Philosophy and Religion in the West
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Acclaimed humanities teacher Phillip Cary explores thousands of years of deep reflection and brilliant debate over the nature of God, the human self, and the world. It's a debate that serves as a vivid introduction to the rich and complex history shared by the West's central religious and philosophical traditions.

Different Systems of Thought Joined in a Search for Answers
Philosophy and religion ask many of the same questions:

What is the ultimate reality?
What can we know about it-or what should we believe about it?
How do our questions and thoughts, our hopes and fears, relate us to it?
Is this ultimate reality a person whom we meet, or an object that we contemplate?

These are questions no thoughtful person can evade.

They are enduring and perennial. And they are possessed of a history whose twists and turns have left their mark on almost every person on Earth.

To learn how these crucial issues have been discussed over the past three millennia is to enter the core of our intellectual heritage-to find the origin of some of our deepest perplexities and most cherished aspirations.

3,000 Years of Faith and Reason
A theologian who earned his doctorate in philosophy and religious studies at Yale, Professor Cary is now head of the philosophy program at Eastern University in St. David's, Pennsylvania.

He is the author of Augustine's Invention of the Inner Self, published by Oxford University Press, and the teacher of The Teaching Company's course Augustine: Philosopher and Saint.

Originally trained in both philosophy and English literature, he is the ideal companion on this journey to the heart of the spiritual adventure of the West.

It is a comprehensive journey-intellectually, philosophically, and spiritually-but one which requires no special background.

All you need to bring is your own curiosity as Professor Cary weaves any background concepts you need into the fabric of his 32 lectures.

By the end of this course, those insights will belong to you-and you gain a new or sharpened fluency in issues that include:

The historical interaction between philosophical traditions (such as Platonism) and religious traditions (such as Judaism and Christianity)
The philosophical origin of certain key religious concepts, such as the immortality of the soul, the Fall, and "going to heaven"
The attractiveness of ancient philosophy for Judaism and Christianity
The synthesis of philosophy and religion that characterized the "classical theism" of the medieval period
The significance of modernity for the history of Western religion
The most prominent philosophical criticisms of religion
The classic proofs that have been attempted of the existence of God
The reasons why many religious thinkers of the 20th century are suspicious of the alliances between philosophy and religion
The relationship of critical rationality and religious belief.


1 Introduction-Philosophy and Religion as Traditions
2 Plato's Inquiries-The Gods and the Good
3 Plato's Spirituality-The Immortal Soul and the Other World
4 Aristotle and Plato-Cosmos, Contemplation, and Happiness
5 Plotinus-Neoplatonism and the Ultimate Unity of All
6 The Jewish Scriptures-Life With the God of Israel
7 Platonist Philosophy and Scriptural Religion
8 The New Testament-Life in Christ
9 Rabbinic Judaism-Israel and the Torah
10 Church Fathers-The Logos Made Flesh
11 The Development of Christian Platonism
12 Jewish Rationalism and Mysticism-Maimonides and Kabbalah
13 Classical Theism-Proofs and Attributes of God
14 Medieval Christian Theology-Nature and Grace
15 Late-Medieval Nominalism and Christian Mysticism
16 Protestantism-Problems of Grace
17 Descartes, Locke, and the Crisis of Modernity
18 Leibniz and Theodicy
19 Hume's Critique of Religion
20 Kant-Reason Limited to Experience
21 Kant-Morality as the Basis of Religion
22 Schleiermacher-Feeling as the Basis of Religion
23 Hegel-A Philosophical History of Religion
24 Marx and the Hermeneutics of Suspicion
25 Kierkegaard-Existentialism and the Leap of Faith
26 Nietzsche-Critic of Christian Morality
27 Neo-orthodoxy-The Subject and Object of Faith
28 Encountering the Biblical Other-Buber and Levinas
29 Process Philosophy-God in Time
30 Logical Empiricism and the Meaning of Religion
31 Reformed Epistemology and the Rationality of Belief
32 Conclusion-Philosophy and Religion Today


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