Monday 13 February 2006

Love, sex and theologians: a Valentine's Day quiz

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, here’s a little theological quiz—I’ll add the answers within the next day (Update: answers are now added).

1. A 12th-century French theologian had a passionate love affair with his young student, and her resulting pregnancy caused a great scandal. What were the names of these unfortunate lovers?
Answer: Abelard and Heloise.

2. Which famous preacher was unhappily married to a woman who heckled him loudly during his sermons?
Answer: John Wesley

3. Which prolific 19th-century American theologian was, throughout most of his career, a fulltime carer for his disabled wife?
Answer: B. B. Warfield

4. Which church Father, upon converting to Christianity, abandoned the devoted mistress who had lived with him for 14 years?
Answer: Augustine

5. Which Christian writer entered into a marriage of convenience with an American woman to help her gain British citizenship?
Answer: C. S. Lewis

6. Which famous hymn-writer had an affair with his neighbour after spying on her while she took a shower?
Answer: King David

7. Which Christian poet was abandoned by his wife only a month after their wedding?
Answer: John Milton

8. Which Protestant theologian said: “The religious and the sexual are closely related”?
Answer: Karl Barth


T.B. Vick said...

#4 is Augustine; #5 is C.S. Lewis; and you got me on the rest of 'em.

Anonymous said...

#1 is Abelard.

#2 is John Wesley.

T.B. Vick is right about #4 + #5.

#7 is Milton. His wife Mary Powell was a 17-year-old Royalist - good age (Milton was 33), bad politics! A year later, in 1643, Milton published the radical pamphlet The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce. Talk about contextual theology!

And #8 sounds remarkably like the randy Paul Tillich.

That leaves #3 and #6 . . .

Here's a #9: In his recent Reading Karl Barth: New Directions for North American Theology (2004), Kurt Anders Richardson writes that "it must be said that the work of Karl Barth is the product of not one but two theologians." Who is this second theologian Richardson is referring to?

Ben Myers said...

Of course! I should have thought to include a question about Paul Tillich -- something like: "Which Protestant theologian was famous for his irrepressible sexual urges and his multitudinous affairs?"

Al said...

#3 — B.B. Warfield
#6 — King David?
(#9 — Charlotte von Kirschbaum)

Ben Myers said...

You clever cookies. So far, collectively, you've got most of them right...

Cynthia R. Nielsen said...


I love this post! Isn't there an interesting story related to Luther's wedding night?

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