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    Religious beliefs, rituals, and practices have been part of all human cultures in nearly every corner of the globe for millennia. Moreover, religion has structured the lives of men and women in profound ways right up to the very present. Religious conflict has been at the root of countless wars for many thousands of years, and religious conviction has led people of a wide variety of cultures to die for their beliefs or to fan out across the world to profess the wonders of their faiths. 1
    This issue of World History Connected is devoted to the theme of religion and its many manifestations in world history. In particular, several of the essays featured here -- those by Moore, Sisisky, Weber, and Fahey -- address the special problems and issues of teaching about religion in the world history classroom. As they point out, teaching about religion can be tricky at both the secondary and university levels. For example, the discussion of religion can evoke personal reactions among students. Or, perhaps more importantly, we as teachers are often not as equipped as we would like to teach about the array of world religions we are confronted with in the historical record.
    Other essays and columns in this issue address specific religions and the ways discussion about them might be incorporated into the world historical classroom. Indeed, Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism, Sufism, Shintoism, and even syncretism (which is not a religion itself but rather a particular blend of religions) are featured here. In addition, for those wishing to explore the world beyond religions in this issue, we have showcased a variety of columns, reviews, and a follow-up debate about the "rise of the West" here as well.  3
    Although we can hardly hope to comprehensively "cover" all, or even most, of the world's religions in one issue, we do hope to create the space for a dialogue about the ways in which we go about teaching religion to our students and the ways we can prepare ourselves to learn about religions. Our goal, as always, is to provide useful, timely, and practical support to teachers of world history everywhere.

Heather Streets, Co-editor

Tom Laichas, Co-editor


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