Chapter 3
Unit 1 World History
The Great Sphinx in front of Khafre’s Pyramid in Giza Plataeu. (Public Domain photo. Info can be found here)
A Hindu marriage ceremony. (Creative Commons photo. Attribution to author and info can be found here)
In this chapter we will be explaining basic information about the development and beliefs about world religions. This may seem strange to some but it is an absolutely vital building block in understanding the motivations for many vital historical events. Without this knowledge students would have an extremely difficult time grasping concepts like the crusades, the protestant reformation, backlash against the scientific revolution and countless others. students are informed very specifically before starting the chapter that this is a short historical/sociological explanation of religion and in no way is meant to take the place of whatever belief system they may follow at home. I start with a discussion about how a historical view may differ from that of a religious viewpoint simply because of the different focus of the two. It is my sincere hope that students will finish this chapter with a better understanding of religion in a historical context that will be used later in the explanation of various historical concepts. While I have researched a great deal for this chapter I am by no means a religious scholar so if there is ever a time you believe something was explained incorrectly or insufficiently I would very much like to be aware of it. Please feel free to contact me if any such case should arise.

Essential questions

The following questions are meant to be studied during the chapter as possible essay questions for your exam.
Please be ready for any of the following questions.
  1. In what ways are Dharmic Religions different from those of the Abrahamic Faith?
  2. In what ways do far eastern religious beliefs (including Buddhism) differ from other faiths in terms of the concept of hell?
  3. Compare and contrast law systems within the religions covered in class? Is it true that they all say very similar things?
  4. How does the caste system align with Hindu thoughts in terms of samsara? Was this the original intent?
  5. Which religions seem to be the friendliest in regards to science? Why?

Chapter Content

Use the following links to find the content you are interested in or use the search bar at the top right to look for specific concepts.

The Dynamics Of Faith

Early Religious Beliefs


Zoroastrian Beliefs


Shen Beliefs


Tao Beliefs


Shinto Beliefs

Early History Of India


Hindu Beliefs


Jain Beliefs

The Life Of Siddhartha Guatama


Buddhist Beliefs


Sikh Beliefs



Jewish Beliefs


Christian Beliefs

Arabia Prior To Islam


Islamic Beliefs


The following are a list of helpful resources that can be used in studying for this chapter.

Class Notes

These are the notes that I use for class. All information found in these notes lead directly to the test so they should be used in studying if you want the correct answers. This can only be accessed by students logged into their school account.

Chapter Powerpoint

This link will lead you to the PowerPoint for this unit. Those who missed class can use this to catch up on what was taught in class and what specific concepts to focus on in your studying.

Exam Review

This is the review that should be used to prepare for the exam. All exam questions will be connected directly to this document. Students are expected to answer all questions and are encouraged to know the rest also.

Review Videos

The videos to the right are placed here so that you can find other ways to study if that is your desire. Crash course videos tend to work pretty well for this type of studying as many of the AP World students use them to prep for tests. Please feel free to click on any of the videos in this feed for more info.

This Chapter in the news

Many students don’t realize that history is being debated and rewritten daily. These are stories related to our chapter from the news.

Early Christian Persecution

We all know the story of Jesus, but what about his followers? What type of persecution did they have to deal with in spreading the religion in the early days?

Did Jewish People Build the Pyramids

We often assume that historians buy into the stories of the Bible/Torah, but they often question some of the basic stories due to lack of corroboration.

Parting the Red Sea Study

From time to time science will step in and help prove the fantastic stories we see in religions. This study deals with the possibility of parting the Red Sea.