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Republic of Ireland alarmed by figures that would have the Church of England en fete

The youth of the Republic has been quizzed on basic knowledge of Christianity, and has not done brilliantly well:

5% could quote the first of the ten commandments
32% could not name Jesus's birthplace
35% did not know the significance of Easter
47% could name the Trinity
38% could name the seven sacraments (More than I could...).

I very much doubt that the youth of the UK could achieve anything like those figures. Further details in the Irish Times.

I am not religious, and although baptised have never made a positive act of faith as an adult, but as I have commented elsewhere, the history and culture of not just this country but Western civilisation scarcely make sense without a proper working knowledge of Christianity.

Returning to biblical number crunching, I was discussing the Ten Plagues with a mate (Mr R) the other day, and when challenged to name them asked 'English or Hebrew'. He managed about half in English, but all of them in Hebrew.

I will be away until Friday, so moderation is on. I hope to be able to check and authorise posts before I get back, but new posts are unlikely.

And I'm back, moderation is off, and once I've got my breath back, there may well be a post or two.

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Anonymous nick drew said... 10:12 am

The 10 plagues are all too familiar to latter-day Britons, innit?

Nile turning to blood – Nile, Tiber, I’m sure it’s all the same

Livestock pestilence – no need to elaborate on this one

The Darkness – some good guitar, obviously, but the falsetto, it’s unbearable

Slaughter of the firstborn – in some parts of London the victims aren’t even targeted as precisely as that

Frogs – the NuLab hordes, I mean, have you had a good look at Margaret Beckett? not pleasant, is it?

Locusts - NuLab again, Cherie in the vanguard

Hailstorm – and the rest, climate change will do for us all one way or the other

Boils – there we go again (or is this just a personal problem?...)

Lice – those NuLab vermin get everywhere

Flies – and worse, it’s the fast-food & wheelie-bins I blame, another NuLab curse

I feel sure David Cameron will have a cure for all these ills.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 10:39 am

Excellent Mr D, quite excellent.  

Blogger Cranmer said... 3:24 pm

Mr Croydonian,

It is not so much the ignorance of the nation's youth that bothers me (though, I assure you, it very much does), but the sad reality that the answers to some of these questions would tax many of our church leaders.

To have to sit through the drivel spouted by Jeffrey John on Radio 4 the other night was painful in the extreme. His lack of theological understanding of substitutionary atonement was matched only by his ignorance that YHWH is first and foremost a Holy God. He appears not to have any knowledge of this foundational proclamation of the Pentateuch.

It makes one yearn for the Divinity classes of yesteryear...  

Blogger james higham said... 9:29 am

Yes, i was surprised as well that so many knew the answers.  

Anonymous this guy (church of ultima thule) said... 10:00 am

Ah yes, Jeffrey John, the ginger beer & canon-theologian of Southwark. What is a canon-theologian and why wd the crime-ridden & polluted workers of Suvvak need one?  

Blogger MJW said... 12:27 pm

I’m wondering just what exactly is a working knowledge of Christianity? What sorts of Christianity are we going to include, Catholics, Orthodox, the major Protestant denominations, or are we going to include Cathars, Bogomills and so called “Gnostics”? Is knowing the scripture endorsed by one or more denomination more or less important than understanding why that scripture is endorse or how it’s been edited, revised, reinterpreted or even expunged to suit an agenda at any particular point in time?  

Anonymous IanCroydon said... 12:11 pm

"I very much doubt that the youth of the UK could achieve anything like those figures."

Probably because there are less of them, Ireland is a very young country and almost completely Christian.

The 15-24 demographic is considerably higher in Ireland than in the UK (about 16% versus 11%) and almost all of Ireland is Christian, whereas a large proportion of the UK, especially the "youth", is not.  

Anonymous hatfield girl said... 7:52 am

Alarm seems reasonable; with figures like these for Roman catholic youth the threat of pertinaceous formal and material heresy looms.

Heresy is a fascinating study; so easy to fall into, so hard to avoid without constant assertion of the faith (whatever is the faith held, religious or secular). And the Roman catholics understand, analyse and expound it better than anyone; they're nifty at punishing it too.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:45 am

MJW - Indeed. I work on the basis of broader knowlege being a positive end in itself.  

Blogger james higham said... 9:34 am

We await your return, oh Croydonian.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 3:29 pm

And here I am. Nice to have one's return anticipated, by the way.  

Anonymous Voyager said... 2:51 pm

38% could name the seven sacraments (More than I could...).

Must be a Roman Catholic to name Seven Sacraments....Protestants don't have Seven  

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