AP(R) World History Teaching Unit A2: The Spread of Universal Religions: Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam
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Note: Please be advised that these teaching units were created prior to the course revisions implemented in the 2011-12 academic year. However, the units still address topics central to the revised course. In this unit, students define the characteristics of universal religions and explore the spread of Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam through elements of society and from one region to another. The unit addresses the era from the foundation of each religion to 1000 C.E., and addresses substantial portions of the Asian, African, and European continents. It emphasizes the changes in religious traditions as they spread to new regions and new social groups. Lessons identify common characteristics of universal religions, trace their appeal to women, explore the process by which they gained recognition from political powers, show the modifications in religions as they spread from one region to another, and contrast the distinctive characteristics of the universal religions against their commonalities. Student activities include class discussion of readings, group work in "jigsaw" format, comparing documents to identify religious principles, analysis of visual evidence, and identifying the religions that have produced selected texts.