DSST Introduction to World Religions Practice Questions Answer Key
1. D: Religious systems that are alive today are grouped into four categories: basic religions, religions originating in India, religions originating in China and Japan, and religions originating in the Middle East. In addition to referring to the religions of prehistoric people, basic religions are those of contemporary people whose religious ideas are not preserved in written form. A—Religions that are ultimately concerned with release from the cycle of life, death, and rebirth are characteristics of those from India. B & C—Religions that believe in the divine judgment of the world, including such missionary religions as Christianity and Islam, are characteristic of those religions that originated in the Middle East.
2. B: Western cultures tend to define religion in terms of a set of beliefs having to do with the gods, through which people are taught a moral system. A—In Africa, the Middle East, and much of Asia, collective and social identities are defined on the basis of spiritual criteria. C—Religion is not defined by the number of followers a certain religion has. D—How people deliver themselves from their plight without the help of gods is a characteristic of some Eastern religions but is not a definition of religion in Western cultures.
4. A: Mana is defined as an unseen force believed to inhabit extraordinary persons, objects, or phenomena. B—The recognition of a special relationship between humans and a species of animals, plants, or inanimate objects is totemism. C—The veneration and use of natural or prepared material objects with special potency for the purpose of averting evil or attaining powers is fetishism. D—A way of dealing with the spirit world through an individual recognized as spirit possessed and gifted in dealing with supernatural forces is shamanism.
5. C: The nature-worship theory of religion was developed by Max Muller; Sir James George Frazer studied religion as mythology.
6. C: According to Lewis Hopfe and Mark Woodward, there are three basic varieties of religious violence: those intended as punishment for people believed to be evil, acts of violence that are inherently religious, and violent clashes between religious communities.
7. B: Animism, found in many prehistoric and primal cultures, is the belief that the natural world—including trees, rocks, rivers, plants, and animals—is alive with souls and spirits. A—Creationism is the belief that God created the world and every form of life out of nothing. C—Traducianism is the belief that a child’s soul is generated from his or her parents. D—Speciesism is discrimination against or exploitation of animals based on the belief that humans are superior to all other species.
8. D: North Native American religions have qualities of monotheism, the worship of one Supreme Being; polytheism, the worship of many gods; and monism, the metaphysical view that the universe is made up of only one kind of thing in the universe. Answer choice D, monastic, refers to life in a monastery.
9. C: The Incas of Peru and the Aztecs of Mexico routinely practiced human sacrifice, as if their cultures considered it to be of vast important in appeasing the gods.
10. A: The belief that there is a supreme High God who created the world and then withdrew from active participation in it is common in many African religions. For example, in the mythology of the Yoruba from Nigeria, orisha are lesser deities who carried out many tasks of creation and continue to help villages in times of trouble because Olorun, the High God, remains detached from the problems of the world. B—While people gave daily offerings, such as pouring out a little of their drink or tossing away a portion of food, the High God did not demand human sacrifices. C—The High God had little—if any—interaction with earth and its inhabitants, so he would not have cursed anyone’s children. D—The High God was not believed to have been a human at any time.