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.
Speaking from multilevel personal experience with these teachings, Professor Muesse leads you in an inquiry with a dynamic double thrust.
First, you'll get the chance to reflect in depth on the most essential values of spirituality and the art of living, seen from four archetypal perspectives. Second, you'll delve into the historical contexts and individual lives of the four sages, and how the religious and philosophical traditions we associate with them came into being. The lectures serve as a unique window on the origins of these traditions, through their focus on the teachings, actions, and historical roles of the sages who inspired them. In uncovering the original wisdom and practices of each sage, you'll grapple with key questions. How did each man understand the nature of the universe? How did each envision the human self? What did they each see as the path to true self-realization? In words reflecting profound and compassionate insight, these lectures bring the teachings vividly alive as they speak to their essential purpose and as they shed light on the choices we all face, moment by moment, in living deliberately and savoring life to the fullest.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2010 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2010 The Great Courses
In the top five. The course was perfect for me. I subscribe to Audible mainly for the non-fiction. The new Great Courses section is now my favorite.I fell short of an AA degree after the Army because I had to return to work. With the Great Courses option, I can now get up to speed on what I am most interested in, and be in a much better place when I return to school. This course - Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad was an excellent way to begin Great Courses. It was Taught and Narrated so well. There were very few - if any - areas that I wanted to speed threw. In-fact I hit my 30 sec. back button hundreds of times. The subject matter was perfect. It was taught in such a way that I can return to this course over and over, without the dread. We are lucky and blessed to now live in a time that a common laborer can continue to labor at his or her job, yet be able to study these Great Courses at the same time,satisfying our minds while at the same time satisfying our work ethic.I will now keep my eye on any and all of Professor Mark W. Muesse's courses.
Say something about yourself!
This book's content is really interesting and the author's narration is great. It's a perfect introduction to comparative religion. I enjoyed it a lot and would recommend it to my friends. It might be better to choose another title if you are already advanced in the study of those historical figures though.
Prof Muesse placed the ideas of the 4 in good context. He relayed a lot of historical information.
A history book. Can not think of a good example right now.
I thought he description of the life and works of Confucius was the most in depth and interesting.
To much info for that
One of my favorite "Great Courses" books.
Intelligent entertaining and unbiased. Highly recommend it. Probably the best audio book I've listened to date.
Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.
This is my second series of lectures by Professor Mark W. Muesse. Both have been a pleasure to hear. I would classify this series as freshman- or introductory-level. It probably would not benefit any but the most casual religious scholar.
I feel that I came away with a good basic understanding of the historical facts, as they can be determined, and the teachings of these four individuals. Great care was taken to provide historical and cultural context for each. The work avoids any judgement about the validity of any religious doctrine.
When we experience deeds performed in the name of a doctrine, the obvious question is whether or not the actions reflect a rational interpretation of the originator's intention or are simply extremist excuses for the actions. An impartial scholar would be the ideal individual to examine this question; however, Professor Muesse makes no attempts in this area. Perhaps this issue was just not the focus of the series, but since the atrocities committed in the name of various religions are a part of their history, he loses one star for political correctness.
If you want to have a comparative overview of the religions- or more: the sages that mark their beginnings - this is a very accessable cource. Also for non natives in English, like me.
It is praisworthy how Mark Muesse tries to keep the scientific objectivity. He seeks for the wisdom in the teachings of all four sages. And as you might expect, there's a lot of wisdom out there!
Though their followers/religions were a great deal of the discussion, this was a thorough look at the 4 men as individuals. Excellent lessons to take away and overall walking away knowing a lot more about the world and the people in it than I did before.
Many of the problems in the world today are due to the intolerance of the religion of others. I think much of this is due to ignorance of the reality of the teaching and practices of the great religions of the world. Dr. Muesse presents that information in an interesting and easy to understand format. He also makes the case that all four Sages were presenting "A Way" to lead a Noble Life that are remarkably similar.
I highly recommend this course
I would highly recommend this course to anyone with an open mind and curiosity about religion. To paraphrase the surfer Laird Hamilton, there is a golden thread of truth that is weaved through all religion. Professor Muesse guides us through the historical, geopolitical, and individual human context of each of these four sages, shedding light on the truths they preached, which can seem easily obscured by the orthodoxies that formed around their images long after their passing. I would not recommend this course to anyone who is contented and confident in one of these religions. I always appreciate this lecturer's wise and unique perspectives.
There is no doubt that this series of lectures has left me with insights previously lacking. Dr Muesse addresses the subject of these four sages without bias and with substantial understanding, obviously born of time, international anthropology, personal experience and the difficult, dissecting thought that is part of being a professor, constantly challenged by students. At the outset of the lecture series I expected no conclusions but was pleasantly surprised by the profound thoughts for life left by Dr Muesse. I started the series as an atheist and finished as an atheist existentialist with perhaps, a different view on life, religion and humanity.
I am really glad I bought this. I can not put it down so to speak. I am almost at the end but just thought I would highly recommend this book to anyone whose interests fall in these areas.
state of excellence like his other works. Academic world should be proud of having people like him around.
Could not put this book down, the lectures are amazing and informative as well as balanced.
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