Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Religious Literacy

According to Stephen Prothero, "Americans are both deeply religious and deeply ignorant about religion."

In his book, Religious Literacy, Prothero traces the decline of religious knowledge, proposes a remedy and compiles a dictionary of religious literacy. He includes a quiz for readers to test their knowledge.

Here are a few of those questions along with some of my own:

  1. Name a sacred text of Hinduism.
  2. What are the five books of the Torah?
  3. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Where is this found in the Bible?
  4. What are the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism?
  5. What is Ramadan?
  6. What is the difference between the Sunnis and the Shiites?
  7. Ellen White founded what religious faith?
  8. What religion celebrates Kwanzaa?
  9. What are the teachings of Gnosticism?
  10. What are the five pillars of Islam?
  11. What is the Decalogue?
  12. Vishnu is a deity of what religion?

If you don't know one of these, do a Google search and explain the answer in the comments.

Pastor Rod

"Helping You Become the Person God Created You to Be"


M. Pease said...


The only ones I actually know are the Biblical questions (I did look up the other answers though). I have never been drawn much to seek out information about other religions, though many years ago I did meet some Zen Buddhists, Hari Krishna's and some people from the Process Church (considered by some to be Satan worshippers).

The truth is that I would rather, on the occasion of conversing with someone of another faith, hear their understanding of their own religion and then respond to that rather than having a base of "ready" answers which might miss the point.

Scripture tells us to be prepared to - respectfully - give a reason for the hope that is in us; not to be ready to tell people what is wrong with their belief system.

daniel the smith said...

In looking up the Four Noble Truths, I was struck by how similar the description of Buddhism-in-practice sounded like Christianity-in-practice. There are some key differences, of course. The similarities surprised me though.