It can be argued that one simple idea - the concept of freedom - has been the driving force of Western civilization and may be the most influential intellectual force the world has ever known. But what is freedom, exactly? These 36 engaging lectures tell the dramatic story of freedom from ancient Greece to our own day, exploring a concept so close to us we may never have considered it with the thoroughness it deserves.
In exploring what freedom meant to Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King, and other great historical figures, you'll probe a range of provocative issues related to a concept we in the 21st century sometimes take for granted. What does it take to be free, to have and to hold liberty? What role do the liberal arts and the world of the intellect play in the life of a free society or a free individual? How should we understand the relationship among freedom, religion, and morality?
With Professor Fears guiding and informing your thinking, you explore the birth of the idea of freedom in Greece and the story of the world's first democracy; the status and meaning of freedom in both the Roman Republic and the Empire; the role of Christianity in that flowering of freedom, and the Christian view of the true meaning of human liberation; the debates about freedom that informed the framing and ratification of the United States Constitution; its awful testing on the battlefields of the Civil War; the struggles of free peoples against domestic injustices and foreign dictatorships during the 20th century; and the questions about freedom we still face today.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2001 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2001 The Great Courses
I suggest first listening to Famous Romans and Famous Greeks as a foundation for this wonderful course, although it would be beneficial even without them.
I love Prof. Fears. His good-humored, unique style of storytelling combined with his vast knowledge and wise insights keep me coming back for more. This course was certainly thought-provoking; don't expect it to be an affirmation of everything you already think. And be aware that you'll be left with a sense of responsibility for the future of freedom.
Herein describes the nature and portent of freedom; and why the fabric of freedom -- the power behind proactive reality -- is so tangled by two primary beliefs of what freedom means: both to each of us, and then to all of us. The concept made real is fundamental to our being, yet we rarely care to understand why. Described in these lectures is the unyielding yet fluid current that lifts and guides the human spirit, drives our creative endeavors, ultimately to reveal our love and sacrifice. The values and principles of freedom, as a primal force, are given voice in this excellent narrative as the beliefs and activities of historic philosophers, statesmen and messiah. Freedom is a translation, how we give Truth our active voice; understanding why is the greatest power of all.
If you care about freedom as an apex responsibility, then within these lectures you will discover that, "you are not alone".
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