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Publisher's Summary

Attempting to understand religion in all its forms has forever been a source of frustration. In this course, Professor F.E. Peters defines Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as three faith communities of believers, each with its own ideology, history, traditions, and members - past and present.

Professor Peters' extensive studies of these three monotheistic religious communities allow him to offer a comprehensive series of lectures beginning with Creation and ending with the Final Judgment. The history proper of the three communities of Jews, Christians, and Muslims begins with God's Covenant with Abraham. It continues with the birth, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus. When Saul, later called Paul, begins accepting Gentiles into the community of Jesus, the Christians are formed as a separation from the main body of the Jewish community. Once Christianity was identified as a new religion, it was no longer protected by the same laws that were extended to the Jews. Until the beginning of the fourth century, Christians were persecuted by suspicious and intolerant Romans. Force and violence are again linked with religion when Muhammad, the Muslim prophet, struck out militarily against those who rejected his claims to prophethood.

This course examines the similarities and differences between each community and traces their evolutions through history. In this course, Professor Peters leads listeners through a comprehensive study of the origins, characteristics, and primary texts of each of these fundamentally monotheistic religious communities. As Peters concludes, only by understanding their similarities and differences can we hope to make sense of the politics of religion which continue to fuel conflicts throughout the world.

©2003 F.E. Peters; (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Informative review of the 3 big religions

I was a bit surprised that I liked this set of lectures as much as I did. Professor Peters has an engaging speaking manner and he provides a concise, but interesting, discussion of the early beginnings of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths. The early prophets that are common to each of these faiths are described along with the subtle, and not so subtle, differences that produced the three paths. I rate this lecture to be a good read.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Concept - "A"; Delivery - "C"

As a lengthy monologue presenting a very sound thesis, the Audiobook is a great success. Tying together the 3 monotheistic traditions of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity with the knot of their common patriarchal ancestry, the author tells a fascinating tale which also provides much valuable information about the 3 faith communities. As a "course," however (which it purports to be), the Audiobook is disappointing because of its unorganized, off-the-cuff presentation. I found it impossible, at the end, to find all the answers to the "Final Exam" questions without using outside sources.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Jacobus
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 08-28-12

Excellent overview of the 3 monotheistic religions

Prof. F.E. Peters has studied the three monotheistic or Abrahamic religions for most of his life. He is not only a well accomplished scholar, but also an excellent teacher.

In The Modern Scholar: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, he gives an overview of the three religions from how believers of these religions would approach these faiths. In the first few lectures he gives an overview of each religion and later on he identifies certain institutions and practises that when compares functions very much the same. He tries to present this information in as unbiased manner as possible, in which he greatly succeeds.

I enjoyed the lectures and I thought that the PDF-booklet that accompanied the lectures were excellent. While I felt at times that Prof. Peters should have spend a little bit more time on the one or other issue, I realise that the few instances were a matter of personal taste.

I highly recommend these lectures. It helps you to gain an insightful perspective on the three religions which one is only able to attain when you compare them with each other. Obviously your own perspective on each of these religions might inform your experience of Prof. Peters' approach i.e. if you believe Islam are from Satan, you might feel that he is too apologetic towards it. Yet, from a sound scholarly approach, Prof. Peters created a set of lectures that is unbiased, well-researched and might stimulate more open dialogue between the three faiths.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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For Self Development You Need An Understanding

It's a good solid book with no major bias. It links the religions, their history and values enough to further understand the linkage of the universe as a whole and the place of humans in it. Recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Get a layman's understanding of religious history

Would you consider the audio edition of The Modern Scholar to be better than the print version?

I am an audible leaner and I do not have time to sit and read. I am, consequently, an audio book officiendo. I cannot comment on whether the audio book is better than the text as I have not read the text version.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the way the author ties together the origins of all three religions. He bases his book on facts and not his personal opinions.

What didn’t you like about the narrator’s performance?

The author should have let a professional narrator read the book for him. He stutered way too much because he was combining additional detailed thoughts in with his reading of the book. This made for a lot of

Any additional comments?

Great book for a fact person like myself.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent discussion piece

Professor Peters does a fantastic job of asking these three "siblings to pose for a family picture". These lectures will not go into depth about the religious practices or beliefs, rather, it will spur an intimate discussion about the earthly humanistic manifestations. Structure, culture, history, and sects from all three religions are woven in to these lectures and discussed against or in respect to each other.

This book has gone beyond satisfying my interest in just what these religions are all about. I now have a workable understanding of current and contemporary religious ideologies and their underlying traditions.

Professor Peters talks faster than I would appreciate for the density of information (which is still very accessible), I recommend listening to this at .75 speed.

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A good intro to the 3 monotheistic religions

This is a good lecture for beginners. Provides an understanding of the roots of each religion and its relationship to the others.

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Outstanding Modern Scholar!

What made the experience of listening to The Modern Scholar the most enjoyable?

Dr Frank Peters is an outstanding instructor, very knowledgeable! He provided fair and academic coverage of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Judaism, Christinanity and Islam

Which character – as performed by the narrator – was your favorite?

Judaism, Christinanity and Islam

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not that type of book. It was however a great Modern Scholar course. Dr Frank Peters is very knowledgeable. I have listened to several of the Modern Scholar courses, this course is one of the very best.

Any additional comments?

I look forward to other Modern Scholar courses

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as an academic faith scholar peters lost his way

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

i hoped for a highly researched academic dissertation , but was more like a superficial glance full of inaccuracies am afraid .it was too poor to be considered academic

What was most disappointing about Frank E. Peters’s story?

inaccuracies

Would you be willing to try another one of the narrator’s performances?

not realy

Any additional comments?

find another academic about the subject

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WITNESS TO THE TRUTH

Organized religion is a puzzle wrapped in a conundrum. The puzzle lies in a common religious belief that says there is only one God; the conundrum is that the three largest one-God’ religions refuse to peacefully accept their differences and either kill or banish those who do not follow their beliefs. Which among the three have witnesses to the truth?

Frank E. Peters is a 1961 PhD graduate in Islamic Studies from Princeton with a BA and Masters degree in Greek and Latin from St. Louis University. Peters chronologically recounts the history of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All three religions have text to provide a foundation for their beliefs. Jews rely on the “Torah”, which is a part of the “Old Testament”; Christians rely on the “Old Testament” as modified and expanded by the “New Testament”; Islam relies on the “Quran” which is codified by a Caliph twenty years after the death of Muhammad.

Peters does not take sides in his lectures on the three major monotheistic religions. However, his presentation reinforces one’s belief that organized religion is a harbinger of death and destruction. All three religions have or have had armies to enforce their religious beliefs. Jews formed an army when Israel became a State; Christians fought the crusades by using nobleman that accepted the faith. The Pope’s peace of 2012 is more a function of social constraint than religious tolerance; Turkish Islamist’s conducted a Jihad that killed thousands of Armenians (some say 1.5 million) in the early 20th century and Iran threatens destruction of Israel today. All three organized religions have blood on their hands.

Even though one may fervently believe in God as the Prime Mover of the universe, organized religion is a 21st century obstacle to the Truth; i.e. a believer that seeks to be a “witness to the truth” can only stand and wait.

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  • Abubakar
  • 03-16-11

I really enjoyed listening to this

As someone who has long been fascinated with these 3 faiths, this book really did its job in presenting these faiths side by side for comparison. The author is clearly excited by the subject and this makes it all the more interesting to listen to. This book is so informative as the author covers many topics. I definitely feel like I have an even better understanding of these religions as a result of this book. I was always reluctant to press the stop button and will probably listen to this a third or fourth time! I've rated this 4 stars and not 5 only because I disagree with one or two factual points the author discusses.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Swing Swang
  • 12-08-13

Good, but far too superficial

The three faiths are presented at a very basic level. The resultant survival knowledge for a resident in a multi-faith society is reason enough to commend this publication.

The ‘Christian’ in the title is essentially Roman Catholic Christianity. Whilst the Reformation is mentioned in passing, the Christian rituals and doctrines described in the text take little or no account of Protestant or Eastern Orthodox Christianity.

If the description of the Christian faith is presented so sketchily, I do wonder how lacking the text is regarding Judaism and Islam.

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  • Andrew Roshan
  • 03-16-17

Fantastic- objective and historic

I liked the objective and unbiased historic account of all three faiths.
Very descriptive content, rich in detail.

I would recommend to any Muslims and those of other faiths who wish to better understand the similarities and differences of these Abrahamic religions.

Although not the authors motive- I found this eduction can lead to tolerance.