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Understanding the Religions of the World

Steven Kucklick
Text Set
Dr. Vic Oglan

Table of Contents
Introduction: pg. 3
Childrens Non Fiction: pg. 4
The Church, Life in Elizabethan England: pg. 4
Buddhism: pg. 6
Judaism: pg. 7
Islam: pg. 9
Hinduism: pg. 10
Informational Text: pg. 12
The Protestant Reformation, Beliefs and Practices: pg. 12
Microhistory: pg. 14
The Cheese and the Worms: pg. 14
Young Adult/Adult Non-Fiction: pg. 17
American Islam, Growing up Muslim in America: pg. 17
Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths: pg. 19
Film: pg. 21
Luther: pg. 21

Introduction:
What is this Text Set all about?
In this Text Set I am going to focus on two big ideas, the Protestant Reformation and
major religions of the world. The reason I want to combine these two ideas, even though they
could take up a text set on their own, is because they work so well together. Specifically, it
allows me to teach the Protestant Reformation, which is one of the most important events of the
late Medieval time period, while also focusing on Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism;
religions that often get over looked in the classroom. Ideally, I want students to understand how
these are global religions and that they play an important part in not only our current world, but
also history. Using texts, I can make this topic more manageable for students and for myself.
However, they will still gain a deep understanding of it.
Standards Addressed:
While this Text Set could be adapted to a middle school or elementary school classroom,
I am going to focus on the highs school level, specifically Modern World History. The specific
standard I am addressing is
Standard MWH-3: The student will demonstrate an understanding of the impact of religious
movements throughout the world in the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries.
There are six indicators within this standard and each one can be tied into my overall theme,
either directly or indirectly.

Childrens Books

Book One: The Church, Life in Elizabethan England, Kathryn Hinds


Hinds, Kathryn. (2008). The Church, Life in Elizabethan England. New York: Marshall
Cavendish Benchmark.
Summary:
In this book, author Kathryn Hinds outlines the role that religion played in England under Queen
Elizabeth. Not only does she explains how the Church of England was founded, but she also
gives a brief explanation on how Protestantism was established in Europe. Hinds also works to
allow the reader to really understand how the church operated within society and culture, Going
so far as to explain the Churchs view on life, death, birth, and marriage.
In My Classroom:
Reasons: The reason why I chose this book is because, honestly, it jumped out at me. The
minute I opened it, I realized I had something special. In fact, this is my favorite piece of text
that I have selected for this Text Set. I think that the biggest draw for me is that the book
approaches very specific and complex topics and explains them in a manageable way. I also
enjoy how the book touches on womens role within the church, something that I feel is often left
out. Finally, the book as beautiful art works well keeps the readers attention.
How it Might be Used: I feel like there is so much I could do with this book in my
classroom. I could have the students tackle the whole book in a one to two day lesson. If I was
going to do this I would have them jig saw the book. I would put the students into groups of
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three or four and have them each tackle a chapter from the book. The chapters themselves are
pretty short, only about ten pages each. I could have the groups really dig into the chapters and
get everything they can out of them. Then, each group can present on the chapter that they were
assigned. I could also just focus on a specific chapter. If I was to do this I would assign reading
questions to the chapter that make the students think critically. Here, I could either assign it for
homework or have them work in groups to answer the questions.
Connecting to the SC Standards:
This book can touch on two indicators in particular in Standard 3. The first indicator is MWH
3.2: Evaluate the impact of religious dissent on the development of European kingdoms during
the sixteenth century, including the warfare between peasants and feudal lords in German
principalities, the conflict between the nobility of the Holy Roman Empire and the Hapsburg
emperors, the creation of the Church of England, and the dynastic and religious competition in
France. This book directly addresses the first part of this indicator as well as the creation of the
Church of England. This book goes into great detail about how the development of the Anglican
Church effected the relationship with the rest of Catholic Europe. This book can also be tied into
indicator MWH 3.1: Describe the proliferation of religious ideas, including the expansion of
Islam, the competition between Protestants and Catholics throughout Europe, and the spread of
Buddhism through East and Southeast Asia. The part of the indicator that this book addresses is
the competition between Protestants and Catholics throughout Europe.

Book Two: Buddhism, Philip Wilkinson.


Wilkinson, Philip. (2003). Buddhism. New York: DK Publishing Inc.
Summary:
Philip Wilkinson does an excellent job of explaining the history and culture of Buddhism through
the use of pictures and artwork. The book itself contains a minimum amount of text and prefers
for the reader to understand the religion visually, instead of just reading about it. The book does a
great job of explaining how Buddhism has changed and developed new denominations, so to
speak.
In My Classroom:
Reasons: This books fits so well in my Text Set because it approaches Buddhism in a
way that students can really understand it. It is not overly complicated, but it still gets its main
points across very effectively. Even though this books intended audience is children I think that
it could really work well in a high school classroom. The reason for this is that it focuses on
teaching through pictures. Not only are the students learning, but they are also getting visual
examples. I think that students would also prefer to learn through pictures then have to read a
dense book about the subject.
How it Might be Used: When actually using this book in my classroom I would
probably use for visual examples in what I am teaching. I could also teach the history of
Buddhism through pictures, which I think would be very interesting. More than anything I want
this book to be available for students to look at whenever they want to because I think it is such a
good book to just flip through.

Connecting to SC Standards:
In Standard 3, this book could address Indicators MWH 3.1: Describe the proliferation of
religious ideas, including the expansion of Islam, the competition between Protestants and
Catholics throughout Europe, and the spread of Buddhism through East and Southeast Asia. and
MWH 3.4: Explain the role of Buddhism and its impact on the cultures throughout East and
Southeast Asia, including Buddhisms basic tenets, the impact of the local rulers on religious
conversion, and the religions enduring traditions. This book covers the basics of both of these
indicators really well. There are only a few things that would need to be expanded on that the
book does not cover.

Book Three: Judaism, Douglas Charing


Charing, Douglas. (2003). Judaism. New York: DK Publishing Inc.
Summary:
Douglas Charing explores the world of Judaism through the use of pictures rather than words.
While he does have short descriptors of each topic, the focus of the book is the beautiful pictures
and artwork that describe the culture and history of the Jewish faith. The book starts from the
very beginning of the founding of Judaism to modern times.
In my Classroom:
Reasons: The reason why I like this book so much and want to use it in my classroom is
because it focuses on images rather than words. I think that far too often images are forgotten in

the classroom when they are such a valuable tool. With this book I can utilize images in my
classroom with my lecturing or even with student work.
How it Might be Used: Ideally this book would not just serve one purpose. Instead it
would serve as something I can constantly refer to throughout my teaching. In a class like World
History, religion is a constant theme and so this book would a useful tool to show images to my
students. That being said, specifically I could pull images from this book and use during my
lectures. It could also be a source for students while doing projects or just any sort of group or
individual work.
Connecting to the SC Standards:
Judaism is not specifically mentioned in the indicators of Standard 3, the student will
demonstrate an understanding of the impact of religious movements throughout the world in the
fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries, of the World History class in the SC Standards.
However, that does not mean it should not be included. This standard is broad enough that this
religion can be talked about. Secondly, and even more importantly, Judaism should be talked
about. It plays an extremely important role on not only the time period that the standard
mentions, but also the history of the world in general.

Book Four: Islam, Matthew S. Gordon


Gordon, Matthew S. (2001). Islam. New York: Facts on File Inc.
Summary:
Author Matthew Gordons book Islam, explores the religion in a very readable and teachable
way. This book gives an introduction into not only the history of the religion, but also the culture
and religious practices of it. This book looks at such topics as the spread of Islam, the religious
life of a Muslim, and Islam in the modern world.
In My Classroom:
Reasons: I want to use this book in my classroom because of the fact that it is such a
good introductory book. The fact of the matter is that a lot of students do not understand the
Islamic religion. This book does a good job of helping to fix that while not getting too dense on
the information. While this book does focus more on text and visuals, the text is informative and
easy to read.
How it Might be Used: I think that I would use this text to teach the history of Islam.
This book does a great job of condensing the history of the religion in about forty pages. I would
take advantage of this by either getting my students to jig saw the book, or just pull selected
passages and have them analyze them. I would also want to use this book for personal research
when teaching Islam.
Connecting to the SC Standards:
This book really does a great job of covering indicator MWH-3.3, explain the role of Islam on
the cultures of the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia, including its methods of expansion, its
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impact on religious diversity, and reactions to its expansion, in Standard 3 of the World History
class. The book covers all of these things in substantial detail and could be used, by itself to
teach this indicator.

Book Five: Hinduism, Madhu Bazaz Wangu


Wangu, Madhu Bazaz. (2001). Hinduism. New York: Facts on File Inc.
Summary:
Author Wangu Madhu Bazaz presents this book in a way that focuses more on understanding the
culture of Hinduism more than the history of it. While he does touch on some history, the book
mainly looks at the role the gods play in the religion, the culture, and everyday life for modern
Hindus. The history it does focus on is early history of the religion and more modern history,
looking at figures such as Gandhi.
In My Classroom:
Reasons: This book is beneficial because it examines a religion that most people know
very little about. I also really appreciate that he breaks the book down in a very manageable way
that a lot of students will be able to understand. Because the book is intended for children and
young adults, the language that the author uses and the content that he gives is very digestible for
students.
How it Could be Used: With this book I would want to use it for resource material for
myself or my students. I could create a project for my students that focuses on Hinduism or

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religions of the world and this book would be a great resource for my students. I could also use
this book in my own lectures. It does contain some good images that I could show my students.
Connecting to the SC Standards:
This book, as opposed to most of my texts in my Text Set, is the only one that does not
correspond to Standard 3 in the Modern World History class. This book aligns more to Standard
2, the student will demonstrate an understanding of the benefits and costs of the growth of
kingdoms into empires from the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries, specifically indicator
MWH-2.4: analyze the influence of the Mughal empire on the development of India, including
the influence of Persian culture and the Muslim religion on the Hindu culture. This book ties into
these standards really well because it touches on the history of Hinduism which is what this
indicator focuses on. This indicator also gives room for expansion which this book could
certainly allow. I could even form a whole class about Hinduism around this indicator.

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Informational Texts

Book Six: The Protestant Reformation, Beliefs and Practices. Madeleine Gray
Gray, Madeleine. (2003). The Protestant Reformation, Beliefs and Practices. Portland, Oregon:
Sussex Academic Press.
Summary:
The Protestant Reformation has been the subject of much recent debate among theologians and
church historians. Controversy still rages over the state of the late medieval church, the extent to
which the Reformation was driven by theological or political concerns, and the impact which it
had on the lives and beliefs of ordinary people. This book provides an overview of some of the
main themes of religious thinking in the Reformation period while giving weight to the
multifaceted nature of beliefs. Particular attention is paid to developments in the practice of
worship, and to the impact of the Reformation on ideas of the relationship between the Church
and secular society.
(Summary taken from the back cover of the book, citation: Gray, Madeleine. (2003). The
Protestant Reformation, Beliefs and Practices. Portland, Oregon: Sussex Academic Press.)
In My Classroom:
Reasons: I absolutely love books like this. I love books that focus in a specific topic, like
the Reformation, and explain it in detail from multiple angles. Maybe its just the history major
in me coming out. While this book is intended for undergrads in college, I do believe that it can
serve a purpose in a high school classroom. The biggest reason why I want this book in Text Set
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is because it gives my students and myself insight into something that the text book does not
cover in that much detail, and I think that it is important for books like this to help fix that.
How it Might be Used: I would ideally use this book for two purposes. The first purpose
would be as my own personal resources when I am teaching this particular unit. This is really a
good source for me to draw my information from when I teach the students. Secondly, I want this
book to exist in my personal library in my classroom so that students can read it and use it when
they need to. If I assign a project where this book could be useful then I want it to be available to
them.
Connecting with the SC Standards:
In terms of tying this book into the standards, I believe that this book can work with Standard 3
from the Modern World History class as a whole. This standard specifically mentions the impact
of the religious movements from the 14th to 16th century, and the Protestant Reformation
definitely falls in the category. In fact, I would really like to tie in the Reformation throughout
this whole standard because I think it is so important and so interesting.

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Microhistory

Book Seven: The Cheese and the Worms, Carlo Ginzburg


Ginzburg, Carlo. (1992). The Cheese and the Worms. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University
Press.
Summary:
The Cheese and the Worms is a study of the popular culture in the sixteenth century as
seen through the eyes of one man, a miller brought to trial during the Inquisition. Carlo Ginzburg
uses the trial records of Domenico Scandella, a miller also known as Menocchio, to show how
one person responded to the confusing political and religious conditions of his time.
For a common miller, Menocchio was surprisingly literate. In his trial testimony he made
references to more than a dozen books, including the Bible
Boccaccio's Decameron, Mandeville's Travels, and a "mysterious" book that may have been the
Koran. And what he read he recast in terms familiar to him, as in his own version of the creation:
"All was chaos, that is earth, air, water, and fire were mixed together; and of that bulk a mass
formedjust as cheese is made out of milkand worms appeared in it, and these were the
angels."
(Summary found from the back cover of the book: Ginzburg, Carlo. (1992). The Cheese and the

Worms. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press.)

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In my Classroom:
Reasons: I think that this book is particularly useful for one reason, it is a microhistory
that looks at something extremely minute and seemingly insignificant and shows just how
valuable it can be. There is not enough value placed on microhistories in the social studies class;
I think that they can be very valuable from a teaching perspective. The reason I think this is
because looking at these histories of individual, everyday people, can make history much more
manageable for the students. It also shows them just how these big historical events effected the
everyday people, the people that are usually not spoken about.
How it Might be Used: I would really want my students to read this book, or at least key
sections of it. I think that I would probably assign this book to be read over the course of a week
or two and throughout that time I would have them answer reading questions to make sure they
are keeping up with the reading (when I say reading questions I mean concept questions that tie
into what we are discussing in class). I will then debrief the book with them and work through
the significance of it.
Connecting to the SC Standards:
Like the previous book, this book can really tie into all of Standard 3, although, I think
specifically it can be used to address Indicator MWH 3.2: Evaluate the impact of religious
dissent on the development of European kingdoms during the sixteenth century, including the
warfare between peasants and feudal lords in German principalities, the conflict between the
nobility of the Holy Roman Empire and the Hapsburg emperors, the creation of the Church of
England, and the dynastic and religious competition in France. I think that this book can really

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address the first part of this indicator really well by looking at how the religious movements were
effecting everyday people. Also, this indicator is just screaming to be taught using microhistory.

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Young Adult/Adult Non-Fiction

Book Eight: American Islam, Growing up Muslim in America, Richard Wormser.


Wormser, Richard. (1994). American Islam, Growing up Muslim in America. New York: Walker
Publishing Company.
Summary:
Today, an estimated four to six million Muslims live in the United States. Yet Islam is still one of
the most misunderstood and maligned religions in the country. News coverage of recent events
such as the World Trade Center bombing and the war in Iraq spread one-sided, negative images
of Muslims as terrorists and religious fanatics, in America and abroad. In American Islam,
Richard Wormser draws on interviews with Muslim teenagers to go beyond the headlines and
provide a timely, unbiased look at this important segment of American Society.
Young Muslims speak out about everyday concernsfamily, school, relationshipsrevealing
hwo they maintain their identity and adapt their religious and cultural traditions to fit into
Americas more permissive society. A historical overview of Islam, an interpretation of the basic
tenets of the Quran, and a close look at the growth of Islam in African-American communities
round out the first-person accounts of daily life.
(Summary take from inside cover of the book: Wormser, Richard. (1994). American Islam,
Growing up Muslim in America. New York: Walker Publishing Company.)

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In My Classroom:
Reasons: I think that books like this are very important to have in the classroom. They
connect the history that we are learning about to modern time. Even more importantly, the give
another perspective to American life, which some students can sometimes have a hard time
getting. Specifically with this book, it gives another side of the narrative of Muslims, especially
American Muslims. I think that currently a lot of Americans fear Muslims because, one: they
only have what the media spouts out to go off of, and two: they do not understand the Muslim
religion. Including books like this in my classroom can really help to solve this problem and
educate students on something they may not know much about.
How it Might be Used: I could see using this book in a few ways. The first would be a
wrap up for a unit centered around world religion. I think that ending the unit by talking about
something that is current and relevant is always a good idea. The second way that I could see
incorporating this book is by wrapping up a whole entire class with it. I think that it really speaks
to something that is relevant today and could be used to wrap up a US History class or a Modern
World History class.
Connecting to the SC Standards:
This book does not directly tie into Standard 3 of the Modern World History class, however, I
stand by the fact that his book could really tie in nicely to a world religion unit, which Standard 3
lends itself very nicely to. I also think, like I said previously, it could wrap up a US History class
and provide a good positive narrative Muslims living in the US. Specifically this could be taught
after the last indicator of US History, USHC-8.6: summarize Americas role in the changing

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world, including the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the expansion of the European Union, the
continuing crisis in the Middle East, and the rise of global terrorism.

Book Nine: Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths, Karen Armstrong.


Armstrong, Karen. (1996). Jerusalem: One City, Three Faiths. New York: Alfred A Knopf, Inc.
Summary:
Jerusalem has been venerated for centuries as a Holy City by Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
How this came to be and what it means both to the people of Jerusalem and to millions around
the world is now richly told by author Karen Armstrong.
In every major religion, a holy place has helped men and women define their own place,
indeed their own importance in the world. Karen Armstrong shows how Jerusalem has become
that defining place for adherents of the three religions of Abraham. She makes us see that the city
has been not only a symbol of God but also a deeply rooted part of Jewish, Christian, and
Muslim identity. She traces Jerusalems physical history and spiritual meaning from its
beginnings during the third millennium BC to its politically troubled and violent present. She
explores the underlying currents that have played a part in Jerusalems long and turbulent past,
and she considers as well its archaeology and ever-changing topography.
(Summary taken from inside cover of book: Armstrong, Karen. (1996). Jerusalem: One City,
Three Faiths. New York: Alfred A Knopf, Inc.)

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In My Classroom:
Reasons: I chose this book to be in my text set because it touches on a theme that I really
want to get across in my world religion unit, that these religions and cultures all share a
connected and intertwined history. This book really works to explain how one city, Jerusalem,
can be a holy city for three different faiths. This is a point that I want to make very clear
throughout my unit; I want my students to understand how this can happen. This is an important
part not only this time period, but even modern times and the 21st century.
How it Might be Used: This book is relatively dense and I would not expect for a high
school student to read the whole thing, or even selected chapters. Instead, I would use it in two
ways. The first would be my own personal research. I would use this book to gather information
for my lectures and just teaching the unit in general. Secondly, I would have the students read
selected passages from this book. I could have them interpret their significance and get them
reading at a high level, which is important.
Connecting with the SC Standards:
Like I said previously, the content that this book talks about really should be an underlying tone
throughout the course of the unit. Therefore, I really think that it can tie into Standard 3, the
student will demonstrate an understanding of the impact of religious movements throughout the
world in the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries, of the Modern World History class. Its
hard to argue that another book is more suited to teach this unit then the book that I have
selected. I think that by selecting passages for students to read as well as referencing it for
information, I can stretch the book throughout the unit.

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Film
Text Ten: Luther, Directed by Eric Till
Thies, Alexander; Stehr, Christian; and Rochow, Brigitte (Producers). Till, Eric (Director).
(2003). Luther. USA: R.S. Entertainment.
Summary:
Regional princes and the powerful church wield a fast, firm and merciless grip over 16th-century
Germany. But when Martin Luther issues a shocking challenge to their authority, the people
declare him their new leader- and hero. Even when threatened with violent death, Luther refuses
to back down, sparking a bloody revolution that shakes the entire continent to its core.
(Summary found from Amazon Video: Amazon.com. Luther. Retrieved from:
https://www.amazon.com/Luther-Joseph-Fiennes/dp/B001EMYRJ8?
_encoding=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0)
In My Classrooms:
Reasons: The reason I want to include this movie in my Text Set is because it includes a
lot of key figures and events from the Protestant Reformation. On top of that, it is relatively
historically accurate. I would show this film to help students really reinforce what we had
already learned in class.
How it Might be Used: I think that I would show this film in bits in pieces and stay
away from actually showing the whole things. The reason for this is because I do not want to

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take up too much class time and I want to keep things relevant for the student. I have to
remember that this movie is not for entertainment, but to be informative.
Connecting to the SC Standards:
I would absolutely tie this into my lesson on the Protestant Reformation which focuses around
Indicator MWH-3.2, evaluate the impact of religious dissent on the development of European
kingdoms during the sixteenth century, including the warfare between peasants and feudal lords
in German principalities, the conflict between the nobility of the Holy Roman Empire and the
Hapsburg emperors, the creation of the Church of England, and the dynastic and religious
competition in France, from Standard 3 of the Modern World History class. I think this would tie
in nicely to the themes that this indicator asks me to present to my students.

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