About This Chapter
AP World History: Major Belief Systems - Chapter Summary
In this chapter, you'll get an overview of the major world religions, looking at their principles, gods, followers, and origins. Our instructors cover the differences between Shiite and Sunni Muslims, the rise of Buddhism in Asia and India and the three pillars of Indian society. You'll also study the beliefs associated with Confucianism. This chapter is designed to teach you how to:
- Understand the differences and similarities between these three categories of religious views
- Discuss the three big monotheistic religions and compare their scriptures, gods, and tenets
- Discover the basic ideologies of these religions and see how they are similar and on which points they diverge
- Outline the beliefs of the Hebrews
- Understand the tenets of Zoroastrianism and what its followers believe
- Discuss the life of Mohammed and the birth of the Muslim religion
- Explore some belief systems besides Confucianism that developed in China after the Zhou period
- Outline the ideologies associated with shamanism and animism and how they shape worldviews
Use any mobile device or computer to study this chapter at your convenience. Our self-paced lessons can be completed in order as a great test review, or take a look only at the lessons that correspond to the subjects you need help with. Help from an expert is available in the Dashboard if you need it.
1. Animism & Shamanism: Definitions, Worldviews & Ideologies
In this lesson, we look at the basics of animism and shamanism and why these categories can be controversial. You'll imagine the conversations among anthropologists as they aim to better understand these beliefs.
2. Zoroastrianism: Definition, Beliefs & History
Major religions, like Christianity and Islam, have been popular since ancient times, but what religion was popular before these belief systems developed? This lesson explores the beliefs of Zoroastrians, one of the earliest forms of organized religion.
3. Religious Views: Atheism, Agnosticism & Theism
Sociology of religion is a large branch of sociology. The different views on deities are studied as part of this topic. In this lesson, we compare and contrast the views of theism, atheism, and agnosticism.
4. Monotheism: Islam, Judaism & Christianity
In this lesson, we define monotheism and identify three significant monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We also discuss the ideology of each of these three religions.
5. The Early Christian Church and Its Ties to Judaism
This lesson will explore the early Christian Church and its close connection to Judaism. It will highlight the similarities of these two faiths in reference to the Holy Scriptures while also exploring their disagreement over the person of Jesus Christ.
6. Mohammed and the Birth of Islam
Out of the deserts of Arabia would come a man who would change the world. He was Mohammed, founder of the religion of Islam, and this lesson serves as a brief summary of his life and the founding of the religion of Islam.
7. Islam Divides: The Sunni and the Shiite
This lesson will seek to explain the divide between the Sunnis and Shiites of Islamic culture. In doing so, it will highlight the Prophet Muhammad, Ali, Abu Bakr, and the position of Islamic Caliph.
8. The Hebrews and Their Beliefs
This lesson covers the Hebrews and their beliefs. We look at the core tenets of Judaism and explore some of the stories from the Torah. Finally, we see how the Hebrews' history of oppression impacted their religion and the world today.
9. Nontheism: Hinduism, Buddhism & Confucianism
Not all religions focus on the belief (or disbelief) in a particular deity. In this lesson, we define nontheism and discuss the ideologies of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.
10. Buddhism's Spread in India, Ceylon & Central Asia
With the efforts of Ashoka, Buddhism soon spread throughout much of Asia. This lesson looks at how Buddhism spread, as well as how the faith split into two different systems. After you review the lesson, test your new knowledge with our quiz!
11. Three Pillars of Indian Society: Village, Caste & Family
This lesson will explain the three pillars of Indian society. They are the village, the caste system, and the family. In doing so, it will explore the different individual castes as well as describing joint families.
12. Confucianism: Definition, Beliefs & History
Confucianism is an ancient philosophy of respect and kindness. Learn about the history of Confucianism, including its philosophy and founder. Then, test your understanding of the subject with a short quiz.
13. Taoism & Legalism in the Chinese Zhou Dynasty
While Confucianism remained the most dominant philosophy to emerge from China during the Zhou period, two other philosophies, Taoism and Legalism, offered different approaches to how to best live in the world.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the AP World History: Exam Prep course
- AP World History: Foundational Concepts
- AP World History: Ancient Times
- AP World History: Ancient Middle East
- AP World History: Ancient China, Africa, India & America
- AP World History: Ancient Greece
- AP World History: Hellenism and Athenian Philosophy
- AP World History: The Rise of the Roman Republic
- AP World History: The Fall of the Roman Empire
- AP World History: The Dark Ages
- AP World History: Early Middle Ages
- AP World History: The Medieval Warm Period
- AP World History: The High Middle Ages
- AP World History: Asia, Africa & America (1000-1300 CE)
- AP World History: The Late Middle Ages
- AP World History: The Renaissance
- AP World History: The Age of Exploration
- AP World History: The Reformation Across Europe
- AP World History: The Elizabethan Era
- AP World History: The Enlightenment
- AP World History: Political, Technological, and Intellectual Developments (1750-1914)
- AP World History: Colonialism
- AP World History: Imperialism
- AP World History: World War I
- AP World History: World War II
- AP World History: The Cold War and Other 20th Century World History
- AP World History: A Globalized World - 1980 & Beyond
- Portions of the AP World History Exam
- How to Write a Good Essay on Your AP Exam
- AP World History Flashcards
- Additional AP World History Flashcards