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Christian literary culture took strongly to this form of intellectual labor; at centers of book production like Caesarea, the chapter was both an intellectual tool and a style.

does this mean Christian literary culture was influenced heavily by it?

and in this context

He had never really taken strongly to either Kevin or Kirsty and I didn't like to push the subject.

does that mean he was not fond of either Kevin or Kirsty?

lastly I would like to know if this is correct usage:

"she had not taken strongly to the idea of ..."

meaning she was not fond of this idea

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    to take strongly to [an idea / option / person] isn't very idiomatic. Common qualifiers / intensifiers for the context are kindly, readily, quickly, naturally, well, eagerly,..., but there's only one solitary instance in the entire Google Books corpus of took strongly to the idea. For the negated version it's almost always did not take kindly to [thing not approved of]. Commented Sep 16, 2022 at 15:32
  • ...also because of the "diminishing" negated qualifier in had never really taken [to people not particularly liked], it's a bit odd to also include a non-negated "intensifying" qualifier such as strongly, readily, eagerly. Consider #1 I never really liked anchovies on pizza (natural) and #2 I never really loved anchovies on pizza (weird) - where loved is effectively the "intensified" version of liked. Commented Sep 16, 2022 at 15:50

2 Answers 2

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From Merriam-Webster:

take to
4 : to start to have a liking for
// I took to her immediately.
// He tried skiing and took to it quickly. [=he quickly learned how to ski and liked doing it]

To take strongly to something means to start liking something a lot and to quickly start doing it.

So to all your questions, the answer is "yes". Christian literary culture was influenced heavily by it, he was not fond of either Kevin or Kirsty, and "she had not taken strongly to the idea of ..." is correct usage.

It's worth noting about your first question that this is an indirect meaning. The direct meaning is that Christians involved in literature liked it a lot and quickly started doing it, which implies that Christian literary culture was influenced heavily by it.

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To 'take to' someone or something is to start to like that person or thing. 'Strongly' adds that the liking is powerful or great.

take to someone/something

phrasal verb with take verb

to start to like someone or something:

The two dogs took to each other immediately and started to play.

She's taken to basketball like a duck to water (= she likes it and is good at it).

Take to (Cambridge Dictionary)

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