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The Great Courses: Comparative & World Religion
Books in series19
ORIGINAL
(4.2 based on 481 ratings)
  • The Dead Sea Scrolls

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Gary A. Rendsburg
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (33)

    Whether complete or only fragmentary, the 930 extant Dead Sea Scrolls irrevocably altered how we look at and understand the foundations of faith and religious practice. Now you can get a comprehensive introduction to this unique series of archaeological documents, and to scholars' evolving understanding of their authorship and significance, with these 24 lectures. Learn what the scrolls are, what they contain, and how the insights they offered into religious and ancient history came into focus.

    Jacobus says: "A comprehensive overview of the Qumran Scrolls"
    A comprehensive overview of the Qumran Scrolls

    While not as focussed as his course on the 'book of Genesis' (probably because of this study field being vast) Prof. Gary A. Rensburg does a splendid ..Show More »

    Reviewed on September 25 2013 by Jacobus (Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • 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
    (76)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (69)

    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"
    Could Not Have Been Better

    Brilliantly organized and told; not a dull moment and very thought provoking.

    Reviewed on August 15 2013 by George R. Murray (Boise, ID USA)
  • God and Mankind: Comparative Religions

    • ORIGINAL (5 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Oden
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    How do the major religions answer unanswerable questions? What can we gain from their answers? Why are we here? Will we ever discover the source of the mystery? Each of these questions raises countless more, and these eight eye-opening lectures are an ideal starting point for gaining some progress in considering them. Professor Oden's lectures approach religious belief and ritual as possible answers to these most difficult and enduring questions, which have occupied humanity from the beginning.

    Anthony says: "Great understanding of topic"
    Great understanding of topic
    Reviewed on August 31 2013 by Anthony (Dunnellon, FL. United States)
  • Buddhism

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Malcolm David Eckel
    Overall
    (45)
    Performance
    (40)
    Story
    (40)

    Buddhism has captivated many millions of people around the world, its vitality and adaptability enabling it to transform the civilizations of India, Southeast Asia, Tibet, China, Korea, and Japan, and also become a lively component in the cultures of Europe, Australia, and the Americas. But have you ever wondered how a religion that doesn't even have a god could have accomplished this?

    Craig says: "Informative, entertaining and personal"
    Informative, entertaining and personal

    Very informative lectures. The balance between being high level and providing too much information is well maintained. The author is clearly an expert..Show More »

    Reviewed on November 10 2013 by Craig (Cape Town, South Africa)
  • 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"
    Gets a Little Confusing

    While explaining the various Christian churches, it gets a little jumbled. Otherwise, this course is a decent introduction.

    Reviewed on December 03 2013 by Saud (United States)
  • Great World Religions: Islam

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor John L. Esposito
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (16)

    How familiar are you with the world's second-largest and fastest-growing religion? In these 12 lectures, Professor Esposito guides you through the facts and myths surrounding Islam and its more than 1.2 billion adherents. Many in the West know little about the faith and are familiar only with the actions of a minority of radical extremists, but this lecture series will help you better understand Islam's role as both a religion and a way of life, and its deep impact on world affairs both historically and today.

    Saud says: "As a Muslim, this is fairly accurate"
    As a Muslim, this is fairly accurate

    As a Muslim, I wanted to understand how Islam is being presented to non-Muslims in an academic way. This is fairly accurate on the fundamentals, but t..Show More »

    Reviewed on December 03 2013 by Saud (United States)
  • Great World Religions: Judaism

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Isaiah M. Gafni
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (12)

    What is the essence of Judaism? Is it the Ten Commandments, given by God to Israel at Mount Sinai? Or is it the totality of teachings in the Hebrew Bible? Or is it symbolized by something outside the Bible? Find out with this illuminating 12-lecture investigation of the fundamental concepts, beliefs, issues, and themes in the ever-changing, 4,000-year-old saga of Judaism, one of the world's most ancient and influential faiths. Throughout the lectures, you'll study Judaism from within-as it was understood by its adherents in the past and by those who practice or identify with Judaism today.

    Saud says: "The Oldest Religion of the Book Explained"
    The Oldest Religion of the Book Explained

    This course opened my eyes on the belief system of Judaism. The professor is probably the most qualified in this course than all the other Great World..Show More »

    Reviewed on December 03 2013 by Saud (United States)
  • Great World Religions: Hinduism

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Mark W. Muesse
    Overall
    (26)
    Performance
    (22)
    Story
    (21)

    In this 12-lecture series, you'll encounter a religion that is perhaps the most diverse of all; one that worships more gods and goddesses than any other, and one that rejects the notion that there is only one path to the divine. These lectures provide a window into the roots of, perhaps, all religions. You'll explore the course of Hinduism's 5,000-year journey.

    Saud says: "Fascinating"
    Fascinating

    The Hindu system of polytheism can be a little hard to comprehend, especially when you realize they believe in a pantheon of tens of millions of deiti..Show More »

    Reviewed on December 03 2013 by Saud (United States)
  • 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 Introduction

    Buddhism was mostly a mystery to me until I listened to this course and learned more about the rich tradition they have, as well as their view of the ..Show More »

    Reviewed on December 03 2013 by Saud (United States)
  • Introduction to the Study of Religion

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Charles B. Jones
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    The religious experience is an extraordinarily powerful force that can define and shape the communities it creates. Over the course of 24 lectures, Professor Jones takes a vibrant first look at the discipline known as religious studies and shows how other fields-sociology, psychology, anthropology, and phenomenology-have tried to explain the complex relationship between individuals, cultures, and faith.

    SisterLucia says: "Not at all what i was looking for"
    Not at all what i was looking for

    I guess this is an introduction to religious studies, though it felt more like an introduction to social studies using religion as an example. Much o..Show More »

    Reviewed on December 10 2013 by SisterLucia (Dallas, TX, United States)
  • Mystical Tradition: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Luke Timothy Johnson
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (19)

    Each of the great three Abrahamic religious traditions holds the seeds for deep mystical contemplation. But what do most of us know about these mystics and the tradition they sustained? Explore this spiritual, literary, and intellectual heritage in these great faiths of the West as it unfolds over three millennia with these 36 enlightening, thought-provoking lectures that offer nearly

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

  • Comparative Religion

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Charles Kimball
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (9)

    Get a solid working knowledge of the spiritual beliefs that unite and divide us - as well as the perspective from the other side of these divisions. These 24 lectures offer you an opportunity to gain a solid grasp of the key ideas of religion itself - the issues that repeatedly surface when you look at any faith's beliefs, practices, and organization. Using five major religions - Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism - as illustrations of how religions can address the same core issues in parallel and different ways, Professor Kimball leads you on an exploration of religion's complex and multidimensional nature.

    Eran Lahav says: "Very Good introduction"
    Very Good introduction

    It is my first great courses book, and I find it very relevant, easy and covering a lot of topics. The best thing in it, that it developed my hunger f..Show More »

    Reviewed on August 19 2014 by Eran Lahav (Tel Aviv, Israel)
  • Religions of the Axial Age: An Approach to the World's Religions

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Mark W. Muesse
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    These 24 extraordinary lectures offer you the rare opportunity to relate your own spiritual questions to a variety of ancient quests for meaning and transcendence. Professor Muesse looks at the historical conditions in which the world religions arose and explores how they answered shared metaphysical and human dilemmas.

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

  • Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Glenn S. Holland
    Overall
    (22)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    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."
    Some good moments, but ultimately disappointing.

    This course makes some attempt to give a comparative perspective on several of the religions of the ancient Mediterranean. The religions covered are m..Show More »

    Reviewed on November 11 2013 by Christopher (BROOKLYN, NY, United States)
  • Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Mark W. Muesse
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (62)

    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.

    cliff says: "Audible at its best"
    Audible at its best

    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 ..Show More »

    Reviewed on August 14 2013 by cliff (LAS VEGAS, NV, United States)
  • The Apocalypse: Controversies and Meaning in Western History

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Craig R. Koester
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (9)

    Get an authoritative guide to this extraordinary work in 24 thought-provoking and enlightening lectures, divided into three parts: the historical and intellectual background of the Apocalypse; a close reading of John's text, focusing on the meaning of its images; and the wide-ranging impact of the book on Christian and Western history. Throughout these lectures, Professor Koester focuses on what John actually wrote. what his situation tells us about his meaning, how that meaning can be applied to our own lives, and how contemporary biblical scholars relate Revelation to the modern world.

    Jeff says: "Good material, not enough of it"
    Good material, not enough of it

    This lecture series takes on an important set of topics and handles them well. Professor Koester clearly knows his stuff, and his insights into the B..Show More »

    Reviewed on December 16 2013 by Jeff (United States)
  • Why Evil Exists

    • ORIGINAL (19 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Charles Mathewes
    Overall
    (25)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (20)

    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."
    Hard to start but easy to finish and enjoy again.

    This lecture was everything I hoped it would be. It is my opinion that Professor Charles Mathewes performance was a modest example of perfection and ..Show More »

    Reviewed on December 20 2013 by Niki Picone (Benicia, CA United States)
  • Sacred Texts of the World

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Grant Hardy, Ph.D., Yale University
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (51)

    With few exceptions, the world's religions are anchored in their sacred texts-core writings that express the ideals and vision of the faiths, forming a basis for belief and action. Humanity's library of sacred writings is a huge canon that includes many of the most influential books ever written.

    Jacobus says: "An excellent introduction to various religions"
    An excellent introduction to various religions

    This course is one of the best Great Courses lecture series I have come across. Prof. Grant Hardy has compiled and presents in this course a huge amou..Show More »

    Reviewed on March 29 2014 by Jacobus (Johannesburg, South Africa)
  • The World of Biblical Israel

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Cynthia R. Chapman
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    From Genesis to Job, the Hebrew scriptures contain some of the most influential stories in Western civilization. But what do these stories tell us about daily life in ancient Israel? And why do they still speak to us today? In 24 captivating lectures, Professor Chapman introduces you to the stories of the Judeans in exile and grounds them in their historical context, giving you a grand vision of history as presented in the scriptures.

    Amazon Customer says: "Outstanding course"
    Outstanding course

    Professor Chapman offers an outstanding course on the World of Biblical Israel. It is thorough, insightful, and her presentations are enjoyable. As ..Show More »

    Reviewed on May 27 2014 by Amazon Customer ()