Friday, November 02, 2007

What's your religious literacy?

The Quill Book Awards are a relatively new entry in book awards. They're the publishing industry's attempt to parallel the Oscars or Emmys. This year's Quills were recently awarded, and two that I was particularly happy to see were David Wiesner's Flotsam for Children's Picture Book and Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale for Debut Author of the Year.

More immediately relevant to my work in Christian publishing was the award for Religion/Spirituality, which went to Stephen Prothero's Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know - And Doesn't. Prothero is the author of the excellent American Jesus: How the Son of God Became a National Icon, which came out a few years back. In Religous Literacy, Prothero argues that most people simply have very little understanding of the basics of most world religions and even the essentials of their own faith.

What's your religious literacy? Take Prothero's quiz:
  1. Name the four Gospels. List as many as you can.
  2. Name a sacred text of Hinduism.
  3. What is the name of the holy book of Islam?
  4. Where according to the Bible was Jesus born?
  5. President George W. Bush spoke in his first inaugural address of the Jericho road. What Bible story was he invoking?
  6. What are the first five books of the Hebrew Bible or the Christian Old Testament?
  7. What is the Golden Rule?
  8. "God helps those who help themselves": Is this in the Bible? If so, where?
  9. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God": Does this appear in the Bible? If so, where?
  10. Name the Ten Commandments. List as many as you can.
  11. Name the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism.
  12. What are the seven sacraments of Catholicism? List as many as you can.
  13. The First Amendment says two things about religion, each in its own "clause." What are the two religious clauses of the First Amendment?
  14. What is Ramadan? In what religion is it celebrated?
  15. Match the Bible characters with the stories in which they appear. Draw a line from the one to the other. Hint: Some characters may be matched with more than one story or vice versa.
  16. Adam and Eve  Exodus
    Paul Binding of Isaac
    Moses Olive Branch
    Noah Garden of Eden
    Jesus Parting of the Red Sea
    Abraham Road to Damascus
    Serpent Garden of Gethsemane
See here for the answers. I got most of these right (enough to score an "A" on their grading), but the ones I didn't get related to non-Christian religions. I had a world religions course in college, but it's a bit convicting to me that I can't recall some of these very basic fundamentals. (See also this world religions quiz - I got 9 out of 10 on this one.)

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