World Religions: Western Traditions: Chapter 6

Instructions: Instructions: For each question, click on the radio button beside your answer. When you have completed the entire quiz, click the 'Submit my answers' button at the bottom of the page to receive your results.

Question 1:


a) The premise that all religions are based on the same (or at least compatible) core assumptions about the sacred.
b) The process of cultural borrowing that occurs when religious traditions interact with each other.
c) The notion that all religious beliefs/practices can be explained in light of other, more fundamental factors (e.g., economics, human psychology, and/or social pressures)
d) The phenomenon of an enforced prohibition on indigenous practices by a technologically superior colonial power.

Question 2:


a) Taboo
b) Shaman
c) Myth
d) Spirit

Question 3:


a) Orality is not inherently less ‘advanced’ than literacy.
b) Many indigenous societies did have some form of writing system.
c) Most modern indigenous people are literate.
d) Throughout the histories of many so-called textual / scriptural religions, the majority of the populace was illiterate.

Question 4:


a) Connection to specific places
b) This-worldly emphasis
c) Authority of elders
d) Reverence of a Great Spirit

Question 5:


a) The continued importance of ancestors in the lives of their descendents.
b) A cultural focus on present, this-worldly realities that trumps concerns about the afterlife.
c) Metaphors that stress the proximity between the ancestors and the living.
d) All of the above.

Question 6:


a) A trickster figure who creates humanity by accident
b) A masculine creator god who orders the chaos of the primordial world
c) An ‘earth diver’ who helps to recover the soil lost to during a deluge
d) A primordial ancestor who dreams the new creation into existence

Question 7:


a) Dreamtime
b) The Early Days
c) Lost Time
d) Uncreated Time

Question 8:


a) Relationships (both within communities and between communities and ancestors) are vitally important.
b) The universe itself is characterized by relatedness; the actions of humans, spirits. and ancestors have significance.
c) That natural world exists in a perfect state of harmony and balance.
d) Creation does not proceed from nothing (ex nihilo).

Question 9:


a) Teaching proper moral conduct by demonstrating the effects of immorality upon society.
b) Explaining particular aspects of the natural world.
c) Showing the importance of community and relationships.
d) All of the above.

Question 10:


a) A secret name, imparted to them by a sacred spirit.
b) Special ritual techniques required for curing diseases and communicating with the ancestors.
c) Survival and hunting skills necessary to thrive in the dangerous environment of the Outback.
d) The realization that things are not necessarily as they appear.

Question 11:


a) Encouraging the participation of the entire community, either in active or supportive roles (relative to the participants)
b) Enacting a transaction between spirits and ritual officiants
c) Symbolically (re)creating sacred realities
d) Demonstrating the continuity between spirits, ancestors, and the present community

Question 12:


a) The materials, especially the various plants, from which the physical threads used by Maori weavers are created.
b) The specific patterns of Maori weaving, which are understood to be a gift from the gods.
c) The different colours of thread used in the weaving, each of which are thought to possess a particular cosmological significance.
d) The society of weavers, who maintain the traditions.

Question 13:


a) Death
b) The sky
c) Spirits
d) The womb

Question 14:


a) It is impossible to comprehend the significance of sacred masks outside of their ritual context.
b) The ritual use of animal masks by indigenous people generally indicates that the group in question worships those particular species.
c) The creation of sacred masks almost always involves various ritual precepts (such as purity regulations).
d) Masks are often used to invite particular spirits into the community, through the performance of ritual.

Question 15:


a) The term ‘totem’ is derived from the Anishinaubae language—a group that does not create totem poles.
b) A totem pole is generally carved from a single tree.
c) Totem poles are intended to survive for a fixed amount of time (until the wood decomposes). Some cultures consider it inappropriate to preserve totem poles through artificial means.
d) Given their sacredness, totem poles serve only ritual or commemorative functions. It would be considered inappropriate to use a totem pole for a practical purpose (such as supporting a roof or marking a grave).

Question 16:


a) The plants and fungi from which the various tattoo inks are derived.
b) The original means of applying pigment to the flesh (using chisels).
c) The fern frond, the most important motif in Maori tattoos.
d) The god from whom the art of tattooing was learned.

Question 17:


a) Since most indigenous religious practices are undertaken in nature, religious buildings, such as they are, often exist simply to house cult objects or to commemorate key locations.
b) Most ostentatious religious buildings emerge from religions that had cultural hegemony over a region for a long time. This is simply not the case for most indigenous religions.
c) Lack of ornamentation does not necessarily bespeak lack of religious significance.
d) Given the indigenous focus on simplicity and unity with nature, the creation of large-scale religious buildings is fundamentally antithetical to their religious views.

Question 18:


a) God’s country
b) No one's land
c) Virgin territory
d) Free earth

Question 19:


a) 10-15 per cent
b) 15-20 per cent
c) 20-25 per cent
d) 25-30 per cent

Question 20:


a) Colonial religion is often associated with the technological/military prowess of the conquering nation.
b) Access to education, which is key to surviving in the new shared cultural context, is often controlled by religious organizations.
c) Missionary efforts to rationally convince indigenous people of the intellectual inferiority of their traditional practices were often successful.
d) Some colonial governments banned indigenous religious practice.

Question 21:


a) Redistributing material possessions
b) Sacrificing to the Great Spirit
c) Displaying conspicuous consumption
d) Dancing and performing music

Question 22:


a) Monism
b) Conflict dualism
c) Animism
d) Complementary dualism

Question 23:


a) Nongqawuse and the Cattle Massacre (Xhosa)
b) Handsome Lake and the Longhouse religion (Iroquois)
c) Transition of the sacred from earth to sky (Australian Aborigine)
d) Wovoka and the Ghost Dance (Paiute)

Question 24:


a) Many modern indigenous groups are now actively reacting against the patriarchal attitudes inherited from colonial cultures.
b) There is generally an even split between stories of male and female tricksters in indigenous mythology.
c) Traditional indigenous cultures tended to stress gender equality, with both men and women playing the same roles in society.
d) In most traditional indigenous cultures, the gods/spirits are primarily male.