The Rights of Man: Great Thinkers and Great Movements [TTC Video]
08 August 2015, 18:36
Course No 4242 | MKV, x264, 784 kbps, 960x720 | AAC, 96 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 4.57 GB
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. These stirring words are from the Declaration of Independence, one of the founding documents of the United States and a powerful example of the importance of human rights in Western civilization.
But the freedoms we enjoy today—
to vote regardless of gender
to live free of racial segregation
to not be enslaved
to be free of persecution on religious or ethnic grounds
—did not come about overnight. Rather, they were the result of long and fierce struggles that took place in courtrooms and meeting rooms, in churches and on battlefields, in classrooms and on streets, at home and abroad.
Understanding the evolution of human rights—its sacrifices, hopes, visions, leaders, and movements—is important to recognizing how valuable and universal they truly are. The story of the rights of man also reflects the triumphant power of the human spirit to change history, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.
Follow this inspirational and profound story in The Rights of Man: Great Thinkers and Great Movements. These 24 lectures tell you the fascinating story of the rights of man, from the visions of history's greatest philosophers, religious leaders, and political thinkers to the awe-inspiring movements that shattered centuries of inequality.
Award-winning Professor Paul Gordon Lauren, one of the world's leading authorities on the history of human rights, guides you in a story that will strengthen your appreciation of your rights—and of the long struggles to obtain them.
Explore the Roots of Your Rights ...
Human rights issues play a vital role in the political, moral, and legal landscape.
Throughout The Rights of Man, you encounter the powerful historical movements that established human rights and promoted equality by
- establishing a nation's right to self-determination;
- abolishing the international slave trade;
- ending slavery and racial segregation;
- holding leaders accountable for crimes against humanity;
- granting voting rights to women and minorities; and
- providing protection for workers, children, and wounded soldiers.
Professor Lauren roots this comprehensive look at human rights in the religious, philosophical, and political origins of these movements. You trace the ideas of human rights to the teachings of Jesus and Muhammad; learn how philosophers from Mencius to John Locke contributed influential viewpoints; and witness the power of the American and French revolutions to fight for equal rights for all.
As you investigate the origins of the great human rights movements, you follow several key themes:
- The importance of vision: The rights of man were established by people who worked to achieve a just society.
- The power of human action: The story of the rights of man is filled with courageous individuals and groups who set out to change the world against seemingly unbeatable odds.
- The (sometimes surprising) sources of change: Gradual change through reform, violent social and political upheavals, and even extreme atrocities like the Holocaust provoked dramatic advancements in the rights of man.
- ... and the Individuals Who Fought for Them
You learn of the great movements for human rights. Each lecture gives you an overview of historical movements like the struggle for women's suffrage, the emancipation of serfs and slaves, the development of the United Nations's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the collapse of colonial empires.
You encounter the great philosophers, religious leaders, politicians, activists, journalists—and the everyday men and women—who fought to make their visions of equality a reality:
- Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Quaker women who organized the Seneca Falls Woman's Rights Convention in 1848 to argue for human rights for women. Their work culminated in 1920 with the 19th Amendment, which established the right to vote regardless of gender.
- Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, who fought successfully for their dreams of racial equality. Martin Luther King Jr. moved hundreds of thousands to embrace his goal of ending segregation in the United States. South African activist Nelson Mandela spoke out against his country's policy of apartheid and was elected South Africa's first black president in 1994.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, the Second World War leaders who signed the Atlantic Charter in 1941, which expressed the rights of man as the right to live without fear in a world with economic and social justice and to choose the form of government under which they live
The Rights of Man brings these and other individuals to life through excerpts from their passionate speeches and their powerful proclamations, declarations, and international treaties. Professor Lauren's spirited readings from works such as the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, and Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic "I Have a Dream" speech add depth and insight to your understanding of the power of these great historical movements.
A Uniquely Qualified Professor
Professor Lauren has an undeniable passion for the gravity and courage of this remarkable story. He lived and worked in Harlem in the 1960s during the civil rights movement, when he met Martin Luther King Jr. He traveled behind the iron curtain during the cold war, interviewed intellectuals whose political freedoms were suppressed, and sat only feet away from Slobodan Milosevic during the Yugoslavian leader's trial before The Hague's International Criminal Tribunal.
Professor Lauren has spent his career enlightening audiences worldwide, including the general public, professional diplomats, military and intelligence officers, policymakers, and audiences at the United Nations and the Nobel Institute, about the story of the rights of man.
"A great distance in the rights of man has been traveled, and we need to appreciate just how great it has been," notes Professor Lauren.
With this course, you look at the origins and evolution of our human rights, strengthen your understanding of what it means to be a human being with unalienable rights, and become inspired by a profoundly moving story whose latest chapter you're living now.
- The Rights of Man
- The Heavy Burden of the Past
- Religious Belief—Duties and Rights
- Early Philosophical Contributions
- Natural Rights and the Enlightenment
- Rights and Revolutions—America and France
- Rights of Man at the 18th Century's End
- Abolishing the International Slave Trade
- Emancipating Slaves and Serfs
- Promoting the Rights of Women
- Advancing the Rights of Workers
- Protecting the Rights of the Wounded
- Rights of Man as the 20th Century Begins
- Peacemaking and Rights—Paris, 1919
- New Departures for the Rights of Man
- The Gathering Storm and Attack on Rights
- War, Genocide, and a Crusade for Rights
- Peacemaking, Rights, and the United Nations
- The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- The Right to Self-Determination
- The Right to Racial Equality
- Setting Standards and the Rule of Law
- Recent Achievements and Challenges
- The Rights of Man—Past, Present, and Future
Utopia and Terror in the 20th Century [TTC Video]
08 August 2015, 18:24
Course No 8313 | MKV, x264, 1000 kbps, 710x480 | AAC, 96 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.62 GB
From the trenches of World War I to Nazi Germany to Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the 20th century was a time of unprecedented violence. According to best estimates, in that 100-year span more than 200 million people were killed in world wars, government-sponsored persecutions, and genocides. Such monumental violence seems senseless. But it is not inexplicable. And if we can understand its origins, we may prevent even greater horrors in the century to come.
This is the premise of Utopia and Terror in the 20th Century. Professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius traces the violent history of that era, beginning with its early roots in the American and, especially, the French revolutions. With each passing lecture, you will see how the 20th century's violence was the result of specific historical developments that eventually combined, with explosive results.
The Fuse that Made the 20th Century Explode
The French Revolution proved that ideological movements could mobilize the public and, when willing to use violence, could indeed transform society.
The Industrial Revolution and subsequent technology created vastly more powerful weapons—including some that were entirely new, such as the airplane and rocket—that raised the potential for bloodshed to new heights.
Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection was perverted into Social Darwinism and eugenics: racist pseudosciences that provided excuses to repress or eliminate entire groups of people.
These events created a dangerous backdrop for the most sinister development of all. This was the notion that utopia was not just a perfect paradise to look forward to in the afterlife. Instead, utopia could be built right now, in this life.
Such 20th-century ideologies as Marxism, Nazism, Communism, and Fascism embraced this idea willingly—even enthusiastically—and used terror to implement it. These ideologies functioned as political religions, demanding fanaticism, commitment, and sacrifice in return for an ultimate reward in this life rather than the next.
Understanding Totalitarian Governments: Gangsters and Machines
Professor Liulevicius offers an intellectual framework though which to understand the totalitarian governments of the last century or, for that matter, of today. Such governments, and the terror they spread, share key characteristics and strategies.
For example, their leaders can be seen not as politicians but as mobsters, an organized conspiracy that uses criminal methods inspired by gangsters. They gain and maintain power by manipulating masses of people, often exploiting societies with many uprooted and alienated citizens, such as existed in Europe after World War I.
In addition, you will see that these regimes create fear and command allegiance through the use of "machines." These are not literally machines, but bureaucracies that carry out a set of deliberate, interrelated strategies. These include:
- The cult of the leader, or the cult of personality. These make the dictator seem larger than life, or superhuman. After Italy annexed Ethiopia in 1936, Mussolini's followers declared him to be a new god in human form. In the Soviet Union, long ovations after Stalin's speeches were common, as no one wanted to be seen as the first to stop applauding.
- The Big Lie, or deliberate distortions of the truth. During the Hundred Flowers Campaign, Mao Zedong seemed to promote free speech, then killed some half million dissidents when they came out in the open.
- Secret police. An estimated 274,000 people worked with the East German secret police, the Stasi, from 1950 to 1989. When informers were added, this translated into one secret policeman for every 6.5 persons.
- The media. Radio, film, and television were used to rewrite history and manipulate the masses. The Bolsheviks produced documentary films that made their October Revolution seem much more dramatic and deadly than it was (a common joke was that more people were injured during filming than in the actual event).
- The portrait Professor Liulevicius paints is that 20th-century violence, while horrific and massive, was not chaotic or random but deliberate and calculated. Very often, it was based on precedent.
In using concentration camps, Hitler and Stalin essentially adopted a strategy that had first been employed by the Spanish in 1896 in Cuba and by the British against Dutch settlers during the Boer War (1899–1902).
Hitler's plan to exterminate Germany's Jews was inspired by the 1915 genocide of Armenians by the Turkish Ottoman Empire, an atrocity barely noticed by the international community. The fact that "no one remembered the Armenians," as Hitler is said to have declared, convinced him that his Final Solution would work.
Lessons Learned: A Hopeful Conclusion
In the final lectures, Professor Liulevicius considers recent figures such as Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden and assesses terrorism in the contemporary world. What is the future of terror? What lessons have been learned by the hard experience of the past century?
These questions hinge on several issues, including our attitudes toward human nature, our ability to remember and learn from past atrocities, and our use of technology. But an especially optimistic note is the notion of resistance. If the 20th century was plagued by repressive regimes, it was also blessed with those who resisted them.
Unlike the story of totalitarianism, which is about the state, the story of resistance is one of individuals who ignored personal risk to oppose violence. These "witnesses to the century," as Professor Liulevicius calls them, include novelists George Orwell and Aleksander Solzhenitsyn, Polish labor leader Lech Walesa, Pope John Paul II, and political philosopher Hannah Arendt.
Their examples offer a hopeful conclusion.
- Defining Utopia and Terror
- The Legacy of Revolutions
- Omens of Conflict
- World War I
- Total War—Mobilization and Mass Death
- Total Revolution in Russia
- War's Aftermath—The Hinge of Violence
- Soviet Civilization
- The 1930's—The Low Dishonest Decade
- World War II
- Nazi Genocide and Master Plans
- The Cold War
- Cambodia and Pol Pot's Killing Fields
- East Germany, the Soviet Union, North Korea
- From the Berlin Wall to the Balkans
- Saddam Hussein's Iraq
- The Future of Terror
The Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity [TTC Video]
26 July 2015, 10:35
Course No 3466 | M4V, AVC, 1500 kbps, 640x480 | AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | 8.83GB
Why did pagan Rome, which had a history of tolerating other faiths, clash with early Christians? What was it like, under Roman law, to be a Jew or a Christian? What led to the great persecutions of Christians? Above all else, how did Christianity ultimately achieve dominance in the Roman Empire, eclipsing paganism in one of the most influential turning points in the history of Western civilization?
Answers to these and similar questions are important for the sheer fact that much of today's world is still governed by principles drawn from the Judeo-Christian heritage that gained primacy as a result of Christianity's triumph over the paganism of ancient Rome. Two thousand years after this earth-shattering change, many of these principles still determine how most of today's Western world—both Christian and non-Christian alike—thinks about ethics, sin, redemption, forgiveness, progress, and so much more.
Discover the true story behind this ethical and religious legacy with The Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity, a historically focused discussion of the dramatic interaction between Judaism, Christianity, and paganism from the 1st to the 6th centuries. Presented by Professor Kenneth W. Harl of Tulane University—an award-winning teacher, classical scholar, and one of the most esteemed historians on The Great Courses faculty—these 24 lectures allow you to explore in great depth the historical reasons that Christianity was able to emerge and endure and, in turn, spark a critical transition for religion, culture, and politics.
An All-Encompassing Picture of a Critical Era
While the Judeo-Christian values that have shaped society's ideas are ones we might today take for granted, their emergence from an ancient era dominated by loyalties to a vast array of gods would once have seemed the most unlikely of narratives. Even after the Roman emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in A.D. 312, it would not be until the 6th-century reign of Justinian that medieval Christianity would emerge and this new historical pathway would finally be confirmed.
Professor Harl's magnificent course enables you to grasp the full historical sweep of this monumental transition by creating an all-encompassing picture of this critically important era. While some philosophical and theological content is included to clarify important points of transition, the focus of The Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity is—above all else—on its most important and fascinating episodes, among which are these:
- Emperor Nero's rescript in A.D. 64, which not only ordered the persecution of Christians in the city of Rome but also made the faith illegal throughout the empire. As the first religion ever banned in the Roman world, Christianity would be forced to develop new institutions and new ways of spreading its message.
- The Battle of the Milvian Bridge in A.D. 312, where Emperor Constantine won a victory described in the only two literary accounts—both written by Christian authors—as having been deliberately fought under the Christian symbol of the Chi Ro. Professor Harl offers a probing analysis of what he believes Emperor Constantine's real motives were for fighting in this battle.
- The reign of Theodosius I (A.D. 379 to 395), under which laws were passed banning public sacrifice throughout the Roman Empire and making Christianity the only legitimate religion. This crucial reign, according to Professor Harl, signified not only the death knell of Roman paganism but the first steps in the creation of the persecuting society of medieval Europe.
New Insights into the Sources of Western Beliefs
The Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity also introduces you to a wide variety of individuals whose actions helped shape the history of this turbulent time, including these:
- Rulers like Augustus and Justinian, whose decisions would define—and redefine—the relationship between paganism, Judaism, and Christianity and how Jews and Christians would subsequently respond through words, deeds, and rituals
- Proselytizers for the new faith, including James and Paul, and the different viewpoints they represented in the development of early Christianity
- Religious thinkers such as Clement and Origen, who would go on to become the first theologians of the emerging Christian faith
- Ascetics such as Saint Anthony and Barsauma, a warlike monk said to be so terrifying that he could inspire conversions in the villages of Syria and Phoenicia through the sheer fear raised by his arrival
- Philosophical thinkers such as Galen, who was also a noted pagan critic of the new Christian faith and thus an active participant in the exchanges with Christian apologists that served to educate and hone the arguments put forth by both sides
You'll also witness Christianity's growing influence on not only the visual arts (including architecture and the redesignation of pagan temples for Christian uses) but on the world of letters, including, ironically, the preservation of the classical writings of ancient Greece so important to understanding the pagan world.
A Masterful Historian, an Exceptional Teacher
Professor Harl is the ideal choice for crafting such an all-encompassing picture of this critically important era. In addition to garnering honors for his skills as a lecturer—which include two-time recognition as the recipient of Tulane University's Sheldon Hackney Award for Excellence in Teaching, voted on by both students and faculty—he regularly leads students to Turkey on educational excursions or as assistants on excavations of Hellenistic and Roman sites.
His own photographs of temples and other architectural features, cult statues, coins, and other telling artifacts bring the history and the events in this course to vivid life. Combined with a rich array of other visual aids, including maps, illustrations, and animations, these features help make The Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity a vibrant trek through the past—one that will lead you to a deeper understanding of the bedrock beliefs of Western culture.
- Religious Conflict in the Roman World
- Gods and Their Cities in the Roman Empire
- The Roman Imperial Cult
- The Mystery Cults
- Platonism and Stoicism
- Jews in the Roman Empire
- Christian Challenge—First Conversions
- Pagan Response—First Persecutions
- Christian Bishops and Apostolic Churches
- Pagan Critics and Christian Apologists
- First Christian Theologians
- Imperial Crisis and Spiritual Crisis
- The Great Persecutions
- The Spirit of Late Paganism
- Imperial Recovery under the Tetrarchs
- The Conversion of Constantine
- Constantine and the Bishops
- Christianizing the Roman World
- The Birth of Christian Aesthetics and Letters
- The Emperor Julian and the Pagan Reaction
- Struggle over Faith and Culture
- New Christian Warriors—Ascetics and Monks
- Turning Point—Theodosius I
- Justinian and the Demise of Paganism