The Geography of Religion

Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism which together account for 75% of the world’s population all originated within a small part of Asia. In fact, these four dominant religions arose from a relatively small geographical area on Earth : between latitudes 20 degree north to 40 degree north and longitudes 30 degree east and 90 degree east. So here is my question. Why did humankind’s most important cultural moorings in the form of its major religions originate from a tiny area that probably occupies less than 2% of the total surface area of our earth? Strange.

I started thinking about this a few years ago when I read Dalrymple’s From the Holy Mountain which brought home the obvious truth that Christianity is an Eastern religion. Of course, each of the other 3 religions continue to have their epicentre in Asia and so the connection is a lot more obvious.

In spite of looking for clues to this riddle (albeit desultorily I must admit) , I have not found compelling enough answers for it.



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