You updated your password.

Reset Password

Enter the email address you used to create your account. We will email you instructions on how to reset your password.

Forgot Your Email Address? Contact Us

Reset Your Password

SHOW
SHOW

God and Mankind: Comparative Religions

Discover how religious beliefs and rituals serve as possible answers to difficult and enduring issues that have occupied humanity for thousands of years.
God and Mankind: Comparative Religions is rated 3.7 out of 5 by 70.
  • y_2024, m_7, d_23, h_8
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.42
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_4, tr_66
  • loc_en_CA, sid_616, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.1
  • CLOUD, getAggregateRating, 57.52ms
  • REVIEWS, PRODUCT
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Too Christian in its emphasis. Although there is a little to learn from the presentations, they are heavily dominated by their emphasis on the Christian viewpoint, which greatly detracts from their instructional value.
Date published: 2022-09-14
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don't bother. Hard to follow. Talks like a machine gun. I understood perhaps 20% of what he said.
Date published: 2022-06-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Overall a mediocre course I have listened to better ones on the subject of religion and comparative religion. Might want to look elsewhere for better ones.
Date published: 2020-12-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Lots of knowledge, no heart. I could barely make it through the first course. The instructor goes on and on about what he thinks etc etc, but fails to get into the actual stories and share them from a place of reverence and authenticity.
Date published: 2019-02-13
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not terribly informative I bought this course thinking that I would be listening to an introduction to comparative religion. As several other reviewers have noted, this is not a comparative religion course in any way. (So I'm not sure why it's the course's subtitle.) There's also very little in the way of G-d and mankind. The lectures on theodicy are the only ones that focus on the relationship between G-d and humanity, but I've heard a number of lectures on the topic in other TC courses that I thought did a better job of covering the topic. (In particular, he tells us in the first of two lectures on the topic that there are five major approaches to the problem. Then, in the next lecture, when he talks about the Book of Job, he argues a sixth. I didn't think the five he covered in the first lecture were particularly compelling, and he doesn't go into great length to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each. But they are presented as the five principal responses to the problem. So to hear about a sixth only one lecture later was confusing and undermined my faith in his discussion. And that, ultimately, is my greatest criticism: That the arguments he makes are neither compelling nor interesting. We get two lectures on origin myths. He argues that religious origin stories have deeper effects on the growth and later (?) theology but I was not persuaded that there was anything meaningful there. Then we get two lectures on religious heroes. (The Gilgamesh lecture serves both as an origin and a hero story, serving double duty.) He argues in these lectures that religious heroes should be seen as epitomizing a rite of passage, and that therefore religion in general serve as rites of passage mechanisms. I was not convinced of either point: that the stories should be seen as rites of passage or that, even if they are, that this defines the purpose of religion in general. I've heard far better discussions of the Gilgamesh epic (it's discussed in a number of TC courses) and far better analyses of the broad outline of the Jesus and Moses stories. The theodicy lectures I mentioned above. Although they are decent, I don't think they do a good job of discussing either the problem or religious answers to the problem. Lecture 7 is meant to be a discussion of religious ritual but Professor Oden spends most of his time discussing "church" and "sect", by which he broadly means hierarchical institutions ("church", which he argues arise inevitably as religions mature) and individual based religious practice ("sect" which he argues can only survive a generation or two). He argues that each give rise to the other: sects give rise to churches as they mature and churches give rise to sects as they splinter. It's an interesting argument, but again, I'm unconvinced. Lecture 8 is the best of the bunch. He talks about American religious experience and how and why the American character is informed by its religious history. This was really a good lecture, and has inspired me to buy (and hopefully listen to) Professor Allitt's American Religious History course. Overall, lecture 8 served only to highlight how disappointing the rest of the course was. An 8 lecture (45 mins each) course is really meant to serve as an introduction to deeper study. Only lecture 8 can really be seen as an inspiration that way. I think there are definitely better places to spend our time.
Date published: 2018-03-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Moderate features and presentation. I bought this a month ago in audio form and I am glad enough I did. It gives me more understanding about the past of God and mankind relationship.
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Intriguing introduction to the subject, not a form As a lifelong learner and thinker, I was interested in this course as my first foray into comparative religions. Professor Oden is delightful to listen to (to me), but does have a tendency to go off on tangents, and his talks are more akin to rambling discussions. I found them very interesting discussions, raising lots of philosophical and spiritual questions and exploring how these were embodied over the course of history. I think it is a fabulous intro for someone completely outside the field, to dabble their toes in the material; the rambling style feels like an informal armchair talk.
Date published: 2017-07-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from First study of believe systems from the outside looking in, the educational system is not my favorite way to experience life, but you all are good conveyors of information !
Date published: 2017-03-12
  • y_2024, m_7, d_23, h_8
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.42
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_4, tr_66
  • loc_en_CA, sid_616, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.1
  • CLOUD, getReviews, 12.96ms
  • REVIEWS, PRODUCT

Overview

Why are we here? What is our purpose in life? What happens after death? How do the major world religions answer these seemingly unanswerable questions? Join Professor Robert Oden on this ideal starting point for considering how religions such as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism address these and other questions. These lectures approach religious belief and ritual as possible answers to difficult and enduring issues that have occupied humanity for thousands of years.

About

Robert Oden

For religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism that see the world as old, salvation comes by escaping from the endless cycle of birth and rebirth. But Judaism and Christianity, see the world as relatively new.

INSTITUTION

Carleton College

Dr. Robert Oden is the former president of Carleton College and Kenyon College. He earned his bachelor's degree in history and literature magna cum laude from Harvard University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Oden earned a Th.M. and Ph.D. with highest distinctions from Harvard Divinity School, as well as earning the Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities. He also earned an honorary master's degree from Dartmouth College. Dr. Oden is the recipient of the Dartmouth College Distinguished Teaching Award, a National Endowment for the Humanities grant, the Detur Prize, the Harvard Honorary Scholarship, and the John Harvard Honorary Scholarship. He was named Outstanding Senior Scholar, Dudley House, and was the Marshall Scholar to Cambridge University. At Cambridge, he earned an additional bachelor's and master's degree in religious studies/theology as well as the Cambridge University Hebrew Prize and Bethune Baker Prize. He was also Elected Scholar of Pembroke College. Dr. Oden is the author of many articles and several books, including Studies in Lucian's De Syria.

Why Nothing Is as Intriguing as the Study of Religion

01: Why Nothing Is as Intriguing as the Study of Religion

The series is introduced with a definition of the word religion. Why should we study it? Dr. Oden establishes how we should best study and compare religions.

48 min
Orienting Humanity—Religions as Spiritual Compasses

02: Orienting Humanity—Religions as Spiritual Compasses

The many ways religions explain the origin of the universe are compared. The effects of different theories of origin on other aspects of religious belief and even religious architecture are also analyzed.

47 min
Religious Heroes 1—Gilgamesh and the Dawn of History

03: Religious Heroes 1—Gilgamesh and the Dawn of History

With a brief review of the elements of religious myth, Dr. Oden discusses elements of the Mesopotamian myth "The Epic of Gilgamesh." Gilgamesh's encounter with his equal Enkidu, the spiritual crisis brought on by Enkidu's death, and its resolution.

40 min
Religious Heroes 2—Moses and Jesus

04: Religious Heroes 2—Moses and Jesus

Dr. Oden proposes that we should understand the lives of religious heroes in the framework of a rite of passage—the movement from ignorance to crisis to post-threshold awareness. Gilgamesh, Moses, and Jesus all fit this scheme. Jesus' argument is that life itself is a crisis presaging the threshold. Hindu and Buddhist belief are included in this analysis.

43 min
Pondering Divine Justice—Do We Suffer for Naught?

05: Pondering Divine Justice—Do We Suffer for Naught?

How can a benevolent God permit needless human suffering? The five answers of religion to this question are discussed, as is the Book of Job.

43 min
Defending Divine Justice—Religious Accounts of Suffering

06: Defending Divine Justice—Religious Accounts of Suffering

Continuing the discussion begun in Lecture 5, Dr. Oden explains and examines the responses of St. Paul, Calvin, and Hindu and Buddhist theologians to the problem of human suffering in a world with God.

46 min
Religious Rituals and Communities

07: Religious Rituals and Communities

Dr. Oden first reviews the importance of ritual in defining a religious community. He examines the historical development of religious practices and how they are organized into distinct churches; the inevitability of sects which split off from the church and how these sects become churches; and the intriguing ways Buddhist and Hindu religious practices address the tensions that give rise to sects.

39 min
Bringing It All Back Home

08: Bringing It All Back Home

This lecture explores the extraordinary impact of religious belief and thought on the American character. Dr. Oden makes clear the central importance of Luther, Calvin, and Puritanism on American political behavior, religious fundamentalism, and even career choice anxiety.

43 min