Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The QUESTIONS in the Pew Religion Survey

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life just released the result of a survey on religious knowledge among American adults. As with most surveys of the knowledge of American adults, the results were pretty sad. The headline finding is that atheists and agnostics know more about religion than religious people do. This is not so surprising to me - atheists and agnostics tend to be more educated than the average believer about everything.

If you are like me, you perhaps wanted to try you own religious knowledge against this survey. As a public service, I have extracted all the questions from the survey. Pew does not provide an answer key, but I expect Gruntled Center readers will do pretty well. I think I got all of them, so ask me.

PEW FORUM ON RELIGION & PUBLIC LIFE

2010 RELIGIOUS KNOWLEDGE QUESTIONNAIRE


When does the Jewish Sabbath begin? Does it begin on…?

1 Friday

2 Saturday

3 Sunday


Is Ramadan…?

1 The Hindu festival of lights

2 A Jewish day of atonement

3 The Islamic holy month


Do you happen to know which of these is the king of gods in ancient Greek mythology?

1 Zeus

2 Mars

3 Apollo


Do you happen to know the name of the holy book of Islam?


Which of these religions aims at nirvana, the state of being free from suffering?

1 Islam

2 Buddhism

3 Hinduism


In which religion are Vishnu and Shiva central figures?

1 Islam

2 Hinduism

3 Taoism


Is an atheist someone who believes in God, someone who does NOT believe in God, or someone who is unsure whether God exists?


And is an agnostic someone who believes in God, someone who does

NOT believe in God, or someone who is unsure whether God exists?


What is the first book of the Bible?


Will you tell me the names of the first four books of the New Testament of the Bible, that is the Four Gospels?


Where, according to the Bible, was Jesus born?

1 Bethlehem

2 Jericho

3 Jerusalem

4 Nazareth


When was the Mormon religion founded?

1 Before the year 1200 A.D

2 Between 1200 and 1800

3 Sometime after 1800


The Book of Mormon tells the story of Jesus Christ appearing to people in what area of the world?

1 The Americas

2 Middle East

3 Asia


Which of the following best describes Catholic teaching about the bread and wine used for communion?

1 The bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus Christ, or

2 The bread and wine are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ


Which of these religious groups traditionally teaches that salvation comes through faith alone?

1 Only Protestants

2 Only Catholics

3 Both (Protestants) and (Catholics)

4 Neither (Protestants) nor (Catholics)


Please tell me which of the following is NOT one of the Ten Commandments:

1 Do not commit adultery

2 Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

3 Do not steal

4 Keep the Sabbath holy


Which Bible figure is most closely associated with remaining obedient to God despite suffering?

Is it …?

1 Job

2 Elijah

3 Moses

4 Abraham


Which Bible figure is most closely associated with leading the exodus from Egypt?

Is it …?

1 Job

2 Elijah

3 Moses

4 Abraham


Which Bible figure is most closely associated with willingness to sacrifice his son for God?

Is it …?

1 Job

2 Elijah

3 Moses

4 Abraham


Would you tell me if Mother Theresa was …?

1 Catholic

2 Jewish

3 Buddhist

4 Mormon

5 Hindu


Would you tell me if the Dalia Lama is …?

1 Catholic

2 Jewish

3 Buddhist

4 Mormon

5 Hindu


Would you tell me if Joseph Smith was …?

1 Catholic

2 Jewish

3 Buddhist

4 Mormon

5 Hindu


Would you tell me if Maimonides was … ?

1 Catholic

2 Jewish

3 Buddhist

4 Mormon

5 Hindu


Which of the following statements best describes what the U.S. Constitution says about religion?

1 Christianity should be given special emphasis by the government

2 The government shall neither establish a religion nor interfere with the practice of religion, or

3 The Constitution does not say anything one way or the other about religion


According to rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, is a public school teacher permitted to lead a class in prayer, or not?


According to rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, is a public school teacher permitted to read from the Bible as an example of literature, or not?


According to rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, is a public school teacher permitted to offer a class comparing the world’s religions, or not?


Do you happen to know what religion most people in India consider themselves? Is that…?

1 Buddhist

2 Hindu

3 Muslim

4 Christian


Do you happen to know what religion most people in Indonesia consider themselves? Is that…?

1 Buddhist

2 Hindu

3 Muslim

4 Christian


Do you happen to know what religion most people in Pakistan consider themselves? Is that…?

1 Buddhist

2 Hindu

3 Muslim

4 Christian


What was the name of the person whose writings and actions inspired the Protestant

Reformation?

1 Martin Luther

2 Thomas Aquinas

3 John Wesley


Which of these people developed the theory of evolution by natural selection?

1 Charles Darwin

2 Sigmund Freud

3 Clarence Darrow


And which of these court trials focused on whether evolution could be taught in public schools?

1 The Scopes trial

2 The Salem witch trials

3 Brown versus Board of Education


Which one of these preachers participated in the period of religious activity known as the First Great Awakening?

1 Jonathan Edwards

2 Charles Finney

3 Billy Graham

11 comments:

Kerri said...

As a buddhist-leaning agnostic, I am proud to say that the only two I was unsure about were Maimonides and the interpretation of the communion.

debra.boyd said...

Here's the full quiz with the answers:
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0928/Are-you-smarter-than-an-atheist-A-religious-quiz/When-does-the-Jewish-Sabbath-begin

Anonymous said...

Atheist here, also missed the Maimonides question. The only other one I missed was the great awakening question.

peter hoh said...

I, too, was tripped up by Maimonides.

Anonymous said...

A quick lesson on the big M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A2KUkZ-N3E

Anonymous said...

White Mainline Protestant (for reference to follow the categories in the link)

I missed two: the question about salvation through faith alone (was unsure, but guessed Protestant & Catholic) and the question about when Mormonism was founded (Thought it was in the 1700s, so picked 1200 - 1800.) Really, just the form of that question should have tipped me off that "sometime after 1800" was the correct answer, but I was stubborn. Maybe my test-taking skills have gotten rusty.

Pea said...

Mormon here: I miss two myself and one was the Maimonides question and the communion

cesar said...

As a middle age white redneck, Roman catholic conservative, I love Maimonides.

Kelly said...

Catholic school'd agnostic-ish here, also missed Maimonides, and Jonathan Edwards. What surprised me was that the questions I really had to think about were all Bible questions. Thanks Catholic schools! Looking at the scores broken down by religion, apparently Catholics forget a lot about the bible, but if they keep practicing as adults they don't learn much about anyone else? I was pretty surprised with how low Catholics scored compared to other religions. What's the deal?

The Blog Fodder said...

Had I done this one without a few shorter versions first, I would have got two wrong Maimonides and Edwards

chandra said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.