, let her editor know which state you’ve preferred to capitalize.

Heaven and Hell

Finally, we have actually heaven and also hell. As a rule, you do not must capitalize this terms. This is true also when referring to the Christian ideas of “heaven” and “hell.” take it Matthew 5:18 native the NIV Bible, for instance:

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

However, some spiritual institutions perform prefer to capitalize the words “Heaven” and also “Hell.” and also you should always capitalize ‘Heaven’ as soon as referring to the famed gay nightclub in London.

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

The capitalization of “Heaven” is, in fact, among the few areas wherein evangelical Christians and also the LGBT+ community truly see eye to eye. And that, in ~ least, need to be celebrated.