Where are the Western Religions West of?

Image - Dome of the Rock with ancient pillars
The Dome of the Rock seen from Dominus Flevit Church
By Deror Avi (Own work) [Attribution, CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – the typical subjects of “western” world religions courses – originate geographically in south-western Asia, more or less. That’s considerably “east” of, say, Louisville, Kentucky if one were to, for instance, “travel to the Holy Land.” Where are they west of that makes them “western”? That is to say, what’s the position embedded in that “western” designation?

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