Jewish Intellectual History: 16th to 20th Century (The Great Courses)

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God. Torah. Israel. These three concepts—incorporated in personal belief, the meaning of Jewish ritual acts, and the purpose of continued Jewish existence—have been the focus of Jewish thought throughout history. But the last four centuries have presented Jewish thinkers with difficult challenges: In a world having a history of untold suffering—especially, it seemed, for Jews—was […]

Apocalypse: Controversies and Meaning in Western History (The Great Courses)

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The Apocalypse: Controversies and Meaning in Western History Professor Craig R. Koester, Luther Seminary   Exiled to the island of Patmos over 1,900 years ago, a prophet named John wrote a remarkable letter to fellow Christians. That letter is the Apocalypse of John, also known as the book of Revelation, and Christians and non-Christians alike […]

American Religious History (The Great Courses)

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Join historian Patrick N. Allitt in exploring the story of religious life in America from the first European contacts to the late 20th century. Along the way, you learn the answers to two important questions: Why does America, unlike virtually any other industrial nation, continue to show so much religious vitality? Why are the varieties […]

History of Christianity in the Reformation Era (The Great Courses)

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We are the cultural descendants of the Reformation era, says Professor Brad S. Gregory in these 36 lectures on one of the most tumultuous and consequential periods in all of European history. Regardless of whether we ourselves are religious, says Professor Gregory, our modern preference for belief bolstered by doctrine is “a long-term legacy of […]

The Greatest Controversies of Early Christian History (The Great Courses)

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Christianity has arguably been the most important force in the history of Western civilization. Whether we view it in religious, social, political, or economic terms, Christianity has deeply and integrally influenced the Western worldview and way of life, as well as our most basic notions of selfhood, morality, and ethics. Without the presence and role […]

The History of Christianity: From the Disciples to the Dawn of the Reformation (The Great Courses)

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Christianity is the largest and most global religious tradition in history. For nearly 2,000 years, the Christian faith has remained at or near the center of Western moral debate and conceptions of human identity, just action, and ultimate meaning. It has both shaped history and responded to history, showing an extraordinary adaptability within greatly differing […]

History of Christian Theology (The Great Courses)

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Some 2,000 years ago, a man walked the earth who had a greater impact than any other person in history. Lowly born, he rose to prominence as he spread his vision of the redemption of the world. He attracted the attention of faithful disciples and suspicious local authorities. Eventually, he was tried, convicted, and executed. […]

Popes and the Papacy: A History (The Great Courses)

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The papacy is the oldest continuously functioning institution in the world. Developed c. A.D. 30 when Jesus invested his disciple Peter with the authority to create a church, the Bishops of Rome grew their organization from a small flock of persecuted worshipers to a religion that counts one-sixth of the world’s population as members. Over […]

The Catholic Church: A History (The Great Courses)

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The Catholic Church. It began as a small band of supporters following the teachings of an itinerant preacher in an outpost of the Roman Empire. From there, the church expanded both its size and its importance in the grand scheme of Western history. Consider that the Catholic Church steered Western civilization through historical events such […]

From Jesus to Constantine: A History of Early Christianity (The Great Courses)

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In a world where Christianity has been, in the words of Professor Bart D. Ehrman, “the most powerful religious, political, social, cultural, economic, and intellectual institution in the history of Western civilization,” most of us have grown up believing we know the answers to these questions: Were the early Christians really hunted down and martyred, […]