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The Great Courses: Religion & Theology

 
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  • The Story of the Bible

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Luke Timothy Johnson
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    Discover the story of the world's most consistently best-selling book, which came into being through a remarkable and complicated process. In 24 stimulating lectures, Professor Johnson investigates the many forms the Bible has taken and the ways history, scholarship, and technology have helped shape this great tradition, as well as the Bible's powerful influence on human history and culture.

  • The History of Christianity in the Reformation Era

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Brad S. Gregory
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    It still takes a major effort of historical imagination to enter the minds of those who lived during the Reformation Era; who were willing to suffer martyrdom or martyr others for what we would regard as minor doctrinal differences. These 36 lectures are designed to take you inside the minds of those who supported the Reformation and those who resisted it.

  • Great World Religions: Christianity

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Luke Timothy Johnson
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    These 12 lectures are an engaging and comprehensive introduction to one of the world's greatest faiths. By concentrating on the basics that every well-educated individual should know, Professor Johnson's lectures provide you with a clear survey of the most important elements of this religious tradition-and a framework for further study.

    Saud says: "Gets a Little Confusing"
  • Beginnings of Judaism

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Isaiah M. Gafni
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
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    For thousands of years, Jews have looked to the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Old Testament by Christians, for their origins, and have located in them the tenets of their faith. However, much of what is recognized today as Judaism does not appear in the Bible. How did Judaism develop from its biblical roots to the highly developed system we know today? What has changed - and what has remained constant? In this series of 24 spirited and provocative lectures, Professor Gafni investigates how the Jewish faith struggled to continually redefine itself during the first thousand years after the completion of the last books of the Hebrew Bible.

    David says: "Four Stars Is a Reccomendation From Me"
  • The Lives of Great Christians

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor William R. Cook
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Meet some of Christianity's luminary figures-the followers of Jesus who have practiced and preached their beliefs for centuries. Whether well known or obscure or even nameless, their actions and achievements, their abilities and energies have changed the course of history and the nature of belief. These 24 inspirational lectures will inspire you by the many ways these figures found to live lives of faith.

  • Why Evil Exists

    • ORIGINAL (19 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Charles Mathewes
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Whether we view it in theological, philosophical, or psychological terms, evil remains both a deeply intriguing question and a crucially relevant global issue. Now, Professor Mathewes offers you a richly provocative and revealing encounter with the question of human evil - a dynamic inquiry into Western civilization's greatest thinking and insight on this critical subject.

    Niki Picone says: "Hard to start but easy to finish and enjoy again."
  • The Catholic Church: A History

    • ORIGINAL (19 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor William R. Cook
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    How did the Catholic Church become one of the most influential institutions in the world-a force capable of moving armies, inspiring saints, and shaping the lives of a billion members? Explore these and other questions as you follow the development of this important institution in 36 informative, fascinating lectures. With Professor Cook by your side, you'll step into the world of the early church, witness the spread of Christendom, and learn about the origins of fundamental church institutions.

    P. Johnson says: "Thorough history presented in a compelling manner"
  • Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Michael Sugrue
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
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    These 16 lectures bring the Socratic quest for truth alive and explore ideas that are as vital today as they were 25 centuries ago. Ideas about truth, justice, love, beauty, courage, and wisdom that can change lives and reveal the world in new ways. Here, you'll delve into the inner structure, action, and meaning of 17 of Plato's greatest dialogues, making these lectures an indispensable companion for anyone interested in philosophy in general or Platonic thought in particular.

    Svyatoslav Brodetskiy says: "Professor Sugrue Vivifies the Dialogues"
  • The History of Christian Theology

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Phillip Cary
    Overall
    (43)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (38)

    In this 36-lecture course, you'll find an engaging way to explore profound religious questions and the many responses believers, scholars, and theologians have developed over more than 2,000 years. Through this series, Professor Cary reveals the enduring power of the Christian tradition-as both an intellectual discipline and a spiritual path.These lectures begin at the very dawn of Christianity, as you examine some of the earliest examples of scripture recorded by the first communities of the faithful.

    Amazon Customer says: "Been Waiting for This"
  • Francis of Assisi

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Ronald B. Herzman, Professor William R. Cook
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    These 12 lectures by Professors Cook and Herzman will give you a rounded, fully informed introduction to the luminous Francis of Assisi and will tell the intellectually and spiritually rewarding story of how his influence has glowed across the centuries.Just who was Assisi? Despite his continuing influence and the fairly ample writings about him that date from his own time, Francis remains somewhat elusive in history. Yet these lectures expertly unlock two sources that are the most revealing and plentiful-written narratives of Francis's life and the images created for Franciscan churches.

    Jonathan Homrighausen says: "Loved it"
  • Great World Religions: Buddhism

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Malcolm David Eckel
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (5)

    Discover why Buddhism is such an astonishingly lively and adaptable religion with this series. In just 12 accessible lectures, you'll learn how Buddhism transformed the civilizations of India and much of Asia, and has now become a vital part of Western culture.Buddhism's core philosophy, as you'll learn, is that nothing is permanent-all is change. With this in mind, you'll plunge into an introductory look at this faith. You'll unpack the Buddhist idea that all of life is "suffering" and that there is no permanent self.

    Saud says: "Great Introduction"
  • Great Figures of the New Testament

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Amy-Jill Levine
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Improve your biblical literacy with these 24 insightful lectures about the cast of vivid characters in the New Testament. From the well-known figures of Jesus, John the Baptist, and the disciples to important but lesser known figures, such as the Syro-Phoenician woman who must turn Jesus's own words back on him to gain the healing of her daughter, Professor Levine paints vivid portraits of Christianity's founding generation.You'll learn about such figures as. the elderly couple Elizabeth and Zechariah and their son, John the Baptist;. Jesus's friends, the contemplative Mary and the vocal Martha, as well as their brother, Lazarus;. the apostles Peter and Thomas, James and John, and Judas Iscariot;. Mary Magdalene, who becomes known as the apostle to the apostles;. Paul the apostle, as presented in Acts of the Apostles and what can be determined about him from his letters;. a number of strong and interesting women, including the unnamed Samaritan and a repentant sinner who anoints Jesus; and. Jesus's interlocutors, including the centurion with a paralyzed son and the desperate Canaanite mother with a demon-possessed daughter.Rather than promoting any particular religious worldview, this course seeks to read the ancient texts anew to discover what they really say and how they were interpreted by both the secular culture and the faithful church.

    George R. Murray says: "Deceptively Modest Theme Chock Full of Knowledge"
  • Science and Religion

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Lawrence M. Principe
    Overall
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    Performance
    (6)
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    (6)

    What is the nature of the relationship between science and religion? When do they conflict? And how do they influence each other in the pursuit of knowledge and truth? While conventional wisdom says that science and theology must perpetually clash, they have actually been partners in an age-old adventure.

    Eristic says: "Amazingly interesting and comprehensive"
  • Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Glenn S. Holland
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Step back to a time when the mysteries of the universe could seem overwhelming. Cycles of nature kept predictable time with the sun, the moon, and the stars, yet crops failed, disease struck, storms ravaged, and empires fell without warning. In the region surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, people responded to such tumult with a rich variety of religious beliefs.

    Christopher says: "Some good moments, but ultimately disappointing."
  • St. Augustine's Confessions

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Ronald B. Herzman, Professor William R. Cook
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
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    How should parents raise children, and how should schools educate children? Why are we attracted to things that are forbidden? What is time? How can we understand God, or the nature of evil? What is true friendship? To answer these questions, Professors Cook and Herzman look to the Confessions of St. Augustine of Hippo.

    Timothy says: "An Excellent Overview!"
  • After the New Testament: The Writings of the Apostolic Fathers

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Bart D. Ehrman
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (15)
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    (15)

    These 24 lectures introduce what is considered the most important collection of post-New Testament writings. Although largely unknown and unread, these writings provide a treasure trove of insights into Christianity, and they are crucial to understanding the development of a religion that was shaped largely outside the pages of the New Testament itself.

    Jacobus says: "Typical Ehrmanish account of the Apostolic Fathers"
  • The History of Christianity: From the Disciples to the Dawn of the Reformation

    • ORIGINAL (17 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Luke Timothy Johnson
    Overall
    (20)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (14)

    How did a persecuted sect in 1st-century Palestine rise to command such a massive influence on human culture, imagination, and spirit? How did Christianity weather the first critical stages of its historical development and attain its fundamental and enduring cultural role?

    Mike says: "An Overview of the First Half of Christian History"
  • Cultural Literacy for Religion: Everything the Well-Educated Person Should Know

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Mark Berkson
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (59)

    According to polls conducted by Gallup and the Pew Research Forum on Religion & Public Life, the majority of Americans fail basic tests about religion, including tests on their own faith. This is troublesome because religious literacy is about so much more than naming deities or knowing the stories of ancient history. For many of us, religion is a way to examine and understand ourselves. These 24 enlightening lectures offer you the chance to experience the world's religions from all angles – historical, theological, and cultural.

    George R. Murray says: "Could Not Have Been Better"
  • Philosophy, Religion, and the Meaning of Life

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Francis J. Ambrosio
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (7)

    What is the meaning of life? Is human existence meaningful or absurd? If you've ever pondered these questions, you have an extraordinary adventure in store, as an award-winning teacher presents a boldly revealing inquiry into these most fundamental of human concerns. In this inspiring series of 36 lectures, Professor Ambrosio charts how these questions have been pursued and grasped through the ages, providing you with the understanding and the tools to come to terms with them in a direct, practical way.

    Curdy says: "Simple ideas made complex"
  • Popes and the Papacy: A History

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Thomas F. X. Noble
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    Despite the papacy's enormous influence, how much do you really know about this ancient and powerful institution? Catholics and non-Catholics alike will enjoy these 24 illuminating lectures about this remarkable institution. Professor Noble gives you priceless insights into the dramatic history of the papal office and the lives of the men who represented it. Filled with interesting stories and remarkable insights, this course promises to educate, enlighten, and entertain you.

    Christina says: "Informative, yet apologetic, study of papacy"
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