Standard 2. World Religions

Students examine the physical and human geographic factors associated with the origins, spread and impact of major world religions in different regions of the world.

2.1 Map the development over time of world religions from their points of origin and identify those that exhibit a high degree of local and/or international concentration. Examples: Universal religions/beliefs: Judaism (Jerusalem), Christianity (Jerusalem), Islam (Mecca, Medina) and Buddhism (Varanasi); Ethnic religions: Hinduism (Indus River), Confucianism and Taoism (Yellow River), Shintoism (Japan)

2.2 Differentiate among selected countries in terms of how their identities, cultural and physical environments, and functions and forms of government are affected by world religions.
Examples: Spain: Muslim, Jewish and Christian influences on government, considering their similarities
and differences (100–1500); Russia: influences of the Eastern Orthodox Church (1400–1917);
Iran and Iraq: how religion (Shia Islam and Sunni Islam) affects culture and government
(1917–present); Israel: the Jewish state and a possible future Palestinian State (1948–present)

2.3 Compare and contrast different religions in terms of perspectives on the environment and attitudes toward resource use, both today and in the past. Examples: Japan (Shintoism and Buddhism): natural beauty; India (Hinduism and Jainism): reverence for living things, especially for selected animal species; Sub-Saharan Africa (rise of animism): animistic perception of land, resources and natural events; Western World (Christianity): environment and attitudes toward resource use

2.4 Analyze and assess the rise of fundamentalist movements in the world’s major religions during contemporary times (1980–present) and describe the relationships between religious fundamentalism and the secularism and modernism associated with the Western tradition. Examples: Shiite Islamic fundamentalism in Iran and its view of the West in general and the United States in particular as “The Great Satan” (1970–present); fundamentalism in India and its relationship to the government of India (1980–present)

Form of Government (also referred to as a system of government)——A social institution composed of various people, institutions and their relations in regard to the governance of a state. Different forms of government have different types of political systems. Theocracy—a form of government in which a Deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, but the Deity’s laws are interpreted by ecclesiastical authorities (bishops, mullahs, etc.); a government subject to religious authority.

Fundamentalism—A belief in the infallibility, and literal interpretation, of a particular religion’s doctrine or holy books.

Secularism—The belief that religious considerations should be excluded from civic affairs,

Modernism—An attempt to bring religious thought into harmony with the scientific findings and secular philosophy of the present day.