Unit 4 - Belief Systems

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    Belief systems have been around since the earliest man. Early humans believed that spirits inhabited the world around them (animism) and had tremendous influence on nature and world events.  With the growth of civilizations, religions became more and more complex. Major civilizations gave rise to the major belief systems that exist in the world today. In the Middle East, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam arose. India gave birth to Hinduism and Buddhism.  Confucianism developed in China, along with Daoism and Legalism. Japan was home to Shintoism. These belief systems all developed their own social rules, beliefs, sacred texts, and, in some cases, deities. The rise of trade, warfare, and cultural interaction allowed these belief systems to spread to new areas and impact the world in a variety of ways.