Book of Genesis (The Great Courses)

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The Book of Genesis, regardless of our faith, is something with which almost all of us in the Western world are familiar—a foundational work of our culture we have read and, we believe, understood. After all, its language, despite its remarkable elegance, is simple. Its powerful sentences are short. And its messages glisten with clarity. […]

Philosophy and Religion in the West (The Great Courses)

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Acclaimed humanities teacher Phillip Cary explores thousands of years of deep reflection and brilliant debate over the nature of God, the human self, and the world. It’s a debate that serves as a vivid introduction to the rich and complex history shared by the West’s central religious and philosophical traditions. Whether you’re a believer, a […]

Biblical Wisdom Literature (The Great Courses)

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In the history of wisdom literature, few traditions match the solace and profundity found in the teachings of the Bible. For centuries, people have taken comfort and insight from the familiar yet eternally resonant writings of the Bible’s wisdom literature. Through their inspirational teachings, the sages of the biblical wisdom tradition offer time-honored advice about […]

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 […]

Philosophy, Religion, and the Meaning of Life (The Great Courses)

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What is the meaning of life? Is human existence meaningful or absurd? Is it even worth asking this kind of question? Anyone who has ever pondered these fundamental questions has an extraordinary adventure in store. In 36 inspiring lectures, award-winning Professor of Philosophy Francis J. Ambrosio fields the biggest of the “big” questions, in a […]

Why Evil Exists (The Great Courses)

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Why do humans do evil? What is behind “man’s inhumanity to man,” the troubling fact of human actions that produce suffering and destruction? Is it ultimately a spiritual or cosmic problem? Is it a consequence of social systems or power structures? Or is it some inner deficit of human nature, lurking in the shadow world […]

Great World Religions: Judaism (The Great Courses)

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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? However Judaism is defined, the beliefs, practices, attitudes, and institutions of Jews through the ages display […]

Introduction to Judaism (The Great Courses)

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What could be simpler than a single people worshiping a single God for more than 3,000 years? But Judaism is far from simple, and as a religion, culture, and civilization, it has evolved in surprising ways during its lengthy and remarkable history. Consider the following: Although Judaism is defined by its worship of one God, […]

Beginnings of Judaism (The Great Courses)

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How did Judaism develop from its biblical roots to the highly developed system we know today? What has changed—and what has remained constant? The answers to these questions are relevant to all faiths, as well as to anyone seeking to broaden their understanding of ancient history—a past that is inexorably linked to the present. The […]

Science and Religion (The Great Courses)

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Two crucial forces, science and religion, helped shape Western civilization and continue to interact in our daily lives. What is the nature of their relationship? When do they conflict, and how do they influence each other in pursuit of knowledge and truth? Contrary to prevailing notions that they must perpetually clash, science and theology have […]