Answers to UU religious literacy quiz

Answers to the quizzes are below. Scoring: Give yourself partial credit if you want. Passing score is 65 for each quiz. Brag about your high score, or bemoan your low score, or tell me where I went wrong, in the comments.

Universalism religious literacy quiz
Unitarianism religious literacy quiz
Unitarian Universalism religious literacy quiz

Religious literacy quiz: North American Universalists

Part One: Theology

(1) Treatise on Atonement, Hosea Ballou. [10 points.]

(2) There will be limited punishment after death for sins in this life, but eventually everyone will go to heaven. [10 points.]

(3) Originally meant universal salvation, reinterpreted to mean a universal religion for all humankind. [10 points.]

Part Two: Institutional history

(4) John and Judith Sargent Murray were key figures in organizing a Universalist congregation in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1779. [10 points.]

(5) Winchester, New Hampshire, in 1803. [10 points.]

(6) Universalist General Convention. [10 points.]

Part Three: Important Universalists

For each of the following, give one short sentence on their accomplishment(s), and say which half century (e.g., first half of the nineteenth century) they were active:

(7) Judith Sargent Murray: see no. 4 above; wrote first North American Universalist catechism. Last half of 18th C. [10 points]

(8) Hosea Ballou: most important Universalist theologian, wrote Treatise on Atonement. Late 18th and early 19th C. [10 points]

(9) Olympia Brown: first woman to be ordained a minister by a national religious body (by the Universalist General Convention). Late 19th C. [10 points]

(10) P. T. Barnum: showman and circus promoter. Mid 19th C. [10 points]


Religious literacy quiz: North American Unitarians

Part One: Theology

(1) “Unitarian Christianity,” a sermon preached by William Ellery Channing. [10 points.]

(2) Jenkin Lloyd Jones was one key figure. [10 points.]

(3) Both. After he left fundamentalism, James Luther Adams became a humanist, but later was allied with the Christians in Unitarianism and Unitarian Universalism. [10 points.]

Part Two: Institutional history

(4) King’s Chapel, Boston, 1785, James Freeman. [10 points.]

(5) None whatsoever. [10 points.]

(6) 1825. [10 points.]

(7) Small groups of 10 or more, without a minister, could affiliate as Unitarian congregations beginning after the Second World War. The fellowship movement contributed to the growth of Unitarianism in the post-war period. [10 points.]

Part Three: Important Unitarians

For each of the following, give one short sentence on their accomplishment(s), and say which half century (e.g., first half of the nineteenth century) they were active:

(8) Minister, abolitionist, scholar, prominent exponent of Transcendentalist views, Theodore Parker’s congregation regularly attracted over 2,000 people a week. Mid 19th C. [10 points]

(9) Egbert Ethelred Brown was an early Black Unitarian minister. Early 20th C. [10 points]

(10) Sophia Fahs was a key figure in revitalizing religious education. Mid 20th C. [10 points]


Religious literacy quiz: North American Unitarian Universalists

Part One: Theology

(1) The flaming chalice originated as a symbol of the Unitarian Service Committee during the Second World War. The artist, Hans Deutsch, had no particular symbolism in mind, but certainly the flaming chalice was a symbol of the Service Committee. [10 points.]

(2) The hymnal. Or the Bylaws of the Unitarian Universalist Asosication, especially the so-called “Principles and Purposes.” [10 points.]

(3) There is no general agreement on the answer to this question; perhaps the fourth option is best, but give yourself credit for choosing any one of the choices. [10 points.]

Part Two: Institutional history

(4) Consolidation (not merger). Consolidation meant that the vote of the associated congregations did not have to be unanimous; whereas merger (in the legal sense) required all congregations in each of the denominations to agree. [10 points.]

(5) 1961. Revised in 1985 (to remove gender-specific language), and again in 1994 (seventh principle added). [10 points.]

(6) While there are endless arguments about the precise origin of the controversy, the most general answer would be that African American Unitarian Universalists sought a greater voice and real power within the Unitarian Universalist Association. [10 points.]

Part Three: Important Unitarian Universalists

For each of the following, give one short sentence on a major accomplishment, and say which decade this accomplishment happened:

(7) Dana McLean Greeley: first president of the UUA. 1960s. [10 points]

(8) Sandra M. Caron: first woman moderator of the UUA. 1970s. [10 points]

(9) Robert Fulghum: published the bestseller All I Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten, based in part on a series of church newsletter columns he wrote, and became for a time perhaps the best known living Unitarian Universalists. 1980s. [10 points]

(10) William Sinkford: first African American president of the UUA, and one of the first African American presidents of a historically white denomination. 2000s. [10 points]

5 thoughts on “Answers to UU religious literacy quiz

  1. Jeff Wilson

    Passed them all, thank goodness. I’m going to agree with Scott that the Winchester Profession is the best answer for #1, but I respect your alternate opinion on the matter. You got me on Sandra Caron, sad to say.

    What was most interesting to me was my own reaction to the question about “an important Unitarian Universalist document.” My immediate thought was, “There are important Unitarian Universalist documents?” Clearly, I just hadn’t ever conceptualized things in this manner. I guessed the P&P because it was the best candidate I could think of for such a document. It’s funny: there are so few documents that are shared amongst all or most UUs. We could say the hymnal (though few people have spent much time with it, other than a limited selection of favorites they encounter if they go to church, plus the occasional other selection that the congregation awkwardly mumbles their way through), and the P&P, and perhaps the UUA bylaws (which, again, few have spent much time with). Beyond that, there aren’t many candidates. How odd. I can’t think of any other religion so bare of shared documents. Vodou, perhaps? Not that there aren’t great documents that have made an impact, of course–I just mean that there are so few that the average UU could name or has any real familiarity with.

  2. Dan

    Jeff @ 1 — You write: “It’s funny: there are so few documents that are shared amongst all or most UUs.”

    Yup. As an educator, part of the reason you come up with tests like the ones above is to prompt people to read a core group of texts or documents. Here’s my short list of essential documents that any serious Unitarian Universalist should read: Winchester Profession (and know what the Liberty Clause is); UUA Principles and Purposes from 1961 and current revision; excerpts from Treatise on Atonement; Divinity School Address; “The Indispensible Discipline of Social Responsiblity: Voluntary Associations” by James Luther Adams.

  3. Lurline deVos

    Thank you. This was fun and yes I passed all three sections, but also discovered I have more to learn. Please amend your answer for P.T. Barnum to include his support of Olympia Brown receiving equitable pay, his support of affordable housing in Bridgeport, and abolitionist stance including sufferage for Black Americans in Connecticut pre civil war.

  4. Dan

    Lurline @ 3 — Yup, P.T. did a lot, but this is a pretty low-level test, something I’m thinking about developing for kids about age 12-13. If I were going to go to town on P.T. I’d also mention his essay “Why I Am a Universalist,” which still moves me today.

  5. James Field

    I”ve been teaching history this year for work. I wonder to what extent this approach reinforces the great men, great wars view of history.

    I suppose that you have to cover “the Restorationist Controversy”, “the Controversy in the West” the Unitarian Controversy per se and the “Black Empowerment Controversy”. Dave Sammons taught a history/polity class following these (and consolidation) pretty effectively. I was surprised not to see Dedham on the Unitarian side.

    Does this approach overly reinforce a narrative of our general contrarianism and ascerbic individualism by extension?

Comments are closed.