This GCSE RE Christianity quiz takes at look at creative heritage. As someone with an active interest in religions, and Christianity in particular, you may well be aware of widespread claims that 'we live in a post-Christian age'. That may or may not be true, in terms of church attendance statistics and demographics ... but there is ample evidence all around us of Christian influence on our architecture, institutions and cultural heritage.
It is only quite recently ~ still within the living memory of some ~ that regular popular church attendance seems to have begun to crumble against the rival attractions of sport, supermarkets and other leisure pursuits. Prior to that, many people in Europe and further afield were regularly reminded of Bible stories, their phrases and meanings, almost like a larger and richer version of a child’s trove of nursery rhymes and fairy- and folk-tales.
They knew the structure and punchlines of the Parables, the almost rollicking tales of kings and prophets in the Old Testament, a repertoire of hymns (some ancient, many Victorian) and the standard prayers, the psalms and canticles; they knew one end of a church from the other, and its fitments and routines, and what was the message in much of the stained glass (possibly installed, at least partly, as a visual reminder for earlier generations ~ who had had less education and couldn’t read the Bible for themselves).
Yet there are buildings, images and turns of phrase that continue to resonate in the folk consciousness: not only the forms of words at emotional occasions such as weddings and funerals. As and when we see these ~ onscreen maybe, in news or a drama ~ many of us will recognise the reference, even if we make no great claim to being regular churchgoers.
This quiz dips into that Christian creative and cultural heritage. How much of it may already be familiar to you?