The History of Christian Theology : The Great Courses: Christianity

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Phillip Cary
  • Series: The Great Courses: Christianity
  • 18 hrs and 56 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

In this 36-lecture course, you'll find an engaging way to explore profound religious questions and the many responses believers, scholars, and theologians have developed over more than 2,000 years. Through this series, Professor Cary reveals the enduring power of the Christian tradition - as both an intellectual discipline and a spiritual path.
These lectures begin 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'll 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'll 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. And finally, you'll come to 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.
Each lecture illuminates the conceptual structure of Christian theology as it connects to spiritual practices such as prayer, worship, the use of sacraments, and the contemplation of religious icons. Through lucid and engaging explanations, they provide intriguing analyses of theological 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 survey that probes some of the most common questions about Christian faith over the centuries.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Been Waiting for This

This is a great course with a great professor. He covered a wide range of deep topics in an easy to understand way. I would definitely look for other courses by him. I also thought that he offered a number of fascinating insights about why these theological issues matter. My only criticism is that the course would be better titled History of Protestant Theology orbsomething- it does not cover Eastern Orthodox or Catholic theology past the point where Protestant history splits off, which was a little disappointing. Overall a GREAT course.
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- Slinksterchic

Didn't meet expectations, probably my fault

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would only if the friend was more interested in abstract philosophy than in the lived experience of Christianity over time. This is my overall problem with the lecture series. It's probably unrealistic to expect from a philosophy/theology professor, but I missed the social context. It's often the WHY, not the WHAT, that makes religious development so interesting. E.g., what were the influences on Augustine that sparked him to fashion a theology that was relatively more "rational" than Dionysus's heavily mystical version in the east? How did ordinary Christians assume these theological changes into their worship and everyday experiences? In other words, how did theological developments come about and what differences did they make?

What was one of the most memorable moments of The History of Christian Theology?

Honestly, I was too disappointed overall to be struck by any individual moments.

What aspect of Professor Phillip Cary’s performance would you have changed?

I wish his lectures had been less extemporaneous and more structured. He was often repetitious in ways that didn't aid understanding. Also I sometimes found his informality about the subject matter a bit jarring.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No, just didn't care for it.

Any additional comments?

None of my comments are meant to detract from Professor Cary's knowledge and his obvious love of his subject. He is erudite and enthusiastic; just not my cup of tea.

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- Dulce "Avid reader until vision impairment set in. Now an avid listener!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses