When Asia Was The World Chapter Summary

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Religion, Riches, and Research
Asia is often thought of being the most powerful country of the world. Hundreds of people have theories of Asia eventually becoming a powerhouse and dominating over the rest of the world. What has made Asia so powerful though? Stewart Gordon’s nonfiction book, When Asia Was the World, explores the time when Asia was truly the world and what made it that way through a series of stories. While Gordon’s book seems to be about travel shaping the Asian world, it is actually about the impact of religion on everyday life and culture in Asia. This book highlights that religion shapes people’s destiny.
Aside from travel, there is a main theme that connects most of these seemingly different stories. Although religion does not seem to be apparent in all the stories, it actually has an effect on many of the stories’ outcomes and decisions made in the story. For example, Xuanzang’s whole mission to India was to go to the birthplace of Buddhism and connect more with his religion which can be seen when he says, “I have visited and adored the sacred vestiges of our religion, and heard the profound expositions of the various schools. My mind has been overjoyed, and my visit here, has, I protest, been of the utmost profit,” …show more content…

The theme of religion being the cause of missions and decisions tied these stories together. Although many of the people in these stories practiced a different religion than the others, religion still played a big part in their life. From driving people to go on a mission to establishing a different caravan route, religion was a key element in many of these stories. It is one of the things that made Asia so powerful and great. With all the different religions, the country became diverse and full of culture because of it and possibly may have been what made Asia the

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