4.1 Language and Religion

Ask: How do linguistic patterns affect the spread of religion?

Cultural diffusion is the spreading of cultural traits from one group or place to another.

  • Can one cultural trait cause another cultural trait to spread? How would language or religion help the other to spread? What are some factors that would help the spread of a religion?
  • What are some factors that would help the spread of a religion?

Acquire: What geographic patterns exist in language and religion?

Step 2: Open the ArcGIS Online map, Language and Religion. Take a minute to explore the map. Change the basemap to a map of your preference.

Step 3: With the Detail” pane visible, click the button, Show Content of map.

  • What is noticeable about the distribution of religions?

Step 4: Click the checkbox to the left of the layer name, Language Families of the World.

  • Which language family is the most widely diffused?

Explore: How do patterns of religion vary?

Step 5: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select South America.

Step 6: Turn the language and religion layers on and off to explore patterns.

  • Which religions are dominant in South America?

Step 7: Pan the map to North America.

  • Which religions are dominant in North America?
  • What relationship exists between language and religion in North America?

Analyze: Compare the patterns of European languages and religions.

Step 8: Click the button, Bookmarks. Select the Europe bookmark.

Step 9: Turn on only two layers, Major World Religions, and Indo-European Language Branches.

  • What connections do you see between the religions of Europe and the major Indo-European language branches?

Step 10: Turn off the layer, Indo-European Languages Branches.

Step 11: Click the other bookmarks.

  • Which region has the greatest religious diversity?

Act: What factors influence the diffusion of a religion?

Step 12: Press the button, Measure. Select Distance. Use Miles.

  • How far has Islam spread east and west from Mecca?
  • How did physical and human factors serve as barriers and supports for the spread of Islam?

License

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Human Geography Lab Manual by R. Adam Dastrup, MA, GISP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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