What are the different ways societies and civilizations have interacted (e.g., trade, conquest, migration) and what effects have these interactions had on various aspects of society?

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The rise of Christianity as an offshoot of Judaism is an example of a culture spreading due to missionary activity. Judaism is not a missionary religion, and so remained isolated until Christianity (the subset of Jewish people who recognized Christ as a Messiah), which required missionary work, was adopted by the already powerful Roman Empire (formally sanctioned by the Emperor Constantine in 313).

The rise of Islam gained similar strength, but owing to trade (which was already common in Arabia for the unique incense and spices there) and military conquest. Muhammad, the founding prophet of Islam, died in 632 without naming a successor. Following his death, various sects of Muslims focused on spreading Islam by means of military conquest.

At about the same time as the beginning of Islam, Indian merchants traded with merchants in Southeast Asia, spreading Buddhism and Hinduism. In summary, sometimes the religions prescribe expansion (as in Christian missionary work or Islamic jihad, or “holy war”), and other times religions (and their attendant customs and general culture) follow trade.

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