A random point of ignorance this morning, but church bells are a regular feature of life in my picturesque Maine town (and it is picturesque, especially at this time of year; it's raining today, but I'll take some leaf pictures tomorrow).
This was a question that occurred to me when I lived in Los Angeles, in a heavily Jewish neighborhood. We had all kinds of temples, from storefronts to elaborate Byzantine strucures -- but none of them had bells. (And no, Gardiner doesn't have any synagogues. Augusta has one. It doesn't have bells.)
Temples have shofars, ritual horns blown on high holy days, but no bells. For that matter, Islamic temples don't have bells, either. Why and how did Christians get the bells?
Bells as we think of them seem to have originated in China, so maybe Marco Polo introduced them to Europe -- but the middle East traded with China, too, so why weren't they interested? If anyone knows of a good history of bells, leave a recommendation below. I'd like to read it.