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Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad | [The Great Courses]

Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

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  •  
    cliff LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 08-14-13
    cliff LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 08-14-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Audible at its best"
    Where does Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    29 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Curdy Dublin, Ireland 11-21-13
    Curdy Dublin, Ireland 11-21-13 Member Since 2015

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Brilliant introduction to those 4 great teachers"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray ORLANDO, FL, United States 09-27-14
    Ray ORLANDO, FL, United States 09-27-14
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    "Great overview"
    What made the experience of listening to Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad the most enjoyable?

    Prof Muesse placed the ideas of the 4 in good context. He relayed a lot of historical information.


    What other book might you compare Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad to and why?

    A history book. Can not think of a good example right now.


    Which character – as performed by Professor Mark W. Muesse – was your favorite?

    I thought he description of the life and works of Confucius was the most in depth and interesting.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    To much info for that


    Any additional comments?

    One of my favorite "Great Courses" books.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher J W Wainman 03-15-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Intelligent entertaining and unbiased"

    Intelligent entertaining and unbiased. Highly recommend it. Probably the best audio book I've listened to date.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 03-08-14
    Steven ALBUQUERQUE, NM, United States 03-08-14 Member Since 2014

    Lover of sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, and westerns in all media, including old-time radio dramatizations.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Informative and well organized"

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 02-09-15
    C. Telfair Shepherdstown, WV, United States 02-09-15

    Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!

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    "A Valuable and Entertaining Overview"

    This is a good example of what "The Great Courses" do best. There's a lot of information here, clearly and enthusiastically presented. These four religious figures are described in their historical context, religious and ethical significance, and influence on their and our contemporary worlds.

    At the outset, the Professor remarks that it is his goal that the listener not be aware of his own religious leanings by the end of the set of lectures - and he delivers on this promise of objectivity. We may argue to ourselves that one or another of these religious icons stands above the others, but this course presents them - quite rightly - as equal, giant figures in the history of religion and thought.

    I suppose it could be said that this is pretty basic stuff if you are already well versed in the lives and significance of these men and in the study of world religions. For most of us, however, it seems to me that this is a wonderful overview and well worth the time spent.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Hirsch 08-27-15
    John Hirsch 08-27-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Best possible way to learn about this subject"

    It seems odd to say about 28 hours of lecture, but there wasn't a dull moment. The level of depth was perfect for me. I wouldn't say that for someone who listened knowing nothing about any of these sages, but the bar isn't that high....you don't need a lot of prior knowledge to grasp it because of how well explained it is and how engaging his style seems to be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-17-15 Member Since 2015
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    "The best teachings from the best of humanity"

    Great basic analysis of all four sages. Nice overview; after this you can dive deeper into each sage as you wish, but with an excellent primer of their similarities and differences. This basic understanding of all sages brings us all closer as human beings, so it is definitely a good point to star your studies of religion and philosophy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 04-08-15
    Andrew 04-08-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great!"

    Great overview of the spiritual teachers Confucius, the Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammad. A competent comparative study by a powerful thinker and man of discerning spiritual depth. Very relevant to one's on personal life and practice. Although professional and well treated, his study on the 'Historical Jesus' appears to contain a little more personal baggage. He is honest about this though and about the history of controversy/diversity of scholarly opinion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald 03-26-15
    Ronald 03-26-15 Member Since 2012

    pastor, Christian, teacher, history, economics, sign language, retirement, prayer, novels, theology, religion, philosophy,

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    "One mans opinion for famous leaders."

    Anti Christian, but I suppose he did not mean it to be that way. His statements about Christianity cause me to doubt what he had said about the other great leaders. But it still was useful in understanding the liberal mind and how other people understand these famous leaders.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • C. Wilson
    6/16/14
    Overall
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    "Fascinating"
    If you could sum up Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad in three words, what would they be?

    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.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stephenodonnell
    5/19/15
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    "Compelling"

    Could not put this book down, the lectures are amazing and informative as well as balanced.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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