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Holy Inspirations 1

Who wrote the Narnia chronicles?

Holy Inspirations 1

Holy Inspirations - including films and music.

Christian believers down the ages have rejoiced to develop and express their creative talents in the service of their faith: music, drama, architecture and the decorative arts, even the making of Biblically-based and other religious films. What do you know about Christianity and the Arts?

1.
What is the title of the 1950s Biblical epic film, set in the time of Jesus of Nazareth, which starred Charlton Heston in the title role as a wrongly accused Jew who is avenged in a climactic chariot race?
The Greatest Story Ever Told
Jesus of Nazareth
Ben-Hur
Twelve Years a Slave
What a movie! 'They don't make 'em like they used to!'
2.
How long did it reportedly take Georg Frideric Handel to complete his famous musical setting of The Messiah?
One week
Three and a half weeks
Two months
Three years
This has to be one of the most remarkable feats of musical creativity, and the results of it are a sublime oratorio that is regarded as the first great English example in this genre. It is widely performed to this day.
3.
What was the name of the 20th-century Oxford don whose Christian writings include The Screwtape Letters, Surprised by Joy and the Narnia stories?
Lewis Carroll
Clive Staples Lewis
Richard Dawkins
J R R Tolkien
Dawkins (Answer 3) is a prominent atheist, so this is unlikely to have been him. Carroll is better remembered as the author of the two 'Alice' books; Tolkien was at least a contemporary of Lewis (they drank together on a weekly basis as members of 'the Inklings' literary circle) but known principally for his 'middle earth' stories such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
4.
What is the title of William Holman Hunt's iconic allegorical illustration of v.20 of chapter 3 in the book of Revelation, depicting Jesus knocking on the door of the human soul?
The Saviour of the World
The Light of the World
The Saviour of Souls
The Light of Salvation
This is surely one of the most famous images in the history of Christian belief; for pointers as to some of its symbolism, follow the footnotes from the Wikipedia page on this picture.
5.
This Oxford polymath originally trained in the Classics and then as a mathematician and astronomer; he was instrumental in the foundation of the Royal Society. After the devastation of the Great Fire of London (1666) he had the relative good fortune to be commissioned to design scores of replacement church buildings ~ most famously St Paul's Cathedral, where he was later buried under an inscription which reads (in Latin): 'If you seek a monument [to him], look around you'!
Who was he?
Sir Robert Boyle
Sir Christopher Wren
Sir Joshua Reynolds
Edmund Halley
Edmund Halley (Answer 4) did once live in a house in Oxford within sight of Wren's Sheldonian Theatre, which at the time of its building contained the world's largest expanse of ceiling that did not have support from beneath.
6.
Which famous artist was responsible for painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome?
Michaelangelo
Leonardo da Vinci
Raphael
Piranesi
Michaelangelo was at work on this masterpiece just over 500 years ago (1508-12), and this is still the building where the Cardinals assemble in conclave to elect each next Pope in conditions of total secrecy.
7.
In the 1970s a sequence of television films was made by Franco Zeffirelli called Jesus of Nazareth, aimed at telling as 'true' and cogent a version of His life as possible, for a wide audience, using the best actors and technology available at that time. The star-studded cast included a veteran 'Western' actor who delivered his single 'line' in the role of the hard-bitten centurion overseeing the Crucifixion at Golgotha on Good Friday. Who was he?
John Wayne
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Paul Newman
Dustin Hoffman
This was John Wayne, who, according to the showbiz anecdote, was called upon to gaze off-camera and say, 'Truly this man was the Son of God'. Reportedly, in the first 'take' he did not convey an expression of enough rapt bewilderment and devotion, and was invited by the director to 'say it again, but with awe' ... whereupon the cameras rolled once again, and Wayne said: 'Aw, truly this man ...' (!).
8.
Which much-loved classic of Christian devotional literature was written by a prisoner in the 1670s?
Daily Light on the Daily Path
Golden Bells
The Pilgrim's Progress
A Plain Man looks at the Cross
Each of these titles exists, but Pilgrim's Progress was the one written in jail by John Bunyan, who had been locked up under religious laws of those times which forbade the holding of any form of service except on church premises and under the aegis of the Church of England.
Apparently the book has been translated into over 200 languages, and never been out of print since 1678 (pretty well exactly 3 centuries prior to the film in Q.7, as it happens!).
9.
Probably the most famous and widely-sung musical setting of John 3:16 ('God so loved the world that He sent His Son ...') comes from a cantata, The Crucifixion, by which 19th-century English composer?
Sir Arthur Sullivan
Sir Edward Elgar
Ralph Vaughan Williams
John Stainer
Sullivan wrote plenty of religious music (not least, an oratorio called The Light of the World; see Q.4 above) and hymn tunes, but not this present work. Elgar was a Victorian by birth but also a Catholic and would probably not have cared to venture a setting of this text, though his Dream of Gerontius (to words by Cardinal John Newman) is rightly loved and respected. Vaughan Williams was only in his late twenties by the time Queen Victoria died, but went on to write cantatas (e.g. Job) and was almost incalculably influential on the world of English-language hymn-singing through his musical editorship of both the English Hymnal and Songs of Praise.
10.
The main premise of the British independent TV series The Vicar of Dibley only became workable after the ordination of the first women to the Anglican priesthood ... in which year?
1989
1993
1994
1996
At time of writing (May 2014) this has now been about 20 years, but we are still awaiting Anglican women Bishops. Some other churches in communion with the C of E have already appointed female bishops, but the C of E itself has not yet voted through the necessary measures in all three of its Houses.

 

Author:  Ian Miles

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