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Publisher's Summary

After 2,000 years, Christianity is the world's largest religion and continues to prosper and grow. What accounts for its continued popularity?
In these twenty-four lectures, Professor Johnson maintains that the most familiar aspects of Christianity-its myths, institutions, ideas and morality-are only its outer "husk." He takes you on a journey to find the "kernel" of Christianity's appeal: religious experience. You'll travel back to Christianity's origins during its first 300 years to identify the elements that first made it appealing and which still hold the secret to its ability to attract new followers.
Professor Johnson employs scholarly techniques that have only recently been applied to religion. In introducing early Christian religious experience, Professor Johnson looks at questions that are new and intellectually exciting in the study of religion. Was Christ the founder of Christianity? Was Christianity's early growth due to his life and works or to his followers' powerful experience of his death and resurrection, their sense of having been transformed by the Holy Spirit?
By combining such disciplines as history, the social sciences, and comparative literary analysis, you'll look at religious experience and behavior from a fresh perspective. You'll consider a variety of theories developed by the philosophers Alfred North Whitehead and Immanuel Kant, Emil Durkheim, the founder of sociology, and Sigmund Freud. And to better understand religious experience in Christianity, you'll also study it in the two religions with which early Christianity co-existed: Greco-Roman paganism and Judaism.
©2002 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2002 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By MRD on 11-04-13

Great professor, history of faith articulated

Where does Early Christianity: The Experience of the Divine rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the top "course" books - tough to compare it with fiction or nonfiction

What was one of the most memorable moments of Early Christianity: The Experience of the Divine?

The last chapters did a wonderful job of bringing the course to a peak experience

Have you listened to any of Professor Luke Timothy Johnson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Best

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Tension Between The Institutional And The Charismatic

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5 of 6 people found this review helpful


By Noah on 05-12-15

fascinating

easy to follow, lecturer is a benedictine so has inside perspective yet purely objective viewpoint. for those interested in sociology of religious experience.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By lynda on 05-20-17

interesting angle

I enjoyed looking at Early Christianity and it's influences from a sociological stand point rather than purely historical.

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