WEB RESOURCE Religion can be explained as a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. Here is a brief description of the beliefs, history, rituals, texts from major world views from atheism to Zoroastrianism created an published by BBC.

World Religions

WEB RESOURCE World religions is a category used in the study of religion to demarcate the five, and in some cases more, of the largest and most internationally widespread religious movements. Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are always included in the list, known as the "Big Five". Many scholars also include other world religions, such as Taoism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, and the Baha'i Faith, in the category. Other categories, such as indigenous religions and new religious movements, are also studied by scholars of religion.

Belief Systems Along the Silk Roads

WEB RESOURCE The religious beliefs of people along the Silk Road at the beginning of the 1st century BCE were very different from what they would later become. See how these religions evolved over time.

Why Study Religion?

WEB RESOURCE This website gives a comprehensive overview of the compelling reasons to study Religion as an academic discipline, the misconceptions students sometimes have of the treatment of religion in the classroom and the burning issues in the field. This website is sponsored and developed by the American Academy of Religion, and was funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.

World Religions: The Great Faiths Explored and Explained by John Bowker

BOOK This richly illustrated DK Publishing volume has articles on the major modern world religions as well as material on ancient and Native American religions. The bibliography for further reading and timeline make this a good place for middle school students to begin research.

Science Without Bounds: A Synthesis of Science, Religion and Mysticism by

BOOK A Synthesis of Science, Religion and Mysticism is a book (available for free download) that explores material at the intersection of science, religion, mysticism and philosophy.

Five Faiths Project

WEB LESSON This Ackland Art Museum site of the University of North Carolina features an overview of Hindu, Judaism, Buddism, Christianity, and Islam. Art objects related to the specific faith selected are included. It links to an art object-based lesson, interview transcripts, and discussion topics.

Mapping History: World Religions by Dr. Ian Barnes

BOOK/ATLAS This book has maps showing the location and spread of major world religions throughout history. There is much here of real value for the classroom since it includes indigenous beliefs and traditional religions in Asia. The publisher Cartographica (2007) is British gives a clue that the supporting text is from a Eurocentric point of view

All Religions Are Not the Same

WEB VIDEO In this Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly episode religion scholar and bestselling author Stephen Prothero speaks about his new book called "God is Not One," in which he takes issue with those who argue that religions are all just different paths up the same mountain. Religion & Ethics Newsweekly managing editor Kim Lawton spoke with Prothero about how religions are different and why distinctions among religions matter.


Geography of World Religions

WEB RESOURCE Here are videos and text about the origins and diffusion of the five major World Religions. The videos are embedded in the article or may be viewed on YouTube