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The Honolulu Advertiser

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Posted on: Saturday, February 13, 2010

Put your love IQ to test

 • Churches going pup-friendly

Valentine's Day, named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentine, was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD.

Here's a faith-oriented quiz tied to tomorrow's holiday:

1. Saint Paul lists three things that last forever: faith, hope and love. Which does he say is greatest?

2. Who wrote, "The religion of love shall be my religion and my faith"?

3. What book in Hebrew scripture consists of erotic poems?

4. Has love always been the primary consideration for marriage in the Christian West?

5. Which two of these three ancient Chinese sages thought especially deeply about love? Laozi, Mozi, Confucius.

6. Has an intimate love relationship been a dominant goal for most people in all cultures?

7. How many wives did Solomon have?

8. Did the Greek demigod Hercules make love to other men as well as to women?

9. What Hindu god stole butter as a child from milkmaids and later, as a young man with his flute, amorously pursued them?

10. What great Christian theologian compared marriage to a hospital for curing lust?

11. What group of 17th-century Protestants called marriage "the little church within the church"?

12. What Muslim scholar praised romantic love because it made selfish people generous and the unmannered gracious, and insisted that sex completes "the circuit (to) allow the current of love to flow freely into the soul"?

13. Did ancient Romans observe a fertility rite on Feb. 15?

14. What Buddhist ideal of unconditional love postpones enlightenment until all other creatures are saved?

15. What Christian poet, inspired by his ideal woman, wrote that God's love moves the sun and the stars?


1. Love.

2. The 12th-century Muslim mystic Ibn Arabi. Rumi wrote similarly in the 13th century.

3. Song of Solomon.

4. No. For much of the past 2,000 years, marriage was more about property and extended family arrangements.

5. Mozi taught that love, the world's most powerful force, should be extended to everyone. Confucius focused more on family affections.

6. No. Heroism, for example, was probably a more important ideal for the ancient Greeks.

7. To Solomon's 700 wives we might add his 300 concubines.

8. Yes.

9. Krishna.

10. Martin Luther.

11. The Puritans.

12. Hazm of Cordova, 10th century.

13. You bet.

14. The bodhisattva.

15. Dante.

Questions and answers provided by the Rev. Vern Barnet, a Unitarian Universalist pastor and interfaith minister based in Kansas City, Mo. More information is available at www.cres.org.