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The Influence of Religious History in the Middle East

The Influence of Religious History in the Middle East -...

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The Influence of Religious History in the Middle East For the past 5 months I have been studying the religious history of each country we have become apart of. My project consists of tracing the religious developments in each of the four countries and the role religion plays in the social, political, and moral elements in each destination. I explored the history of the nation and what major figures or events shaped the religious scope of each respective country. I learned about each religion while I was in each country and made connections of how their culture is shaped by this religious aspect. Observations I had about these societies will be correlated to their religious development and will be compared to our society in America. My goal was to understand the influence of religion in a society. This was a great opportunity to observe this influence since all respective nations are very representative of the monotheistic religions. This plan was beneficial to my ME studies concentration as well as my history major. To prepare before my journey I had taken a course on the Orthodox Church at St. Olaf and have also read Introduction to the Orthodox Church by Fr. Anthony Coniaris. My preparation in this particular faith has been ongoing since birth. The preparation for Islam has consisted of a small introductory book given to me by neighbors in my dorm who practice Islam. It had given me a good foundation to build upon. The Internet was used to prepare for learning about the Jewish faith. The Encyclopedia will give me a background on each country before I left. Also the completion of Understanding the Contemporary Middle East gave a great foundation to build on. In this final presentation I will leave out the dates and specifics that have made up my previous speeches and focus on how the culture is influenced by their history. History is not all about memorizing dates and old dead people. It is about understanding and analyzing information that ultimately shapes the world around us. All the dates will do for you is make it easier to remember an ATM code, that's about it. How many people say that "they hate history classes.. but.. they love the history channel?" Lots of people, because history is fun when you do something with it. When you take the information and create explanations for why certain cultures perceive things the way they do, you are doing what historians do, and are enacting the true purpose of history, to make connections of past and present, and linking people that are separated geographically and also culturally. When I go visit a farmer or builder to work on his tractor I look up the history of what we have done with him in the past. I can tell what problems if any he has had. That way I can understand what his concerns may be and also what are the things he needs taken care of in order to remain satisfied. The point is if you understand what has happened to a culture you will be better prepared to make progress with it and function in a manor that benefits all.
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