THESE QUESTIONS ARE BASED ON THE COURSE NOTES FOR EQUALITY THAT CAN BE FOUND HERE.
THIS TEST (AND MANY OF THE OTHERS ON THIS SITE) MAY ALSO BE OF USE TO STUDENTS FOLLOWING OTHER ADVANCED LEVEL RELIGIOUS STUDIES COURSES.
BEAR IN MIND THAT THESE TESTS ARE MEANT TO BE DIFFICULT. FOR THIS REASON THEY SHOULD BE ATTEMPTED AFTER THE AFOREMENTIONED NOTES HAVE ALREADY BEEN CAREFULLY REVISED. HAVING SAID THAT, IT IS POSSIBLE THAT ERRORS MIGHT HAVE BEEN MADE DURING THE CREATION OF THE TEST. PLEASE USE THE CONTACT FORM TO LET ME KNOW IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE SPOTTED ANY.
THE LANGUAGE USED IN ALL BLOG POSTS AND IN THE FOLLOWING TEST HAS NOT BEEN SIMPLIFIED. THIS IS BECAUSE EXPANDING YOUR PERSONAL VOCABULARY IS IMPORTANT IF YOU WISH TO ACCESS THE HIGHER GRADES AT ADVANCED LEVEL.
NOTE 1: THERE IS NEW INFORMATION IN THIS TEST TO SUPPLEMENT YOUR EXISTING KNOWLEDGE.
NOTE 2: THIS TEST ALSO CONTAINS INFORMATION THAT IS RELEVANT TO THE SECTION ON LIBERATION THEOLOGY IN THE SYLLABUS FOR PAPER 4B (CHRISTIANITY).
FOR THE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS, SCROLL DOWN TO THE END OF THIS BLOG ENTRY.
- TRUE or FALSE? Equality just means ‘people being equal’.
2. TRUE or FALSE? Economic Equality is concerned with what people may be entitled to expect when it comes to the way that others behave towards them. Equality of Treatment, on the other hand, is to do with the issue of deciding what people entitled to in terms of the allocation of wealth and resources in society.
3. Who argued that discussions about economic inequality are actually more to do with everyone having enough, and that debates about equality of treatment are more fundamentally to do with people not being treated with sufficient respect, going on to draw the conclusion that ‘equality’, by itself, is not a bedrock ethical concept?
a. John Rawls
b. Peter Singer
c. Karl Marx
d. Harry Frankfurt
4. TRUE or FALSE? According to the economic researchers Wilkinson and Pickett, in societies where there is less economic inequality, and less of a gap between rich and poor, levels of trust between its citizens tend to be lower, people have fewer friends, more people tend to suffer from mental health issues and obesity, and levels of self-reported happiness are lower. Overall, they contend that people in socialist economies do not tend to flourish quite so well as they do under the freer conditions of capitalism, and that lack of trust means that there is less of a sense of community.
5. TRUE or FALSE? John Rawls argues that if we had to choose the values of a society from behind a ‘veil of ignorance’ before we became members of it, not knowing in advance whether we would be rich or poor, intelligent or unintelligent, talented or unskilled, and so on, most of us would choose principles that would reduce inequality, which in turn suggests that the fairest society would not feature the excesses of economic inequality that are characteristic of Western, capitalist societies.
6. The Equality Act which aimed to consolidate, update and supplement existing anti-discrimination law in the UK, was introduced in which year?
7. TRUE or FALSE? 1964 was the year in which legally sanctioned segregation was ended as a result of the Voting Rights Act. 1965 was the year in which the Civil Rights Act was introduced to prohibit racial discrimination in voting.
8. TRUE or FALSE? Christian Biblical and Church teachings have been used to defend both Capitalist and Socialist economic systems.
9. Which of the following statements was NOT made by Jesus?
a. ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God’
b. ‘I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink.’
c. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and ….. to set at liberty those who are oppressed.’
d. ‘If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them.’
10. Which of the above statements has been used as a theoretical underpinning for the anti-capitalist message of Liberation Theology?
11. TRUE or FALSE? The title of Adam Smith’s book, The Wealth Of Nations is taken from a passage in Isaiah in which the prophet describes his vision of a future time of prosperity.
12. TRUE or FALSE? Pope Benedict has condemned ‘the idolatry of money’. Commenting on rising inequality in many societies – the gap that exists between the rich and the poor – he has also criticised ‘ideologies that defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation.’
13. TRUE or FALSE? The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, once vowed to put controversial payday lending companies like Wonga out of business because he thought that the high interest rates that they charge for making loans to people in a state of poverty in the UK were immoral.
14. Acts 2v43-45 says of the early Christians that ‘All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all as any had need’. Biblical passages like this, which emphasise the virtue of charity, suggest that all our possessions are gifts from God that should be shared, according to the principle of koinonia or ‘things held in common’. Which theologian has concluded from this passage that, “ ‘Socialism’ was Christian before it was made ‘scientific’ and was fundamentally distorted by Marx”?
a. D. Stephen Long.
b. Martin Luther King
c. Oskar Romero
15. TRUE or FALSE? As part of his theory of Just Price, Aquinas condemned usury, the immorality of gaining financially without actually creating something, and the raising of prices because a particular buyer had an urgent need for what was being sold.
16. Which of the following Biblical passages (that might be referred to in a discussion about religious conceptions of equality) was NOT a teaching of St Paul?
a. ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus’.
b. ‘Wives submit to your own husbands.’
c. ‘…if you treat people according to their outward appearance you are guilty of sin’
d. ‘I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.’
17. TRUE or FALSE? Paul thought that the end of the world and the return of Jesus would happen soon.
18. TRUE or FALSE? The secondary creation of Eve from Adam’s rib in the book of Genesis is further evidence that the Bible contains teachings that deny women equal status.
19. Which of the following is an example of a Christian denomination that allows women to become priests and bishops?
a. The Orthodox Church
b. The Church of England
c. The Roman Catholic Church
20. Which of the following is NOT one of the traditional reasons given to justify not allowing women to be priests?
a. Jesus taught that women should be silent in church.
b. Jesus only appointed men as his disciples.
c. Only a man can represent Jesus at Holy Communion.
21. TRUE or FALSE? The accusation that the Jews were ‘Christ-killers’ which has fuelled centuries antisemitism and discrimination against Jews is based on a passage in Matthew’s gospel.
22. TRUE or FALSE? The German Reformation leader Martin Luther King (1483-1546), declared that Jewish homes, synagogues and schools should be burned to the ground.
23. TRUE or FALSE? The separation of light from dark as described in the story of the creation in Genesis 2 has been used to justify racial segregation.
24. Which of the following statements about Martin Luther King is false?
a. King believed that violence was always wrong in all situations, arguing that following an ‘eye for an eye’ philosophy leaves everybody blind.
b. His commitment to non-violence was a consequence of his belief in an all-loving and just God, and inspired by Jesus’ teaching about agape (love of neighbour/enemy) and the power of good to overcome evil, as signified by the resurrection of Jesus.
c. Towards the end of his life, King supported the idea of temporary separation from white people as he came to believe that only a small part of white America was genuinely committed to racial equality. ‘Most Americans’ , he said, ‘were unconscious racists.’
d. King nevertheless believed that white people were essentially good and encouraged his followers to love them.
e. He also thought that non-violent civil disobedience was the most practical way to secure civil rights for black people because they were a weaponless minority in America. The use of violence would only get more black people killed and give whites an excuse not to end racial segregation. Additionally, he hoped to shame white Americans into supporting changes in the law and racial integration as a result of seeing defenceless black people being beaten up at public protests.
25. Which of the following statements about Malcolm X is false?
a. He was the leader of an NRM (New Religious Movement) called the Nation of Islam during the 1960’s. The NOI believed in the separation (not integration) of the white and black races. This was necessary to restore black pride and self-esteem after a period of almost 250 years of slavery and a century of racial segregation in the American south. Such a territorial separation could be achieved through whites financing the return of black people to Africa or through the provision of separate black states within America.
b. He was critical of the Christian religion as he believed that it was a faith for white people that encouraged passivity on the part of black converts by trying to get them to ‘turn the other cheek’. For example, the first slave converts to Christianity were encouraged to accept their position as slaves, as their situation would improve in the afterlife.
c. He believed that justice for black people should be achieved by ‘any means necessary’, including the use of violence in self-defence. However, he never carried a gun and was never known to have done physical harm to anyone.
d. In 1964, having split from the Nation of Islam, he decided to make the Muslim pilgrimage or Hajj to Saudi Arabia. The brotherhood between all races and colours that he experienced changed his attitude towards white people. He no longer regarded them as evil (as was taught in NOI theology). Following this, he repeatedly emphasised that he was not a racist, and stated, ‘I am against every form of racism and segregation, every form of discrimination.
e. Although he no longer called for the separation of black people from white people, Malcolm X continued to advocate black nationalism, which he defined as self-determination for the African-American community.In the last months of his life, however, Malcolm X began to reconsider his support for black nationalism after meeting northern African revolutionaries who, to all appearances, were white.
26. Who wrote this statement? ‘”White racism is thus a continuum, one that includes the KKK, the loving white Christian and the antiracist white. Even good, moral white people, those who have black friends, friends of color, married to people of color, fight for racial justice and so on, don’t escape white racist injustice against black people and people of color; they all continue to be implicated within structures of white privilege and to embody, whether they realize it or not, society’s racist sensibilities. White people possess white privilege or white immunity from racial disease. And because of this, others of us, black people and people of color, reap the social, political and existential pains of that racialized social skin.”
a. Malcolm X (in his autobiography).
b. George Yancy
c. Martin Luther King
d. Elijah Muhammad
27. TRUE or FALSE? The existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir argued that women are unable to define what being a woman means for them. So instead, they invariably accept an externally imposed, patriarchal conception of what this entails.
28. Which of the following statements about Joni Eareckson Tada is inaccurate?
a. Her evangelical writing and videos sometimes focus on the problem of evil and why an all-powerful and all-loving God allows the innocent to suffer. As someone paralysed from the neck down following an accident, this issue is especially relevant to her own personal experience.
b. Taking inspiration from the Augustinian theodicy, she believes that excessively dwelling on what disabled people cannot do ignores the bigger picture and the many things that disabled people can still achieve if they are sufficiently determined. This is similar to Augustine’s view that the universe is like a work of art, a painting that has light and dark aspects. and to think too much about evil is like only seeing the shadows in that painting.
c. Tada additionally argues that disabled people are ‘audio-visual aids for the church’, in the sense that their visibility serves as living proof that faith can overcome adversity . For this reason, she thinks that it is vital for disabled Christians to be seen as fully integrated integral presences within the Christian church community.
d. Tada and her organisation – Joni and Friends – have expressed views reflecting political stances that are characteristic of the evangelical right in the USA e.g. opposition to abortion, research on stem cells involving embryos, a traditional view of marriage as heterosexual (using Genesis as a template for this).
29. TRUE or FALSE? Peter Singer has argued in relation to disability that aborting pregnancies where the fetus has been found to have a birth defect like Down’s syndrome and, in selective instances, euthanizing newly born but severely disabled infants are not morally wrong decisions because neither are ‘persons’ i.e. they lack any sense that they have a life to lose.
30. True or False? In 1995 the UK Parliament passed the Disability Discrimination Act, which granted fuller employment rights to disabled persons.
31. Which of the following statements is inaccurate?
a. A strength of Martin Luther KIng’s non-violent approach to civil rights campaigning is that it is compatible with the secular view that the use of violence in public protest is counter-productive.
b. A strength of Malcolm X’s separatist solution to the issue of racial inequality is that it ensured that black culture does not become diluted as a result of integration. Separatism can also promote greater pride and self-esteem in those not having to endure racism on a daily basis.
c. A strength of both Martin Luther King and Malcolm X’s approaches to social injustice is that they each recognised that gender inequality was also a major problem that was connected with and as evil as racism.
d. A weakness of Martin Luther King’s demand that black people should love white people is that it is unrealistic to expect an oppressed group to love their oppressor and places an additional burden on those that are expected to do so.
e. A weakness of Malcolm X’s refusal to rule out the use of violence is that this marginalized him. In spite of his popularity, US politicians were more suspicious of dealing with him.
32. Which of the following statements about Joni Eareckson Tada and the work of Joni and Friends is inaccurate?
a. A strength of Tada’s comment about disabled people as ‘audio visual clues’ for others is that it may elicit more respect for them from able-bodied people.
b. A strength of Tada’s view of suffering is that it may console those who believe in God by ascribing an overall significance to their suffering.
c. A weakness of Tada’s view of suffering is that it will not convince atheists, for whom disability is a further indication that there there is far too much gratuitous evil in the world for it to be the product of an all-loving God.
d. A weakness of Tada’s evangelism is that – in relation to the provision of much needed charitable aid for those with physical disabilities in poorer countries – the motivation to convert can be construed as the main priority, which effectively means that the disabled are being treated in Kantian terms as ‘a means to an end’ rather than as ‘ends in themselves’. This, in turn, suggests that introducing religious perspectives into ethical debates about equality can be counter-productive.
e. On the other hand, if there are no alternatives, and missionary institutions like Joni and Friends are bringing help to those who might otherwise not receive it, then perhaps better them than no-one at all.
f. Plus, the charitable work that Tada and Joni and Friends engage in is motivated by readings of key Biblical passages that are solidly grounded in reputable academic Biblical criticism, which demonstrates the value of intruding religious perspectives into ethical issues to do with the equal treatment of others.
- True – but there are different conceptions of equality.
- False – it’s the other way around.
- False – in their book ‘The Spirit Level’, Wilkinson and Pickett argue on the basis of statistical evidence that all the problems mentioned in the question tend to arise in societies that are more unequal. Given that free market capitalism can give rise to such inequalities, their findings constitute a profound criticism of the type of economic system we live under in the UK. Furthermore, given that trust, physical and mental health, friendship and a sense of community would all be of interest to Virtue Ethicists, a subscriber to this ethical theory might certainly want to see reforms in the theory of free market economics.
- False – it’s the other way around. 1964 was the year in which legally sanctioned segregation was ended as a result of the Civil Rights Act. 1965 was the year in which the Voting Rights Act was introduced to ensure that black people could vote in the US southern states. According to the Black theologian James Cone, ‘The Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts were his [Martin Luther King’s] greatest achievements.’
- d – this teaching comes from the Old Testament book of Exodus, and is one of many passages which condemn the sin of usury – the lending of money at interest.
- c- the passage is found in Luke’s gospel but Jesus is himself actually quoting from Isaiah 61.
- False – it was Pope Francis who made these comments in 2013. At the time, a famous American radio talk show host called Rush Limbaugh described the Pope as preaching ‘pure Marxism’.
- True – Welby’s remarks were made in 2012.
- a – for Long it suggests the passage in Acts suggests that the early Christians lived in a communal manner that is much closer to the spirit of socialism than capitalism.
- c – The passage is from James. Another good quotation to remember is simply the word’ image’ from Genesis 1. As all human beings are made in the image of God, this could be understood as implying that they have equal status.
- True (or at least some Biblical scholars think he did). Galatians 3 might therefore be about spiritual equality in the next world rather this one. In turn, this could explain why Paul seemed to also express views about women that now seem sexist to us.
- False – according to Peter Vardy, Adam is initially an asexual being who only becomes gendered after Eve is created. The fact that male and female identities are acquired simultaneously implies equality of status. Interestingly, in the Qur’an, Adam and Eve (Hawwa) are created from a single soul or nafs. Again, equal status can be inferred from this.
- b – The Church of England has been ordaining women as priests (and more recently bishops) since 1994. However, the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches still refuse to even discuss the possibility of women’s ordination.
- a – It was actually Paul who taught that women should remain silent in the churches in 1 Corinthians.
- True – the verse in Matthew reads: “All the people answered, ‘His blood is on us and on our children!'” is also referred to as the blood curse.
- True – the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa argued this during the period of apartheid.
- a – King may not have been a thoroughgoing pacifist. After the bombing of his house in 1956, he had armed guards posted around it and applied for a permit to carry a gun in his car. And according to James Cone (a Black theologian studied in Year 13), ‘King did not deny the right of self-defence for any individual in the privacy of his or her home…But…he held that in a public demonstration it was too difficult to distinguish defensive violence from aggressive violence. The posture of self-defence would only invite violence from the oppressor. ‘ Perhaps the best line to take here is therefore that King may initially have believed that the use of violence to defend one’s own home but embraced non-violence more fully later on in his ministry and campaigning.
ADDITIONAL POINTS TO NOTE: King was also inspired by the non-violent methods of Gandhi that were successful in opposing racism in South Africa and colonialism in India.
Finally, King eventually became a critic of capitalism, believing that capitalist exploitation was responsible for the terrible poverty that resulted in race riots in places like the Watts neighbourhood of Los Angeles in 1965. According to one of King’s advisors, King commented, ‘I worked to get these people the right to eat hamburgers, and now I’ve got to do something….to help them get the money to buy [them].’
King therefore began to believe that a period of temporary separation from whites might be necessary in order for something to be done about dire urban poverty, as white politicians seemed to be unwilling to do anything about this issue . This could be achieved through black politicians getting elected into power in poorer cities so as to be in a position to put things right.
So King and Malcolm X may not have been quite so far apart on the issue of integration v separation as the means to achieve black empowerment. Additionally, at this stage, in his critique of capitalism, King’s outlook and speeches eventually begin to resemble the writings and sermons of Liberation theologians in South America. to the extent that he and other civil rights activists were accused of being communist agitators, even though in one of his sermons King actively distanced himself from Communism, arguing that such an atheistic and materialist philosophy was fundamentally incompatible with the Christian faith.
25. a – The leader of the Nation of Islam was actually Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm X was a prominent spokesman for the NOI and he eventually left the movement.
26. b – in 2015 Yancy wrote an article entitled ‘Dear White America’ asserting that white racism is part of the DNA of America and that this implicates the whole of society especially those who are white. In response, Yancy received death threats and racial abuse.
27. False – de Beauvoir argued that women were free to define what being a member of this gender meant for them.
28. b – In actual fact, Tada’s theodicy is that evil is a test from God. It is only through the experience of hardship in life that the need for Christ can be recognised. NOTE: Tada’s views could also be incorporated into an answer to a question on the problem of evil for paper 1. Augustine’s views could still be be mentioned too.
EXAM TIP: Her name is tricky to remember. A useful mnemonic is to note that her name almost combines the words ‘Ear’, ‘[W]reck, and ‘Son’.
31. c- In actual fact, both King and Malcolm X were typical men of the 1960’s. Both expected their wives to stay at home and raise their children. According to one friend and biographer of King, he believed that ‘biologically and aesthetically, women are more suitable than men for keeping house.’ Interpreting NOI teachings, Malcolm X said that, ‘the true nature of a man is to be strong, and a woman’s true nature is to be weak.’ He also used the Biblical story of Adam and Eve to argue that women lead men into evil by ruling and manipulating them with their sex appeal. NOTE: a further weakness of King’s biblically inspired philosophy of non-violence is that it may only succeed if those in power are prepared to listen, and would therefore not have worked with an evil, racially discriminatory regime like the Nazis.
32. f – as noted by John Holroyd, the best theology departments around the world do not tend to be staffed nor even sprinkled with faculty members that are conservative or fundamentalist evangelical Christians, and the Biblical criticism that goes on in academia often represents a direct challenge to the simplistic readings of key passages subscribed to by fundamentalists. Compare, for example, the statement about marriage on the Joni and Friends website, which would appear to exclude the possibility of same-sex marriage, with the treatment of key Biblical passages and research on Church history undertaken by the Catholic theologian John Boswell on homosexuality (see the course notes on Sexual Ethics).