How much do you know about women pioneers in American religion?

Question 1: Which religious groups has the highest portion of women among Americans claiming to be adherents?
A. Historically Black Protestant and Jehovah’s Witness
B. Hindu and Muslim
C. Jewish and Buddhist

Question 2: Which of these religious groups has welcomed women in leadership since its founding?
A. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)
B. Mennonites
C. Salvation Army

Question 3: Which American religious movement did Ann Lee found after migrating to America in 1774?
A. The Religious Sisters of Mercy
B. The American Red Cross
C. The Shakers

Antoinette_Louisa_Brown_Blackwell (1)

Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825-1921)

Question 4: What was the most important contribution of Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825-1921) to American religious life?
A. Wrote a famous hymn still sung today
B. First woman ordained as a minister
C. Imprisoned with abolitionist John Brown

Question 5: Minority religions in the U.S. vary widely on gender issues. What is distinctive about gender among Sikhs?
A. Women are not allowed to enter Sikh temples
B. Only men are allowed to speak during Sikh religious rituals
C. Women and men have played similar roles for centuries

Question 6: What was Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Gift from the Sea”?
A. A public chapel she built in Atlantic City
B. An inspirational book she published
C. A women’s retreat she founded in the Florida Keys

Question 7: What action by Amina Wadud sparked death threats in New York City in 2005?
A. Burning a copy of the Quran
B. Publishing a cartoon image of the Prophet Muhammad
C. Preaching and leading prayers for a group of men and women

Sally Priesand (1)

Sally Priesand

Question 8: What milestone did Sally Priesand achieve in 1972?
A. First woman Anglican bishop
B. First woman ordained a rabbi in the U.S.
C. First woman Wiccan priest

Question 9: What cause sparked headlines when Church Women United held their founding conference?
A. Urging the U.S. to sign the United Nations Charter in World War II
B. Condemning the outbreak of World War I
C. Opposing slavery in the Civil War

Question 10: The revivalist Aimee Semple McPherson was as famous as a movie star in the 1920s. What worldwide religious group did she found?
A. The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel
B. United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing
C. Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn

Question 11: Beverly Lewis is a best-selling novelist who touched of a tidal wave of popular interest in which religious group?
A. Native Americans
B. Hindus
C. Amish

Question 12: Who was the first native-born American to be canonized as a saint by the Vatican?
A. Elizabeth Ann Seton
B. Frances Xavier Cabrini
C. Dorothy Day

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Answers

Question 1: A. A 2014 Pew study shows women comprise 59 percent of black Protestant churches and 65 percent of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The other groups are Jewish (48 percent), Buddhist (49 percent), Hindu (38 percent) and Muslim (35 percent).

Question 2: C. William and Catherine Booth equally shouldered the work of founding the Salvation Army in London in 1865, setting a gender-sharing model that continues. Mennonites and Mormons do not have such a history.

Question 3: C. Ann Lee organized the Shakers. Catherine McAuley founded the Religious Sisters of Mercy in 1831 in Ireland. Clara Barton organized the American Red Cross in 1881.

Question 4: B. Oberlin-educated Blackwell is widely acknowledged as the first woman ordained in a mainstream Christian church. In the early 1850s, she served a Congregational church in Butler, New York.

Question 5: C. While some world religions, such as Zoroastrianism, maintain male leadership, Sikhs are proud to have welcomed women as leaders since the teachings of Guru Nanak in the early 1500s.

Question 6: B. In 1955, she published an inspirational book of personal reflections on the meaning of life and women’s roles in the world. Millions of readers embraced her book as a new kind of spiritual writing.

Question 7: C. After trying to lead a Muslim service with both genders at other locations in New York City, a controversy rose to the level of death threats. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine finally hosted her groundbreaking event.

Question 8: B. Priesand is the first woman ordained as a rabbi in the U.S. In 1989, Barbara Harris became the first Anglican woman ordained as a bishop. Wiccan groups have always welcomed women leaders.

Question 9: A. The ecumenical group convened at the start of World War II. The founders were concerned about promoting world peace in the post-war world, so called on American leaders to sign the UN Charter.

Question 10: A. McPherson’s church continues to this day, claiming 8 million members. The handful of remaining members in the United Society are Shakers. The Hermetic Order was a neo-pagan group founded in the late 1800s.

Question 11: C. Beverly Lewis is known as the “queen of Amish fiction.” Her scores of novels, most of which have romantic themes, are credited with sparking an new media industry based on Amish culture.

Question 12: A. Pope Paul VI canonized Seton, founder of the Sisters of Charity, in 1975. In 1946, Cabrini became the first American citizen canonized. Dorothy Day’s cause was opened in 2000 but the Vatican has taken no further action.

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