SAT II World History : Ancient Religions and Paganism

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II World History

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Ancient Religions And Paganism

Which of the following religions is the earliest monotheistic religion of the presented options?

Possible Answers:

Hinduism 

Christianity 

Zoroastrianism

Islam 

Eastern Orthodoxy 

Correct answer:

Zoroastrianism

Explanation:

Monotheistic religions are differentiated from polytheistic religions in that monotheistic religions believe in only one deity while polytheistic religions believe in many. Examples of monotheistic religions are Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, whereas examples of polytheistic religions are Hinduism, Paganism, and Roman, Egyptian, and Greek mythologies. 

Zoroastrianism arose in the eastern region of the ancient Persian Empire in about the seventh century BCE. It involves two opposing forces of good and evil and one god. Zoroastrianism is generally considered by historians to be the first monotheistic religion in human history and a great influencing factor in the development of Judaism and, later, Christianity and Islam. Today, somewhere between five hundred thousand and three million people identify as Zoroastrians.

Example Question #2 : Ancient Religions And Paganism

Which of these religions most heavily emphasizes oneness with nature? 

Possible Answers:

Hinduism

Daoism

Judaism

Deism

Confucianism

Correct answer:

Daoism

Explanation:

Daoism is an ancient religion founded approximately in the fourth century BCE. Its principle tenets are the belief in yin and yang and the balance of the universe. In Daoism, oneness with nature is very important.

Example Question #1 : Ancient Religions And Paganism

Which of the following is an early monotheistic religion that arose in the Persian Empire approximately in the seventh century BCE?

Possible Answers:

Buddhism

Sikhism

Islam

Jainism

Zoroastrianism

Correct answer:

Zoroastrianism

Explanation:

Zoroastrianism arose in the Persian Empire in roughly the seventh century BCE. Along with Judaism, it is one of the earliest known monotheistic religions. Its influence has waned significantly in the last thousand years, but it is still practiced by over 100,000 people worldwide.

Example Question #2 : Ancient Religions And Paganism

Zarathustra is the founder of which ancient religion? 

Possible Answers:

Zoroastrianism

Arianism

Daoism

Shinto

Gnosticism

Correct answer:

Zoroastrianism

Explanation:

Zarathustra, also called Zoroaster, is the founder of the ancient religion of Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrianism is often considered to be the earliest known monotheistic religion, predating Judaism, although academic consensus on this has not yet been reached. 

Example Question #5 : Ancient Religions And Paganism

The Ancient Indian religion of Jainism is centered around the principles of __________

Possible Answers:

abstinence and self-sacrifice 

meditation and filial piety 

nonviolence and self-control

good works and good faith 

obedience and hard work 

Correct answer:

nonviolence and self-control

Explanation:

Jainism is an Ancient Indian religion that arose in approximately the seventh century B.C.E. It still is influential today, although there are relatively few practicioners outside of India. The central tenets of Jainism are nonviolence and self-control. 

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