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Quiz about Darkness Visible
Quiz about Darkness Visible

Darkness Visible Trivia Quiz


John Milton used the words "darkness visible" to describe a total absence of light. Can you "see" these dark images that "show up" in various religions?

A multiple-choice quiz by nannywoo. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
nannywoo
Time
4 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
354,639
Updated
Jul 23 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
449
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
- -
Question 1 of 10
1. The ancient festival of the winter solstice, observed on the longest night of the year in northern Europe, goes by what name? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. In some Christian churches, at the end of Holy Week, just before Easter, services are held in which lights are gradually extinguished, ending with the sanctuary in complete darkness. What word is used to describe such a service? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. In Exodus 10, Moses stretches out his hand toward heaven and thick darkness falls on Egypt. How long does the darkness of this, the ninth plague, last? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. What ancient goddess associated with the night, recognized by Wiccans and other modern-day pagans, is sometimes depicted in three aspects: the maiden, the mother, and the crone? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. What Hindu goddess, the consort of Shiva, has a name that means "the black one" and is associated with time and death? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Some Muslims have been blessed to touch or kiss the black stone embedded in the wall of the Kaaba, as they circle the most sacred site of the Islamic faith. One of the five pillars of Islam, what is this pilgrimage to Mecca called? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Crossing a river or other body of water is a motif that recurs in many religions, often signifying a symbolic or actual passage into a promised land or into the afterlife. What word describing darkness is associated with the River Styx in Greek myths of crossing into the underworld? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. In John 3:19 (NIV), Jesus says, "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil." With whom is Jesus talking in this nighttime conversation? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. What Christian hymn, composed in 1818, was declared by UNESCO in 2011 to be an intangible cultural heritage of Austria? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. In his epic reworking of Christian theology in "Paradise Lost" John Milton uses a memorable oxymoron to refer to the utter absence of light surrounding Satan after he is cast out of heaven. What phrase does the poet use to describe what Satan "sees"? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The ancient festival of the winter solstice, observed on the longest night of the year in northern Europe, goes by what name?

Answer: Yule

The yule log owes its origins to the ancient European festival that took place at the darkest time of year, still celebrated by some neo-pagans. In Christian traditions, a huge log of hardwood was chosen, to burn the 12 days from Christmas until Epiphany. According to "Time" magazine, Fred Thrower of KPIX in New York first looped a video of a burning log on television in 1966 in response to a lack of Christmas Eve programming, leading to an elaboration of the tradition beloved by Americans growing up in the late 20th century.
2. In some Christian churches, at the end of Holy Week, just before Easter, services are held in which lights are gradually extinguished, ending with the sanctuary in complete darkness. What word is used to describe such a service?

Answer: tenebrae

Surrounding Good Friday, when the crucifixion of Jesus is commemorated, the readings, music, and increasing darkness of a tenebrae service evoke the spiritually darkest time of the Christian year, the death and burial of Jesus, bringing into sharp contrast the light and joy of resurrection on Easter morning.
3. In Exodus 10, Moses stretches out his hand toward heaven and thick darkness falls on Egypt. How long does the darkness of this, the ninth plague, last?

Answer: three days

Exodus 10:22 says that the heavy darkness lasted for three days, and people couldn't move around. This gave Hebrew slaves a short respite before the first Passover and their exodus into the wilderness. Scholars point out that because the sun god Ra was so important in Egyptian religion, the plague of darkness had special significance.
4. What ancient goddess associated with the night, recognized by Wiccans and other modern-day pagans, is sometimes depicted in three aspects: the maiden, the mother, and the crone?

Answer: Hecate

Hecate (Hekate in Greek) helped Demeter travel through the darkness as she searched for her daughter Persephone in the underworld. She is the goddess of magic, witchcraft, the night, the moon, and various aspects of death and darkness; controls crossroads and other border spaces; appears in Shakespeare's "Macbeth"; and continues to be claimed by many witches as their own.
5. What Hindu goddess, the consort of Shiva, has a name that means "the black one" and is associated with time and death?

Answer: Kali

Kali is the consort of Shiva, and she shares many of his attributes, although she is usually depicted as standing on his thigh and his chest. Her appearance is fearsome: her tongue sticks out, her eyes are red, she has multiple arms, and she is surrounded by images of death, violence, and blood. Yet, many worshippers revere her as a mother goddess who blesses her children. Sita is the devoted spouse of Rama. Yashoda is the foster mother of Lord Krishna, who is a male god.
6. Some Muslims have been blessed to touch or kiss the black stone embedded in the wall of the Kaaba, as they circle the most sacred site of the Islamic faith. One of the five pillars of Islam, what is this pilgrimage to Mecca called?

Answer: Hajj

Revered as dating from the time of Adam and Eve, and discovered by Abraham and Ishmael, the Black Stone marked Mecca as a sacred space long before Muhammad set it in place in the wall of the Kaaba and incorporated its veneration into Islam. However, Muslims do not worship the stone, as the first pillar of faith, Shahada, proclaims that Allah alone is to be worshipped.

The Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam.
7. Crossing a river or other body of water is a motif that recurs in many religions, often signifying a symbolic or actual passage into a promised land or into the afterlife. What word describing darkness is associated with the River Styx in Greek myths of crossing into the underworld?

Answer: Stygian

The adjective is "stygian" rather than "styxian" for linguistic reasons (look up "lenition" if you're interested). Related to the Greek Titan goddess of hate, the River Styx circles around Hades nine times, and is the boundary between earth and the world of the dead. Stygian images entered Roman and Christian depictions of the afterlife and hell, and it is usually described as dark, marshy, corrosive, stinking, oppressive, terrifying, and utterly abhorrent.
8. In John 3:19 (NIV), Jesus says, "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil." With whom is Jesus talking in this nighttime conversation?

Answer: Nicodemus

The third chapter of John is one of the most familiar passages in the Christian New Testament, in which a member of the Sanhedrin named Nicodemus comes to Jesus at night, presumably for a private conversation. Jesus explains here why Nicodemus must be "born again" to enter the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus appears two further times in the Gospel of John, speaking up in the Sanhedrin at his trial and helping to bury Jesus after the crucifixion.
9. What Christian hymn, composed in 1818, was declared by UNESCO in 2011 to be an intangible cultural heritage of Austria?

Answer: "Silent Night"

The UNESCO charter recognized "Silent Night" as a "carol of peace" that transcends differences among Christian denominations. Originally written by Joseph Mohr and set to music by Franz Xaver Gruber for the guitar, "Stille Nacht" was written in German and first performed on Christmas Eve at St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria.
10. In his epic reworking of Christian theology in "Paradise Lost" John Milton uses a memorable oxymoron to refer to the utter absence of light surrounding Satan after he is cast out of heaven. What phrase does the poet use to describe what Satan "sees"?

Answer: darkness visible

This question brings us back to the title of the quiz. Literary works like Milton's "Paradise Lost" and Dante's "Inferno" have contributed to popular perceptions (and perhaps misperceptions) of hell, but "outer darkness" is a New Testament concept, appearing in Matthew 8:12, 22:13, and 25:30.
Source: Author nannywoo

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor CellarDoor before going online.
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