27th January 2006 at 00:00
At any key stage, the Central Asian traditions of Islam offer an effective way of showing the cultural variation of the world's great religions. But cultural distance and historical complexity mean that many of the issues are better reserved for post-16. At post-16 general studies, Tengrism provides a good subject for web research designed to investigate the mix of religion and politics; how cultures can be more durable than institutional religions - Tengrism was never an organised religion, but more an approach, with parallels with Christian Gnosticism and indigenous folk religions. There is also good case-study material on the persecution of religion and associated rise in fundamentalism; also on eco-culture and spiritual reverence for place. Teachers looking for "off the beaten track"

material for general studies current affairs students will find rich resources here which can easily be supplemented by travel books. A gap year with a difference!

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