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12 lectures on Eastern beliefs, 12 lectures on Western beliefs, and not a moment of them wasted. In addition to the Big 5 (Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), we also get the essentials on Chinese folk religions, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, Mormonism, Jainism, Sikhism, and the Baha'i tradition. From there, religion and law in America and modern religious trends are discussed as the grand finale.
The information is given in a straightforward manner such that the entire presentation comes across as non-judgmental. The listener is invited by Prof. Berkson to take the basics presented here and build upon that foundation in the quest for knowledge and tolerance. All in all, a remarkable overview course for anyone wanting to look past media, pop culture, and political portrayals.
32 of 33 people found this review helpful
Overall, for the scope this lecture series is trying to accomplish, it's very good for something so broad. Well reasoned, well sequenced, well paced, and well spoken. I understand the intention was to cover the 'major' religious traditions, however I do feel it lacked just a few chapters or sections. I would have liked a section to cover Caribbean religious traditions, which could have been a good way to touch upon some of the lost African traditions that influenced them the same way he discusses chinese folk traditions to give context. And I was VERY let down that Native American religious traditions are completely overlooked. There was a lost opportunity to integrate many of the worlds indigenous beliefs into a lecture series such as this.
29 of 31 people found this review helpful
This is a great course but too short. I understand it's an intro level but compared to many of the great courses I felt like it was brutally breif.
What did you like most about Cultural Literacy for Religion: Everything the Well-Educated Person Should Know?
A good introduction to all the major faith traditions. Reasonable depth without getting too bogged down in detail.
What other book might you compare Cultural Literacy for Religion: Everything the Well-Educated Person Should Know to, and why?
Similar to the Introduction to Buddhism from Great Courses, except it covers a number of faith traditions.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
The introduction to Hinduism was especially interesting.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
This is more of an educational lecture series.
Any additional comments?
Well worth the listen.