Free DSST Introduction to World Religions Practice Test

1. Linked with the Law of Karma, India's caste system acquired a kind of moral justification. Which statement best illustrates this line of thinking?

I. If a man was born a Shudra, it was because he had sinned in a previous life
II. A Brahmin had every right to exalt his social position; his good deeds in a previous life earned him the privileges he enjoyed in his present life
III. The class with the best record of spiritual attainment should be the one at the top of the caste system
IV. Anyone who did not attempt to address the inequalities of society was considered impious and morally reprehensible

  1. I and II only
  2. II, III, and IV only
  3. I and III only
  4. I, II, and III only

2. Judaism recognizes all of the following names for God EXCEPT _______________.

  1. Elohim
  2. El-Shaddai
  3. Yahweh
  4. Asherah

3. Which of the following is NOT part of Augustine's religious doctrine?

  1. In his infinite mercy, God sent his son to die for the sins of those who had been predestined for salvation
  2. Adam and Eve had willfully chosen to sin against God and thus had passed an original sinful nature on to future generations
  3. In the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, there is no subordination of one entity to another
  4. Because sacraments are instituted by human beings, those performed by unworthy priests are ineffectual

4. The Christian scholar Thomas Aquinas used the writings of ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle to argue that:

  1. The Roman persecution of early Christians was ethically justifiable
  2. Both reason and revelation were necessary for Christian belief
  3. The Protestant Reformation should be suppressed
  4. Latin should be the official language of the Eastern Orthodox Church

5. Prominent in Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Burma; Theravada Buddhism adheres to:

  1. The way of the elders
  2. The expansive way
  3. The path of mysticism
  4. The Vehicle of Mantras

Answers & Explanations

1. D: India's caste system was inexorably linked with Hinduism. Statements I, II, and III best illustrate the belief that castes were morally and religiously justified. Statement IV contradicts the Hindu belief that any attempt to address the inequalities of society is impious and morally reprehensible.

2. D: Judaism recognizes many different names for God, including Elohim (from Hebrew scripture), El-Shaddai (the god of the covenant with Abraham), and Yahweh (the God who revealed himself to Moses). D-Asherah was a Canaanite goddess of fertility.

3. D: Unlike other thinkers of his day, Augustine believed that because sacraments are instituted by God, not human beings, they communicate grace regardless of the character of whoever performs them. Answer choices A, B, and C can all be found in Augustine's religious doctrine.

4. B: Thomas Aquinas, a Dominican monk, studied the arguments of Aristotle in order to show that both reason and revelation were necessary for Christian belief. A-Aquinas never justified the Roman persecution of early Christians. C-The Protestant Reformation, which began around 1517, did not occur during the lifetime of Aquinas. D-Aquinas did not challenge the Eastern Orthodox Church's practice of conducting services in Greek.

5. A: Theravada Buddhists follow the way or tradition of the elders. B-Mahayana Buddhism is known as the expansive way. C-Mysticism characterizes the Chen Yen, or True Word, a school of Buddhism found primarily in China. D-The sect of Buddhism that was established in Tibet and Mongolia was a form so different from Theravada that it is called by other names, including the Vehicle of Mantras


Last Updated: 07/05/2018

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