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Spread of World Religions

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Presentation on theme: "Spread of World Religions"— Presentation transcript:

1 Spread of World Religions
From the Axial Age to the end of the First Millennium

2 Forced Conversion Islamic World jihad=striving
internal struggle versus evil external war against enemies of faith initially against Muhammad’s enemies after death against “apostates” then Byzantium and Sasanid enemies allowed to convert or pay tax or go to war

3 Islamic Expansion

4 Forced Conversion cont.
The Christian World – Christendom Charlemagne 700’s Saxons given choice of baptism or death Alfred the Great Celts convert for peace Olaf of Norway torture or conversion Buddhism Asoka Kaniska of Peshawar Anuruddha took Buddhism to Burma

5 Charlemagne’s Empire

6 Charlemagne

7 Alfred the Great of Wessex

8 King Olaf of Norway

9 Spread by Trade Silk Road for Buddhism (dominate) Uighurs
Chinese monks built temples endowed by merchants Uighurs steppe people serving as mercenary caravan guards picked up Manichaeism derivative of Zoroastrianism sparked temple building eventually replaced by Buddhism



12 Spread by Trade cont. Christianity Islam
only moderately successful on Silk Road few Christians engaged in long-range trade Armenians kept to selves Nestorians = human Jesus vs. divine Jesus some patches of temple building Islam expanded via sea routes mosques in merchant communities China E. Africa Saharan trade routes took Islam West



15 Conversion of Kings start at top and watch religion trickle down
Early Christianity social outcasts Religion of “slaves and women” initially hostile to wealth religion grew as women evangelized husbands children minority religion until 4th century


17 Conversion of Kings cont.
Constantine 312 AD converts to Christianity at battle of Milvian Bridge converted to gain political backing for bid for Empire mixed pagan “unconquered sun” with Christian ideas “Lord of Hosts” not “God of Love” Christianity no longer persecuted Eventually Christianity official religion of Roman Empire Loses traditional pacifism

18 Conversion of Constantine

19 Conversion of Kings cont.
King Ezana of Ethiopia converts to Christianity in the 340’s Believed to be son of Ethiopian war god At end of his life converted and waged war under the banner of “Lord of Hosts” built churches King Trdat of Armenia converts in 314 AD converted to gain alliance with Rome and Constantine

20 King Ezana

21 King Trdat

22 Diplomatic Conversions
Small kingdoms between Rome and Persia shifted religions with alliances Christian Zoroastrian Muslim

23 Buddhism and Politics China
Often used by new monarchs to legitimize rule Buddhism never wholly dominant traditional rituals Confucianism Chinese distrust of foreigners periodically persecuted 820s-840s AD thousands monasteries dissolved


25 Buddhism and Politics cont.
Korea approximately 500 AD Buddhism brought to Koguryo by refugees from China quickly reconciled with traditional Korean religion Slow to spread beyond Japan approximately 600 AD diplomacy with Korea refugees from China reconcile with Shintoism government and religion same word animism Japanese Buddhism distinctive mix

26 Buddhism and Politics cont.
Tibet slow monastic colonization chose Theraveda over Mahayana Buddhism didn’t adopt until late 800’s India Buddhism unsuccessful as state religion Huns seen as proof of Buddhism failure driven back to traditional gods Codified with caste system into Hinduism

27 The Russians and Christianity
Converted on Constantinian model Vladimir of Kiev History of paganism Needed to break power of priesthood to set up kingdom Searched for religion Discovers Muslims (no good) Visits Hagia Sophia and is impressed Convert to Orthodox Christianity and marries Byzantine princess (Anna Porphyrogenita) Required services in Slavic language (beginning of Russian orthodoxy)

28 Vladimir of Kiev

29 Hagia Sophia

30 Kiev, capital of modern Ukraine

31 Islam and the Turks Turks warlike central Asian people
Karakhanids – first Turks to be Islamic Brought new manpower and warriors to Islam Seljuk Turks convert in 985 AD and descendants would come to rule empire

32 Turkish Warriors

33 Monasticism and Religion
Christian Monasticism Upheld Roman tradition of learning Different types of monks Benedictine (founded by Benedict 542 AD) Changed pagan shrines to St. shrines Sought to instate paradise on earth Isolation and contemplation Various other orders

34 Benedictine Monks

35 Monasticism in other Religions
Monasticism more important in Buddhism than in Christianity Withdrawal from world to find religion Preserver of learning Islamic Sufism Muhammad was against asceticism Christian monastic roots too deeply engraved Mystics – fasting and meditation

36 Buddhist Monks

37 Women in Religions Guardians of religious tradition
Nuns – prayer and scholarship

38 What makes a World Religion

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