New Identities: Nationalism and Religion 1850 - 1914 CE

WEB LESSON Although there was a rise in secular culture during this period, people also continued to define themselves through religion. Religious identities sometimes clashed with nationalistic identities, while in other instances they spurred nationalistic movements. The focus of this unit is on the complex relationship between nationalism and religion from 1850-1914. By studying these two great forces, students will be able to understand the tensions and boundaries that existed on the eve of World War I and the conflicts and changes that have continued through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first.

Art in the Muslim World

WEB LESSON In classical Islamic art, forms of art such as calligraphy, architecture, and decorative arts are celebrated. Through the materials presented in this lesson, students will explore basic elements of Islamic art, learn about the origin and styles of the specific art of Islamic calligraphy, and create their own piece of artistic calligraphy.

Bringing Down an Empire: Gandhi and Civil Disobedience

WEB LESSON This Constitutional Rights Foundation lesson shows students how Mahatma Gandhi used religious principles to change modern history. Gandhi led the movement for independence in India by using non-violent civil disobedience. His tactics drove the British from India, but he failed to wipe out ancient Indian religious and caste hatreds.

India Partition

WEB LESSON The decision to partition India into two countries as part of its independence from Britain in August 1947 had dramatic consequences. The creation of Pakistan as a separate, Muslim state from India, a secular state, set off waves of displacement, migration, and violence. In this Stanford History Education Group lesson, students weigh the options of leaders in 1947 and use primary sources to evaluate the religious and other reasons for the Partition Plan.

Sudan, Imperialism, and the Mahdi's Holy War

WEB LESSON This Constitutional Rights Foundation lesson focuses on the role of Islam as a unifier of people in Egypt and Sudan against British and French imperialism. In the late 19th c. Muhammad Ahmad, a local religious leader of traditional Islam, considered himself to be The Mahdi, or the "Expected One." In other words he and his followers believed that he had been sent by God at the end of times to rule the world in preparation for the Messiah. He referred to his battle to free Sudan from British control as a holy war. Students are asked to serve in the role of a Board of Inquiry to evaluate the actions taken and if war could have been avoided.

Home, Community, and Tradition: Ramadan in Refuge

This short lesson takes a look at a story about refugees in Germany who are reckoning with religion and identity while displaced from their homes during Ramadan. Adaptable for all grade levels.

Religions of Europe

WEB ACTIVITY Students read about dominant religions in Europe. They compare and contrast a map of religious groups in Europe to a political map of Europe and identify areas in Europe where they might expect conflict over religion. Download documents/materials from the webpage. MS - HS

Cooperation and Conflict in the U.K. and Ireland

WEB LESSON Students present their ideas about how language and religion can unite or divide countries. Then they revisit questions about groups with their new knowledge of religion and language groups in Europe. Students reflect on how their ideas about how religious and language groups can cooperate within a country have changed. Download the needed resources from the website. MS-HS

Yugoslavia: A Divided Land

The Balkans in Eastern Europe are a land of many cultures and many faiths. How was Yugoslavia forged from different Balkan peoples after World War I? How did Yugoslavia ultimately dissolve later in the 20th century? And what roles did religion and nationalism have in this history? In an activity, students deliberate on U.S. ratification of the treaty that created the International Criminal Court, of which the United States is not a member.