Albert Einstein: Physicist, Philosopher, Humanitarian [TTC Video]
28 October 2016, 23:59
Course No 8122 | AVI, XviD, 640x480 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.13GB
In May 1905, an unknown 26-year-old Swiss patent clerk wrote to a friend about four scientific papers he had been working on in his spare time. He casually alluded to one as "revolutionary," and he confidently asserted that another would modify the "theory of space and time." He had not yet started on a fifth paper that would also come out in 1905 and that would propose a surprising and earth-shaking equation, E=mc2.
This industrious young office worker was Albert Einstein, and with these papers he irrevocably changed the face of physics. Eventually, he would achieve fame and influence not only as a scientist but also as a philosopher and a humanitarian, involved with some of the most profound issues of the day. So identified has Einstein become with the changes wrought in science and culture in our era that Time magazine named him the "person of the century" in its December 31, 1999, issue.
Albert Einstein: Physicist, Philosopher, Humanitarian, 24 half-hour lectures by award-winning Professor Don Howard of the University of Notre Dame, presents a wide-ranging intellectual biography of this iconic scientist, genius, and champion of social justice.
Think Like Einstein
More than just a biography of Einstein's life, Albert Einstein provides you with an inside look at how this brilliant thinker arrived at his various revolutionary breakthroughs.
One of the secrets of Einstein's success was that he was well read in philosophy, and that guided his approach not only to framing and solving problems in physics but also to interpreting his discoveries in a more universal context. In addition, his philosophical background gave him the independence of judgment necessary to invent a new physics.
Einstein was the clearest of thinkers, able to cut through conventional views to get to the heart of a matter and achieve astonishing discoveries in the process. According to Professor Howard, retracing the thought processes that led to Einstein's ideas is the key to understanding them.
This is the intellectually exciting strategy you follow in Albert Einstein. Guided by Professor Howard, you reason your way to historic insights such as these:
- Light has both wave- and particle-like properties.
- Absolute space and absolute time are meaningless concepts.
- Gravity is caused by the curvature of space-time.
Each of these ideas sparked a scientific revolution. The first led to quantum physics, which is the comprehensive picture of the world below the atomic scale. The second and third are conclusions from the special and general theories of relativity, which this course explains in nontechnical detail.
In the Laboratory of the Mind
A creative thinker from an early age, Einstein had a knack for finding the perfect picture or thought experiment to express even the most arcane scientific ideas—a quality that makes him unusually accessible to the nonscientist. Einstein later said he always thought about a physics problem first in terms of images. He only later translated those pictures into a mathematical formalism.
Here are some of his well-known thought experiments that you investigate in Albert Einstein:
- Chasing a light beam: As a teenager, Einstein asked himself what would happen if he moved at the speed of light alongside a beam of light. This conceptual exercise held the germ for the special theory of relativity.
- Einstein's elevator: Einstein recognized that an observer ascending with constant acceleration, as in an ascending elevator, would not be able to distinguish his situation from one in which he was experiencing the effects of gravity, leading to the "equivalence principle" that underlies his general theory of relativity.
- EPR paradox: Einstein and two collaborators, Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen, devised a thought experiment that sought to prove quantum mechanics as an incomplete theory and not the final word in fundamental physics.
Albert Einstein features more than 50 animations—many in 3-D—designed specifically for these lectures. The result is a visually rich learning experience that makes Einstein's detailed scientific ideas easy to understand.
The Many Sides of Einstein
Einstein's dynamic life reflects a range of interests and passions that extend beyond the realm of modern physics and into fields like religion, international relations, and social justice. Indeed, Einstein frequently engaged with many of the leading social and political issues of his day. "As Einstein's growing physics reputation drew him onto a larger public stage," notes Professor Howard, "his social and political involvements expanded as well."
The many sides of the man covered in Albert Einstein give you a wealth of insights into his life:
- Far from being a head-in-the-clouds theoretician, Einstein was an enthusiastic inventor who pioneered a novel airplane wing, a refrigerator without moving parts, and a self-adjusting camera, among other devices.
- Einstein, a German Jew who fled an increasingly anti-Semitic Germany in 1932, supported the development of a safe haven for displaced Jews in Palestine and of Jewish institutions like Hebrew University. Fearing a large-scale conflict with Palestinian Arabs, however, he did not support a Jewish national state.
- Theoretical physics in the early 20th century was an emerging field. Einstein's work at the boundaries of science forced him to grapple with the various philosophical issues his work raised. Einstein's philosophies on scientific issues—such as the difference between direct and indirect evidence, the relationship between theory and experience, and the power of mathematical simplicity—were among the most influential of 20th-century science.
Professor Howard closes the course by examining the nature of Einstein's quintessential genius. In a century populated with brilliant scientists, profound philosophers, and selfless humanitarians, how did he come to embody all these qualities and also mean so much more? The rise of the dreamy-looking young man in the patent office in 1905 to the person of the century is worth studying in full.
Einstein: The Whole Man
Professor Howard is uniquely qualified to explore Einstein the whole man, putting Einstein's scientific discoveries into the context of his personal life, his philosophical views, and his outlook on the world. Educated in Physics as an undergraduate, Professor Howard went on to earn a Doctorate in the Philosophy of Science, and he has since devoted his research career to Einstein and his period. Professor Howard has been an assistant editor and a contributing editor for the Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, an ongoing series of volumes prepared by the Einstein Papers Project that is shedding new light on all aspects of Einstein's life.
Albert Einstein is a riveting, all-encompassing look at the iconic man who forever altered the way we think about the world. By the conclusion of the course, you'll have become better acquainted with the whole Einstein—his scientific ideas, his personal philosophies, his thought processes, and his impact on both his own time and ours.
The History of Christianity: From the Disciples to the Dawn of the Reformation [TTC Video]
28 October 2016, 23:42
Course No 6610 | MKV, AVC, 960x720 | AAC, 96 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 10.41GB
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 cultures. Its practice and influence appears in every land and every language, and one-third of humanity now affiliates in some way with Christianity.
How did this happen? How did a persecuted sect in 1st-century Palestine rise to command such a massive influence on human culture, imagination, and spirit? How did Christianity weather the first critical stages of its historical development and attain its fundamental and enduring cultural role?
Discovering the answers to these questions allows you to
- understand one of the most significant and integral currents of history, and to correct misconceptions about Christianity’s past;
- gain deep insight into the origins of Western societies, and to understand the relation of faith to politics, economics, and culture;
- grasp how Christian institutions, theology, and liturgy originated and developed;
- better comprehend the cultural present, where 7 out of 10 Americans hold Christian beliefs; and
- deepen your appreciation of the majestic sweep of history that Christianity’s rise represents.
Speaking incisively to all of this and more, The History of Christianity: From the Disciples to the Dawn of the Reformation tells the phenomenal story of Christianity’s first 1,500 years, in all its remarkable diversity and complex dimension.
In the company of popular Great Courses Professor Luke Timothy Johnson of Emory University, you follow the dramatic trajectory of Christianity from its beginnings as a “cult of Jesus” to its rise as a fervent religious movement; from its emergence as an unstoppable force within the Roman Empire to its critical role as an imperial religion; from its remarkable growth, amid divisive disputes and rivalries, to the ultimate schism between Eastern Orthodoxy and Western Catholicism; and from its spread throughout the Western world to its flowering as a culture that shaped Europe for 800 years.
In 36 enthralling lectures, you meet the towering figures of Christian history, such as Paul of Tarsus, Augustine, the emperor Constantine, and Pope Gregory VII, as well as many other pivotal players—kings, popes, saints, monastic figures, scholars, and mystics. And you delve deeply into the rituals, doctrinal issues, and fascinating theological controversies that defined the faith.
The History of Christianity: From the Disciples to the Dawn of the Reformation brings to life a truly epic story, giving you a multilayered knowledge of Christianity’s origins, rise, and civilization-shaping presence in our world.
The Forging of a Global Faith
Across the arc of the story, you reckon with the historical and theological milestones that formed Christianity, including these seminal moments:
- The Jesus movement: Investigate the passionate claims of the first believers to an experience of ultimate, transforming power—and the means by which the movement exploded in the decades following Jesus’s death.
- Critical challenges to the faith: Witness the early Christians’ implacable commitment to the new religion, creating strong institutional and ideological structures even as they answered persecution through martyrdom and “apologetic” literature.
- Christianity and empire: Learn how the faith, once it was instated as the official religion by Rome, expanded geographically under imperial authority; how Christian culture developed through architecture, art, and ceremony; and how the religion became fatefully enmeshed in politics in the interface of patriarchs, popes, and emperors from Rome to Constantinople.
- Great controversies of theology: Dig deeply into the Trinitarian and Christological controversies that divided Christians between the 4th and 7th centuries, centering on differing conceptions of the nature of Christ and fiercely contested in the famous Councils of Nicaea, Ephesus, and Chalcedon.
- The rupture between East and West: Grapple with the overlapping factors of cultural distance, misunderstandings, political rivalries, and doctrinal disputes that led to the final split between Orthodoxy and Catholicism in the 11th century.
- The flowering of European Christendom: Experience the extraordinary richness of Christian culture in the Middle Ages, including the complex institution of monasticism, the glory of medieval cathedrals, the birth of universities, and the commanding presence of the papacy.
The Rich Diversity of Christian Experience
In charting the remarkable rise of Christianity, you uncover the specific social and cultural realities that drove the development of the faith.
Early in the course, you locate the birth of the religion—and the movement’s powerful appeal—not in the life of Jesus itself, but in the first Christians’ life-altering experience of the Resurrection. You see how early Christianity was not “one thing,” grasping its startling variety of expression through figures such as the preacher Thecla, who dressed as a man and baptized herself, and in the extreme ascetic practices and ideology of the Marcionist movement.
You investigate the origins and deep influence of monasticism, its specific practices and ways of life, and you see how monasticism became the dominant formal expression of medieval Catholicism.
You travel the geographic expanse of the Christian world, from Persia and Egypt to Byzantium, Rome, and the British Isles, and you glimpse the lives of ordinary Christians in all eras, from the first, embattled Christian communities in Palestine to the sophisticated Catholic culture of the Middle Ages.
Faith, Politics, and Civilization
In the course’s middle section, the formerly countercultural faith becomes the pillar of the world’s greatest military and political power. Here you grapple with the tensions and challenges of this new role, as the Roman Empire “converts” and pagan sacrifice is declared high treason.
You track the rivalries of patriarchal centers, as the cities of Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople vie for supremacy within the imperial faith. In Byzantium, you witness the increasing intermingling of faith and politics, as the bishop Ambrose of Milan demands public repentance of the brutal emperor Theodosius I, and the emperor Justinian intervenes between factions contesting the true nature of Christ.
In the “Carolingian Renaissance” of 9th-century Europe, you see how the emperor Charlemagne responded to papal patronage by sponsoring ecclesiastical reforms and supporting the Latin Mass. And you observe how the papacy—aided by royalty and monk-missionaries—became the central force in bringing the Christian message to all of Europe.
Extraordinary Treasures of Christian Culture
Throughout the course you observe the profoundly literary quality of this faith, taking note of the diverse Christian writings in Syriac, Coptic, and Armenian, the formulation of Christian orthodoxy in the works of Tertullian and Irenaeus,the philosophical treatises of Clement and Origen, and the scholastic theology of Abelard and Thomas Aquinas.
You study the long and colorful development of Christian liturgy in the traditions of ritual, architecture, and public works. You taste the splendor and sensuality of Eastern Orthodox worship, with its ornate vestments, incense, and processions. You learn how the medieval cathedral embodied allegorical symbolism in its form, with its vaulted nave (from navis, “ship”) shaped as an inverted “ship of salvation.” And you observe the role of Christian art in the long conflict in Byzantium over the veneration of religious icons.
Finally, you witness the flourishing of contemplative mysticism in the dark era of the Inquisition, and you uncover the misuses of doctrine and forms of corruption that roused the first courageous reformers, boldly anticipating the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.
A Story for the Ages, Masterfully Told
In recounting the astonishing narrative of Christianity’s unfolding, Professor Johnson draws on his own background as a passionate participant in this tradition, both as a former Benedictine monk and as a world-class scholar. In his powerful and evocative words, this grand tapestry of history comes vibrantly alive as he takes you to the defining moments of Christianity’s past.
In The History of Christianity: From the Disciples to the Dawn of the Reformation, you’ll look deeply into the nature and role of faith, the ethos of our civilization, and the core conceptions of identity and ethics that underlie the Western worldview. This is history in the most vivid and meaningful sense of the word: an inquiry into the past that opens a compelling awareness of our present—of our living origins, our ultimate horizons, our deeper selves.
From Jesus to Constantine: A History of Early Christianity [TTC Video]
28 October 2016, 23:35
Course No 6577 | AVI, AVC, 320x240 | AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 2.23GB
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, with repeated persecutions for an illegal religion forcing them to hide in the catacombs of Rome?
- Did the ancient Jews of Jesus' time always believe in a single, all-powerful God?
- How did breaking away from their Jewish roots make Christians more vulnerable in the Roman world?
- What were the origins of what we now consider the distinctively Christian liturgical practices of baptism and the Eucharist?
But do we know the answers? As this course shows, the answers are, in fact, quite surprising.
See How Today's Christianity Emerged
The traditional form of Christianity we know today includes beliefs, practices, a canon of sacred scripture, and even its own stated history, but it emerged only after many years of transition and conflict—with Judaism and with what can now only be called the "lost Christianities."
That term, of course, is familiar to anyone who has taken Professor Ehrman's earlier course, Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication.
And now Professor Ehrman, whose previous and popular efforts for The Teaching Company also include The Historical Jesus and The New Testament, has created a course that places those forgotten forms of the faith in an even broader context.
From the Religion of Jesus to a Religion about Jesus
These lectures take you back to Christianity's first three centuries to explain its transition from the religion of Jesus to a religion about Jesus.
It introduces you to lost Christianities and their sacred writings. And it shows how many of those writings were originally proscribed or destroyed, only to be rediscovered in modern times.
You also learn how a single group from among many won the struggle for dominance, which allowed it to:
- Establish the beliefs central to the faith
- Rewrite the history of Christianity's internal conflicts
- Produce a canon of sacred texts—the New Testament—that supported its own views.
From 20 Followers … to Two Billion
These lectures offer a fresh and provocative perspective on what are perhaps the most intriguing questions of all:
How could a movement originally made up of perhaps only 20 low-class followers of a Jewish apocalyptic preacher crucified as an enemy of the state grow to include nearly four million adherents in only 300 years?
And how would it eventually become the largest religion in the world, with some two billion adherents?
To answer those questions, Professor Ehrman examines Christianity from several directions:
- The faith's beginnings, starting with the historical Jesus and the other individuals and traditions that formed the foundation of the emerging religion
- Jewish-Christian relations, including the rise of anti-Judaism within the Christian church and the emergence of Christianity as a religion different from and ultimately opposed to the Jewish religion from which it emerged
- The way Paul and other Christians spread the new faith, including the message they proclaimed and their approaches to winning converts
- Hostility to the Christian mission from those who were not persuaded to convert and who considered Christianity to be dangerous or antisocial, leading to the persecutions of the 2nd and 3rd centuries
- Internal struggles within the faith, as Christians with divergent understandings sought to make their beliefs the ones that defined the one "true" faith
- The factors that led to the formation of traditional Christianity we know today, with its canon of New Testament scriptures, set creeds, liturgical practices such as baptism and the Eucharist, and church hierarchy.
Christianity's Evolution from Judaism
In tracing the process by which Christianity evolved from its origins within Judaism to become something dramatically different, Professor Ehrman discusses how most Jews simply weren't willing to accept Jesus as the Messiah.
Professor Ehrman conveys the Jewish perspective on what the Messiah would be like. And you learn how much of it was based on Jesus' own teachings, which the early Christians were attempting to alter in trying to gain Jewish converts.
But he also explains how early Christianity, even though it was increasingly at odds with Judaism, also found a degree of legitimacy under its umbrella.
Professor Ehrman points out that this was a time when ancientness itself was essential for a faith seeking acceptance. So as Christianity separated from Judaism, it sought a means of asserting ancient roots in its own right.
Learn Christianity's Argument for Its Ancient Roots
Christianity argued its ancient roots by retaining the Jewish scriptures and arguing that it was, in fact, the fulfillment of what those scriptures had promised.
Throughout these lectures, Professor Ehrman challenges old misconceptions and offers fresh perspectives on aspects of Christianity and its roots that many of us might have thought we already understood. For example:
- The five common myths about early Christianity, including that it was illegal in the early empire and that Christians were pursued and persecuted: It was not declared illegal until the middle of the 3rd century, and was tolerated in most places, just as other religions were.
- The belief that early Judaism was exclusively monotheistic: Although Judaism was unusual in the Roman world in that Jews insisted on worshipping only one god, you learn that there is good evidence that at different periods in history, Jews—like others in those pagan times—believed in the existence of multiple gods.
- The development of the New Testament canon was as a way to both differentiate Christians from Jews and also create a body of text substantiating their views.
- The roots of baptism and the Eucharist are in Jewish liturgical traditions and rumors about the alleged licentiousness of the baptism ceremony led apologists such as Justin Martyr and Tertullian to write publicly about those heretofore secret practices.
- Wild charges of child sacrifices, cannibalism, and licentiousness were often made against Christians, and the persecutions that did occur.
- Walter Bauer's research revealed that many forms of Christianity deemed heretical were, in fact, the earliest forms that could found in most places.
- The movement by church scholars of the early 16th century to once again create from surviving Greek texts a New Testament in the original Greek, and how forgery often reared its head.
These lectures are an engaging experience that will increase your understanding of Christianity today. They offer you a scholar's perspective on the origins of what Professor Ehrman describes as the most important institution in Western civilization.
The History of Christian Theology [TTC Video]
28 October 2016, 23:01
Course No 6450 | AVI, XviD, 640x480 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 6.82GB
Today, his story is known the world over. And yet, more than two millennia later, great thinkers and everyday people still struggle to answer a single question: Who is Jesus?
- Was he a wise sage who culled powerful teachings from centuries of Jewish tradition to create a new world vision of peace and love?
- Or was he indeed God himself, the embodiment of divinity on earth, sent to bring salvation and redemption from sin?
- Did his promise of salvation apply to all humankind or was it limited to only a few followers? And how could one participate in that promise?
Since the earliest days of the faith, questions like these have been at the heart of Christianity. Over the centuries, they have led to fierce debate and produced deep divisions among the faithful. These questions have driven profound acts of faith and worship and incited war and persecution. They have contributed to the building of nations and the shaping of lives and have deeply influenced some of the greatest thinkers of Western philosophy. To ponder questions like these is to understand the very shape of the Western world and to comprehend the remarkable power Christian faith has in the life of believers.
Now, in The History of Christian Theology, you have an opportunity to explore these profound questions and the many responses believers, scholars, and theologians have developed over more than 2,000 years. Through this 36-lecture course, award-winning Professor Phillip Cary of Eastern University reveals the enduring power of the Christian tradition—as both an intellectual discipline and a spiritual path.
Through this course, you will gain thought-provoking insights into a set of teachings that changed the world and discover how, by learning about the diverse beliefs and practices within the wider Christian community, you can enrich your own experience of this great faith.
More Than 2,000 Years of Christian Thought
You trace this epic story as it unfolds through the various teachings and divisions in the Christian faith. The History of Christian Theology begins at the very dawn of Christianity, as you examine some of the earliest examples of scripture recorded by the first communities of the faithful. You see how, over the centuries, these teachings developed into the orthodox teachings of the mainstream church as well as the divergent doctrines taught by splinter groups branded as "heretics."
You explore the causes and outcomes of the split between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church during the Middle Ages and examine the explosion of the many Protestant groups that resulted from the Reformation in the 16th century.
Finally, the course takes you into the modern era, with a survey of the evolution of Christian thought in today's society—the ongoing story of how faith persists in an increasingly secularized world.
In each lecture, Professor Cary illuminates the conceptual structure of Christian theology as it is shaped by particular thinkers and movements and as it is connected to spiritual practices such as prayer, worship, the use of sacraments, and the contemplation of religious icons.
Through his lucid and engaging explanations, Professor Cary provides intriguing analyses of these ideas in their unique historical, social, and biographical contexts to help you understand the power of each tradition within its particular time and place. The result is a sweeping yet in-depth survey that probes some of the most common questions about Christian faith as it has developed over the centuries.
Answers to Your Questions about Christianity
What makes Catholics think differently from Protestants? How do different Christian denominations view the role of free will in salvation? Why did the Eastern Orthodox Church split off from the West? Are the divisions within Christian faith and worship inevitable or can they be mended in the future?
In designing this course, veteran Teaching Company Professor Phillip Cary has sought to address these and other questions about Christian faith in its various forms—questions he received from customers of his previous Teaching Company courses on religion.
To answer these questions, Professor Cary weaves together intriguing insights from a wide range of intellectual disciplines, including religion, history, and philosophy. Through this course, you gain these benefits:
- An understanding of the meaning of faith for today's Christians. The best way to understand one's own faith is to understand the faith of others. In this course, you explore how the differences among today's Christians first arose and why these differences mattered so much to previous generations of believers that they have left their mark on Christian life to this day.
- A fascinating overview of the history of the Christian church. From the Nicene Council to the Reformation to Vatican II, this course highlights the major events of church history and provides a valuable and enlightening complement to other courses on Western history.
- An appreciation of the philosophical depth of Christian thought. Professor Cary examines the intellectual rigor that underlies Christian theology and explores the sometimes fruitful, sometimes contentious relationship between religion and philosophy. Through this course, you gain a deeper grasp of the role of Christian theology within the larger intellectual history of the West.
"Outward Words Shape Our Inner Hearts"
As Professor Cary explains, the concepts of Christian theology are more than just words on a page or abstract tenets. They are "outward words that shape our inner hearts."
As you take this journey through the development of Christian thought, you meet the many faithful who have committed themselves to the teachings of Jesus and encounter the diverse ways faith shaped their lives. You see how
- Christian faith determines not only what we believe, but also what we fear. As Professor Cary explains, our faith shapes our psyches. Catholics worry about whether their "good works" are good enough; Calvinists anxiously seek proof that their faith is real; Lutherans fear they may have already lost salvation. You see how the theologies of these different traditions shape the different kinds of anxiety that Christians experience and how these beliefs are manifested in spiritual practice.
- Christian faith is a life-or-death issue. For true believers, faith is not just a matter of outward observance or intellectual conviction. With the meaning of their existence at stake, Christian believers will suffer persecution and even death before they will deny their faith. From the martyrs of the early church to the Anabaptists of the Reformation, you witness how Christians throughout history have faced torment, suffered execution, and fled their homelands to preserve their faith.
- Christian faith is a voice that speaks within. In Christianity, faith is a deeply personal experience. It has been a powerful voice of inner experience, from visionary encounters with Jesus by the 16th-century Spanish mystic Theresa of Avila to the practice of listening to the inner voice of the Holy Spirit that is widespread among contemporary American evangelicals.
Christianity in the Modern World—and Beyond
As you come to understand the complex path of Christian belief throughout the centuries, you contemplate crucial questions about today's Christian church: What will happen to Christianity in the future? Can faith survive in an increasingly secular world? How does theology remain connected to traditions of religious practice?
Professor Cary provides unique insights into the current condition of modern Christian practice—informed by its complex intellectual and social history—and offers a tantalizing glimpse into the future of the faith in which Christians of all denominations grow spiritually by understanding their differences as well as what they have in common.
Join Professor Cary for an enriching and thought-provoking journey into the fascinating and inspiring world of Christian thought. Whether you're interested in a deeper understanding of your own faith or you're curious about the role of Christianity in the larger social and intellectual history of the Western world, The History of Christian Theology will enrich and transform your understanding of this powerful spiritual tradition.
The History of Christianity in the Reformation Era [TTC Video]
28 October 2016, 20:07
Course No 690 | AVI, XviD, 640x432 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.35GB
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 efforts to educate, to catechize, to indoctrinate, that began in a widespread way during the 16th century."
Understanding the Martyrs
But despite these ties, it still takes a major effort of historical imagination to enter the minds of those who were willing to suffer martyrdom or martyr others for what we would regard as minor doctrinal differences.
This course is designed to take you inside the minds of those who supported the Reformation and those who resisted it. It treats the three broad religious traditions that endured or arose during these years:
- Roman Catholicism, both as it existed on the cusp of the Reformation and as it changed to meet the Protestant challenge.
- Protestantism, meaning the forms approved by political authorities, such as Lutheranism, Calvinism, and Anglicanism.
- "Radical" Protestantism, meaning the forms often at odds with political authorities, such as Anabaptism.
The goal is to understand historically the theological and devotional aspects of each of these three broad traditions on its own terms and to grasp the overall ramifications of religious conflict for the subsequent course of modern Western history.
The Reformation era produced many influential figures, including:
- Erasmus (c. 1466-1536): The leading Christian humanist of the early 16th century, whose "philosophy of Christ" sought the gradual moral improvement of Christendom.
- Martin Luther (1483-1546): An obscure monk and professor in 1517, but by the spring of 1521 he had defied both the pope and Holy Roman Emperor on behalf of his understanding of Christian faith and life. The reaction of the Church drove him to more and more radical positions.
- Charles V (1500-1558): Holy Roman Emperor from 1519 until 1556, and staunch defender of Catholicism and opponent of Protestantism. In 1521, he issued the Edict of Worms condemning Luther.
- Huldrych Zwingli (1484-1531): The reformer whose influence was responsible for the abolition of Catholicism and the adoption of Protestantism in the Swiss city of Zurich. His sharp disagreement with Luther over the nature of the Lord's Supper found dramatic expression in the Marburg Colloquy of 1529, preventing a political alliance between Zwinglian and Lutheran cities and setting the Lutheran and Reformed Protestant traditions on divergent paths.
- Thomas Müntzer (c. 1490-1525): An apocalyptic reformer who preached violent revolution during the Peasants' War of 1525. Originally sympathetic to Luther, Müntzer progressively moved away from and ridiculed him as a panderer to princes. In 1525, he led several thousand underarmed peasants into battle at Frankenhausen, where they were slaughtered. Shortly thereafter, Müntzer was captured and executed.
- Henry VIII (1491-1547): The English king at whose behest the country severed its longstanding institutional links to the Roman Catholic Church and created a separate national church under royal control.
- Ignatius Loyola (1491?-1556): The founder of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), the most important Catholic religious order of the Reformation era.
- Jan van Leiden (1509-1536): The self-proclaimed prophet-king and ruler of the Anabaptist Kingdom of Münster in 1534-1535. Under van Leiden, the "New Jerusalem" practiced communal ownership of goods and polygamy. A siege finally broke the regime in 1535, and Jan was executed.
- John Calvin (1509-1564): The leading reformer and theologian in the second generation of the Protestant Reformation. Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion is the single most important Protestant theological work of the Reformation era. Calvinism became the most dynamic, influential form of Protestantism in Europe in the second half of the 16th century.
- John Knox (c. 1514-1572): An impassioned, uncompromising Calvinist reformer who played a leading role in the Scottish Reformation.
- Menno Simons (c. 1496-1561): The most influential Dutch Anabaptist leader in the wake of the ill-fated Anabaptist Kingdom of Münster.
- Henry IV (de Navarre) (1553-1610): The French king whose conversion from Calvinism to Catholicism in 1593 helped bring an end to the French Wars of Religion with the Edict of Nantes in 1598.
Questions to Ponder
Throughout, Professor Gregory raises questions that any student of the period must ponder. Here are a few:
- Was the late medieval Church vigorous or, as Martin Luther and others came to insist, horribly corrupt?
- How did Renaissance humanism shape such towering figures of the age as Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, and Ignatius Loyola?
- What factors caused Protestantism to take hold in some places but not in others?
- How did the Reformation produce not only Protestantism but also modern Catholicism?
- How do the events of the Reformation reveal the shifting balance between religious and secular authorities?
- Does it make sense to speak of a single Reformation, or were there several?
- Did the Reformation(s) succeed or fail?
A Rewarding Scholar and Teacher
Professor Gregory received his Ph.D. from Princeton University. He is currently the Dorothy G. Griffin Associate Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Notre Dame. He has also taught at Stanford University, where, in 1998, he received the prestigious Walter J. Gores Award, Stanford's highest teaching honor. At Stanford he also received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2000.
His award-winning book, Salvation at Stake: Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe (Harvard University Press, 1999), reflects many of the themes introduced in this course. In a review, The Times Literary Supplement (U.K.) wrote: "Salvation at Stake is a book which nobody working in the field of Reformation and early modern history can afford to pass over. And it is not just required reading; it is rewarding, too."
Thoughts on the Reformation
"This is an extraordinarily important period for understanding the modern world and its characteristic assumptions," says Professor Gregory. "Part of my goal is to show the ways in which this distant world has impinged on our own.
"The lectures will consider the three broad traditions of the Reformation—Catholicism, Protestantism, and 'radical' Protestantism. Until recent decades, the dominant way of approaching this period was through confessional or Church history, which in America and much of Europe tended to be written from a Protestant standpoint.
"In this course, by contrast, I will examine all three of these traditions equally and evenhandedly under the inclusive rubric of 'early modern Christianity.'
"The approach in this course, then, will be deliberately cross-confessional and comparative, attempting to understand the men and women in these traditions on their own terms, and in relationship and conflict with each other. This will enable us to grasp the significance of early modern Christianity as a whole in ways that I do not think are possible if we focus primarily one tradition, or if we favor one of the three traditions over the other two.
"The long-term payoff will be a better understanding of the relationship between the world of early modern Europe and our world, to which it gave rise."
When the News Went Live: Dallas 1963 [EPUB]
28 October 2016, 07:43
2013 | EPUB | 4.72MB
The minutes, hours, and days after President John F. Kennedy was shot on November 22, 1963, provided no ready answers about what was going on, what would happen next, or what any of it meant. For millions of Americans transfixed by the incomparable breaking news, television—for the first time—emerged as a way to keep informed. But the journalists who brought the story to the television airwaves could only rely on their skill, their experience, and their stamina to make sense of what was, at the time, the biggest story of their lives.
President Kennedy’s assassination was the first time such big breaking news was covered spontaneously—this book tells the stories of four men who were at the epicenter of it all. Bob Huffaker, Bill Mercer, George Phenix, and Wes Wise were among those responsible for covering the assassination and its aftermath for Dallas’s KRLD. These reporters fed news and footage to Walter Cronkite and all of the other CBS affiliates around the country.
From the presidential motorcade to Parkland Hospital, from Lee Harvey Oswald’s shooting to the trial and lonesome death of Jack Ruby, these men were there, on the inside. The view they were afforded of these events was unparalleled; the tales they have to tell, one-of-a-kind. This 50th anniversary edition includes new photos, insights, and reflections on the state of news (and faux news) today from the four men who were active participants in television news' pivotal moment.
1666: Plague, War and Hellfire [EPUB]
28 October 2016, 07:25
2016 | EPUB | 0.9MB
1666 was a watershed year for England. The outbreak of the Great Plague, the eruption of the second Dutch War and the Great Fire of London all struck the country in rapid succession and with devastating repercussions.
Shedding light on these dramatic events, historian Rebecca Rideal reveals an unprecedented period of terror and triumph. Based on original archival research and drawing on little-known sources, 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire takes readers on a thrilling journey through a crucial turning point in English history, as seen through the eyes of an extraordinary cast of historical characters.
While the central events of this significant year were ones of devastation and defeat, 1666 also offers a glimpse of the incredible scientific and artistic progress being made at that time, from Isaac Newton's discovery of gravity to Robert Hooke's microscopic wonders. It was in this year that John Milton completed Paradise Lost, Frances Stewart posed for the now-iconic image of Britannia, and a young architect named Christopher Wren proposed a plan for a new London - a stone phoenix to rise from the charred ashes of the old city.
With flair and style, 1666 shows a city and a country on the cusp of modernity, and a series of events that forever altered the course of history.
Blitzed: Drugs in Nazi Germany [AZW3]
28 October 2016, 07:23
2016 | AZW3 | 0.5MB
The sensational German bestseller on the overwhelming role of drug-taking in the Third Reich, from Hitler to housewives.
The Nazis presented themselves as warriors against moral degeneracy. Yet, as Norman Ohler's gripping bestseller reveals, the entire Third Reich was permeated with drugs: cocaine, heroin, morphine and, most of all, methamphetamines, or crystal meth, used by everyone from factory workers to housewives, and crucial to troops' resilience - even partly explaining German victory in 1940.
The promiscuous use of drugs at the very highest levels also impaired and confused decision-making, with Hitler and his entourage taking refuge in potentially lethal cocktails of stimulants administered by the physician Dr Morell as the war turned against Germany. While drugs cannot on their own explain the events of the Second World War or its outcome, Ohler shows, they change our understanding of it. Blitzed forms a crucial missing piece of the story.
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People by Bede [EPUB]
28 October 2016, 02:10
1999 | EPUB | 2.35MB
Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum
Starting with the invasion of Julius Caesar in the fifth century, Bede recorded the history of the English up to his own day in 731 A.D. A scholarly monk working in the north-east of England, Bede wrote the five books of his history in Latin.
The Ecclesiastical History is his most famous work, and this edition provides the authoritative Colgrave translation, as well as a new translation of the Greater Chronicle, never before published in English. His Letter to Egbert gives his final reflections on the English Church just before his death. This is the only edition to include all three texts, and they are illuminated further by a detailed introduction and explanatory notes.
The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow [EPUB]
28 October 2016, 02:04
2011 | EPUB | 1.7MB
In a Disney-dominated future, a transhuman teenager engages in high velocity adventures until he meets the “meat girl” of his dreams and is forced to choose between immortality and sex in one of Cory Doctorow's most daring novellas. Also included in this collection is “Creativity vs. Copyright,” a transcript of Doctorow’s historic address to the 2010 World Science Fiction Convention, dramatically presenting his controversial case for open-source models not only in information but art as well, and “Outspoken Interview,” in which Doctorow reveals the surprising inspirations for his writing.
The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales [EPUB]
28 October 2016, 02:01
2016 | EPUB | 5.35MB
An all-new anthology of cross-genre fairy tale retellings, featuring an all-star lineup of award-winning and critically acclaimed writers.
Once upon a time. It’s how so many of our most beloved stories start.
Fairy tales have dominated our cultural imagination for centuries. From the Brothers Grimm to the Countess d’Aulnoy, from Charles Perrault to Hans Christian Anderson, storytellers have crafted all sorts of tales that have always found a place in our hearts.
Now a new generation of storytellers have taken up the mantle that the masters created and shaped their stories into something startling and electrifying.
Packed with award-winning authors, this anthology explores an array of fairy tales in startling and innovative ways, in genres and settings both traditional and unusual, including science fiction, western, and post-apocalyptic as well as traditional fantasy and contemporary horror.
From the woods to the stars, The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales takes readers on a journey at once unexpected and familiar, as a diverse group of writers explore some of our most beloved tales in new ways across genres and styles.
Contains stories by: Charlie Jane Anders, Aliette de Bodard, Amal El-mohtar, Jeffrey Ford, Max Gladstone, Theodora Goss, Daryl Gregory, Kat Howard, Stephen Graham Jones, Margo Lanagan, Marjorie Liu, Seanan McGuire, Garth Nix, Naomi Novik, Sofia Samatar, Karin Tidbeck, Catherynne M. Valente, and Genevieve Valentine.
The Untruth of Reality: The Unacknowledged Realism of Modern Philosophy [EPUB]
28 October 2016, 01:58
2016 | EPUB | 1.41MB
Some scholars claim that we live in a time of many ‘new realisms’, that with Kant, any contact to the outside world was lost. In this book, Jure Simoniti sets out to retrace another tendency in Western philosophy, arguing that the possibility of realism has always been there. Paradoxically, it is precisely Kant’s practical subject, who, at the moment of becoming aware of the moral law within him, fixes his gaze upon the starry heavens and from the point of view of this immensity of “worlds upon worlds” appears to himself not as a monster of anthropomorphism, but as an “animal creature.”
Simoniti argues that the epistemological self-inauguration of the subject goes hand in hand with its anthropological dethronement, and the god-like centrality of the ego is constantly outbalanced with its creatural marginality, becoming a vanishing point at the edge of a foreign universe. It seems that the subject only assumes the role of ratio essendi for the whole of reality, the role of the ‘I’, the spirit, the worker, the Übermensch, or even the ‘shepherd of being’, in order to behold his empirical existence in the mirror of a non-anthropomorphic, pre-human world. However, with these precarious equilibria, the conditions of possibility of realism have become more complex and intricate.
The book pursues the furtive paths on which every realism-inhibiting operation of totalization of the object field performs behind its back an operation of the release of a reality, which is not presupposed by the self-consciousness and is not constituted linguistically.
This book will be of interest to graduate students and scholars in the fields of German idealism, continental philosophy, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science.
Secret Society Mastermind (Weeks 1-12) [Video]
28 October 2016, 01:49
MP4, AVC, 640x360 | AAC, 112 kbps, 2 Ch | + PDF | 5.88GB
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