After 2,000 years, Christianity is the world's largest religion and continues to prosper and grow. What accounts for its continued popularity?
In these twenty-four lectures, Professor Johnson maintains that the most familiar aspects of Christianity-its myths, institutions, ideas and morality-are only its outer "husk." He takes you on a journey to find the "kernel" of Christianity's appeal: religious experience. You'll travel back to Christianity's origins during its first 300 years to identify the elements that first made it appealing and which still hold the secret to its ability to attract new followers.
Professor Johnson employs scholarly techniques that have only recently been applied to religion. In introducing early Christian religious experience, Professor Johnson looks at questions that are new and intellectually exciting in the study of religion. Was Christ the founder of Christianity? Was Christianity's early growth due to his life and works or to his followers' powerful experience of his death and resurrection, their sense of having been transformed by the Holy Spirit?
By combining such disciplines as history, the social sciences, and comparative literary analysis, you'll look at religious experience and behavior from a fresh perspective. You'll consider a variety of theories developed by the philosophers Alfred North Whitehead and Immanuel Kant, Emil Durkheim, the founder of sociology, and Sigmund Freud. And to better understand religious experience in Christianity, you'll also study it in the two religions with which early Christianity co-existed: Greco-Roman paganism and Judaism.
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.
©2002 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2002 The Great Courses
One of the top "course" books - tough to compare it with fiction or nonfiction
The last chapters did a wonderful job of bringing the course to a peak experience
Tension Between The Institutional And The Charismatic
I thought the lectures were about early Christianity. Instead there is a lot of background noise about the culture and beliefs of pagan Rome,and how they probably had a great influence on the early Christians.I got through 4 lectures and didn't know any more about early Christianity than before I started.
A bit more clarity in the title would benefit those interested in paganism.
I'll just keep searching.
If free or heavily discounted. Luke Timothy Johnson comes across as a self-absorbed, pompous ass. He may know a lot about the subject, but often I can only hear "blah, blah, blah..."
Maybe, if LT Johnson did not narrate.
Johnson poisons his own course with poor narration.
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