Chapter Eight in the textbook discusses the rise of two universal religions, Christianity and Islam.  Each faith would offer new avenues of faith within the Western World (and beyond).  Both would help to form the bedrock of empires of splendor and wonder.  They form two of the pillars that are what often referred to as the Middle Ages (or Medieval Period) of history.  This time period, from roughly 500-1500 C. E., would produce many of the ideas that would influence, and continues to influence, the modern world.

Read Chapter Eight in the textbook (pages 264-301) and answer ONE of the following questions.

Your response to the question you choose should be approximately 600-800 words in length and double-spaced.  The essay should rely on ideas from the textbook and the documents contained within Chapter Eight.  The essay should not use direct quotations from outside sources.

Again, please answer ONE of the following questions.

  1.   In what ways did Christianity develop and spread following its institutionalization in the Roman Empire?  Choose one of the following civilizations:

The Byzantine Empire

Germanic States of Western Europe

Slavic Eastern Europe

In what way did the civilization you choose adapt to and incorporate Christianity into society?  Describe a particular ruler (from the society you choose) who was important to this process.  (Pages 264-284).

  1.   Describe the origins and rise of Islam. In what ways did Islam instill a sense of common identity among its believers?  What were some of the differences seen in the Islamic World and how did these impact the development of new governments?  In your essay you will wish to discuss the five pillars of faith, the division between Shi’a and Sunni, the concept of the dar-al-Islam, and the concept of a caliphate.  (Pages 285-295).
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