Augustine of Hippo's masterpiece The City of God is one of the greatest books ever written, yet its size - nearly 1,000 pages - too often intimidates even serious readers. Composed in the years after the sack of Rome in the fifth century, it ushers you on an astounding historical and theological journey through the final years of the ancient world. What made this book so powerful? What mysteries lie within it? What relevance does the 1,600-year-old text have for our world today?
"A Wonderful Journey Through Abstractions"
After thousands of years of pondering it, we still find death one of life's most perplexing mysteries. Many cultures view death as a window into the true meaning of life. These 24 lectures looking at this often feared subject are an uplifting, meaningful, and multidisciplinary exploration of life's only certainty.
"Dispassionate discussion, well researched"
Follow an acclaimed archaeologist to unearth the roots of Jesus' actions and teachings within the traditions and beliefs of ancient Judaism. These fascinating 24 lectures approach the subject of Jesus from a historical, rather than scriptural, perspective; one rooted in ancient texts and archaeological discoveries. This investigation reveals hidden insights into how the tumultuous events of early Jewish history shaped an individual - and a movement - whose legacy endures to this day.
"Christianity's cradle explored in early Judaism"
This fascinating 24-lecture course is a richly detailed guide to the theology, sacred writings, rituals, and outstanding human figures of the Gnostic movements. What we call "Gnosticism" comprised a number of related religious ideologies and movements, all of which sought "gnosis," or immediate, direct, and intimate knowledge of God. The Gnostics had many scriptures, but unlike the holy texts of other religions, Gnostic scriptures were often modified over time.
"A excellent overview of early Gnostic traditions"
This fundamental historical question and its complex answer speak penetratingly to the spiritual impulses, concerns, and beliefs that have played a seminal role in our world, even as they reveal the foundation of history’s most global religious movement, and fresh insights into the Western world's single most influential human being. Tackling all of these matters and more, Great Courses favorite Professor Ehrman returns with the unprecedented historical inquiry of How Jesus Became God.
"Go for it!"
With few exceptions, the world's religions are anchored in their sacred texts-core writings that express the ideals and vision of the faiths, forming a basis for belief and action. Humanity's library of sacred writings is a huge canon that includes many of the most influential books ever written.
"An excellent introduction to various religions"
In this course, an award-winning professor and New York Times best-selling author offers a penetrating investigation of the 24 most pivotal Christian controversies, shedding light on fallacies that obscure an accurate view of the religion and how it evolved into what it is today. In each lecture, you'll delve deeply into a key issue in Christianity's early development. Explore intriguing questions in this unique inquiry into the core of Christian tradition.
"Essential early Christian history"
From Genesis to Job, the Hebrew scriptures contain some of the most influential stories in Western civilization. But what do these stories tell us about daily life in ancient Israel? And why do they still speak to us today? In 24 captivating lectures, Professor Chapman introduces you to the stories of the Judeans in exile and grounds them in their historical context, giving you a grand vision of history as presented in the scriptures.
"Great overview of ancient Jewish history"
The Old Testament - written in ancient Israel by many different authors over the course of a thousand years - has had more meaning to more people than any other book the world has known. In a series of 24 lively lectures, Professor Levine explores selected passages from the texts known as the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible, and the Tanakh, revealing how fresh research and findings from scholars of archaeology, cross-cultural studies, and comparative religion can deepen your understanding.
"A critical but inspiring 'walk thru the' Bible"
No understanding of human life, individual or collective, could be complete without factoring in the role and contribution of these history-shaping teachers. Now, this 36-lecture series takes you deep into the life stories and legacies of these four iconic figures, revealing the core teachings, and thoughts of each, and shedding light on the historical processes that underlie their phenomenal, enduring impact.
"Audible at its best"
What different kinds of books are in the New Testament? When, how, and why were they written? And why did some books, and not others, come to be collected into what Christians came to consider the canon of scripture that would define their belief for all time? With these 12 lectures, get a fast-moving yet thorough introduction to these and other key issues in the development of Christianity.
"An Abridged Version of "The New Testament" Course"
Whether complete or only fragmentary, the 930 extant Dead Sea Scrolls irrevocably altered how we look at and understand the foundations of faith and religious practice. Now you can get a comprehensive introduction to this unique series of archaeological documents, and to scholars' evolving understanding of their authorship and significance, with these 24 lectures. Learn what the scrolls are, what they contain, and how the insights they offered into religious and ancient history came into focus.
"A comprehensive overview of the Qumran Scrolls"
Luke Timothy Johnson, the best-selling author of The Real Jesus, offers a fresh and historically grounded assessment of the life and letters of Christianity's "apostle to the Gentiles" in this 12-lecture series. "One of the most fascinating, important, and controversial figures in the religious history of the West, Paul the Apostle continues to find champions and detractors, sometimes in surprising places," says Professor Johnson. Coming to grips with Christianity means coming to grips with Paul.
"Good overview of Paul and his works."
Today we tend to separate questions of logic from questions of belief, philosophy from religion, reason from faith. But for 1,000 years during a pivotal era of Western thought, reason and faith went hand-in-hand in the search for answers to the most profound issues investigated by Christianity's most committed scholars.
"Professor Williams Blends Reason with History"
These 24 extraordinary lectures offer you the rare opportunity to relate your own spiritual questions to a variety of ancient quests for meaning and transcendence. Professor Muesse looks at the historical conditions in which the world religions arose and explores how they answered shared metaphysical and human dilemmas.
What did the "other" Scriptures early Christians followed say? Do they exist today? How could such outlandish ideas ever be considered Christian? If such beliefs were once common, why do they no longer exist? These are just a few of the many provocative questions that arise from these 24 thrilling lectures. Join the dramatic search for lost Christianities and learn why it's considered such an appealing subject to study.
"Finally Understanding Bart Ehrman"
Step back to Christianity's first three centuries to see how it transitioned from the religion of Jesus to a religion about Jesus. How did a single group from among many win the struggle for dominance to establish the beliefs central to the faith, rewrite the history of Christianity's internal conflicts, and produce a canon of sacred texts – the New Testament – that supported its own views?
"An Objective History of Early Christianity"
Whether taken as a book of faith or a cultural artifact, the New Testament is among the most significant writings the world has ever known, its web of meaning relied upon by virtually every major writer in the last 2,000 years. Yet the New Testament is not only one of Western civilization’s most believed books, but also one of its most widely disputed, often maligned, and least clearly understood, with a vast number of people unaware of how it was written and transmitted.
"Should have a different title"
In this 12-lecture series, you'll encounter a religion that is perhaps the most diverse of all; one that worships more gods and goddesses than any other, and one that rejects the notion that there is only one path to the divine. These lectures provide a window into the roots of, perhaps, all religions. You'll explore the course of Hinduism's 5,000-year journey.
"An important introduction into Hinduism"
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