The dynamics of cross-cultural interaction have actively shaped the world for many centuries now. This class explores some of the religious, social, and economic forces that have fostered increasingly global contacts in history. In particular, it examines how centrally located and cosmopolitan Muslims played a critical role in connecting people of far-flung regions, cultures, and religions with one another. It surveys the myriad encounters of Muslims, Buddhists, Confucianists, Hindus, Jews, Christians and more across Afro-Eurasia and into the Americas. How did religious networks, processes and events foster historic exchanges of ideas, practices, and commodities across the world?