*** Notice: For the protection of property rights, this catalog is available for online browsing only. Please drop us a line if you would like to receive a copiable version of this catalog. Thank You!


Religion and Philosphy

Religion and Philosphy


Major belief systems, their origins, and modern influences are examined. Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Taoism are investigated.

1) Students will be introduced to the origins of religious beliefs in the civilizations of antiquity.
2) Differences between ethnic religions and universalizing religions will be explained.
3) How each of the universalizing religions developed from an ethnic base and expanded past national boundaries will be shown.

Item no.: ZR04240020
Format: DVD
Duration: 33 minutes
Copyright: 2004
Price: USD 60.00

[Go top]

Add to cart


Taught by Malcolm David Eckel

Buddhism challenges some of the most important Western ideas about God, human life, and the self.

In Buddhism there is no single almighty God who created the world. Instead, Buddhism teaches that all of life is "suffering" and there is no permanent self.

And it teaches that in accepting that all life is suffering, bliss can be achieved in this life.

Professor Malcolm David Eckel is winner of Boston University's highest honor, the Metcalf Award for Teaching Excellence. He has spent most of his adult life studying Buddhism in Asia and North America, and shares his insights about this endlessly fascinating faith in this vital series.

"An Excellent Study in the Basics of Buddhism"

Buddhism's core philosophy that nothing is permanent-all is change-has made it an astonishingly lively and adaptable religion. Buddhism has transformed the civilizations of India and much of Asia, and has now become a vital part of Western culture.

According to Professor Eckel, nothing conveys the spirit of Buddhism better than the image of the seated Buddha-stable, focused, and serene in the face of tumultuous change.

In this course you study:

  • the Buddhist idea that there is no single almighty God who created the world, that all of life is "suffering" (while not necessarily being pessimistic), and that there is no permanent self
  • the life story of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama
  • the Buddha's teaching, or Dharma
  • the development of his Samgha, or community of disciples
  • key Buddhist terms such as nirvana, tantra, mandala, bodhisattva, and Zen
  • the lives of well-known Buddhist personalities such as the Dalai Lama
  • Buddhist responses to some of the fundamental problems of human life.

    According to Readers Preference Reviews, "Great World Religions: Buddhism' is an excellent study in the basics of Buddhism. While it can easily take a lifetime to gain a complete understanding of the nuances of Buddhism, Professor Eckel provides a solid foundation."

    Buddhism: A Tiny Community That Now Spans the Globe

    These lectures survey Buddhism from its origin in India in the 6th or 5th centuries B.C.E. to the present day. During its 2,500-year history, Buddhism has grown from a tiny religious community in northern India into a movement that now spans the globe.

    Buddhism has shaped the development of civilization in India and Southeast Asia; significantly influenced the civilizations of China, Tibet, Korea, and Japan; and has become a major part of the multi-religious world in Europe and North America.

    "Although Buddhism plays the role of a 'religion' in many cultures, it challenges some of our most basic assumptions about religion," says Dr. Eckel. "Buddhists do not worship a God who created and sustains the world. They revere the memory of a human being, Siddhartha Gautama, who found a way to be free from suffering and bring the cycle of rebirth to an end. For Buddhists, this release from suffering constitutes the ultimate goal of human life."

    "The Awakened One"

    Born as Siddhartha Gautama in a princely family in northern India about 566 B.C.E., the man who is known as the "Buddha," or the "Awakened One," left his family's palace and took up the life of an Indian ascetic. After years of difficult struggle, he sat down under a tree and "woke up" to the cause of suffering and to its final cessation.

    He then wandered the roads of India, preaching his Dharma, or "teaching"; gathering a group of disciples; and establishing a pattern of discipline that became the foundation of the Buddhist community, or Samgha.

    The Buddha helped his disciples analyze the causes of suffering and chart their own path to nirvana. Finally, after a long teaching career, he died and passed gently from the cycle of death and rebirth, or reincarnation, in which Buddhists believe.

    The community's attention then shifted from the Buddha himself to the teachings and moral principles embodied in his Dharma. Monks gathered to recite his teaching and produced a canon of Buddhist scripture, while disputes in the early community paved the way for the diversity and complexity of later Buddhist schools.

    Theravada, Mahayana, Tantra, and Philosopher Kings

    The Buddhist king Asoka, who reigned from about 268 to 239 B.C.E., sent the first Buddhist missionaries to Sri Lanka. From this missionary effort grew the Theravada Buddhism ("tradition of the elders") that now dominates all the Buddhist countries of Southeast Asia with the exception of Vietnam.

    Asoka also left behind the Buddhist concept of a "righteous king" who gives political expression to Buddhist values. This ideal has been embodied in recent times by King Mongkut in Thailand and Aung San Suu Kyi, who won the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize for her nonviolent resistance to military repression in Burma.

    Two major new movements radically transformed the Indian tradition.

  • The first was known as the Mahayana ("Great Vehicle"). The Mahayana preached the ideal of the bodhisattva who postpones nirvana to help others escape the cycle of rebirth.
  • The second was Tantra or the Vajrayana ("Diamond Vehicle"). Tantra developed a vivid and emotionally powerful method to achieve liberation in this life.

    Buddhism entered Tibet in the 7th century and established itself as a powerful combination of Indian monasticism and Tantric practice. Tibetan Buddhism eventually developed four major schools, including the Geluk School of the Dalai Lama. Today, the 14th Dalai Lama carries Buddhist teaching around the world.

    Buddhism in China, Japan, and throughout the World Today

    You learn how Buddhism entered China in the 2nd century when many Chinese were disillusioned with traditional Confucian values. To bridge the gap between the cultures of India and China, Buddhist translators borrowed Taoist vocabulary to express Buddhist ideas.

    Professor Eckel shows how Buddhism became distinctively Chinese in character: more respectful of duties to the family and the ancestors, more pragmatic and this-worldly, and more consistent with traditional Chinese respect for harmony with nature. During the T'ang Dynasty (618-907), Buddhism was expressed in a series of brilliant Chinese schools, including the Ch'an School of meditation that came to be known in Japan as Zen. From China, Buddhism spread to Korea, Japan, and Vietnam.

    Buddhism entered Japan in the 6th century and was quickly allied with the power of the Japanese state. Buddhist Tantra was given distinctive Japanese expression in the Shingon School, and the Tendai School brought the sophisticated study of Chinese Buddhism to the imperial court.

    During the Kamakura period (1192-1333), Japan suffered wide social and political unrest. Convinced that they were living in a "degenerate age," the brilliant reformers Honen (1133-1212), Shinran (1173-1262), and Nichiren (1222-1282) brought a powerful new vision of Buddhism to the masses. In the Kamakura period a series of charismatic Zen masters gave new life to the ancient tradition of Buddhist meditation.

    Today, Buddhism reaches most of the world, including Europe, Australia, and the Americas. And, with this course, its history, insights, and perhaps its profound peaceful influence may reach you.

    (12 lectures, 30 minutes/lecture)

    Item no.: LK09280164
    Format: 2 DVDs
    Duration: 360 minutes
    Price: USD 200.00

    [Go top]

    Add to cart


    Taught by Luke Timothy Johnson

    As the world's largest religion, with over two billion members, Christianity is "one of religion's great success stories," notes Professor Luke Timothy Johnson, himself a former Benedictine monk.

    But Christianity is more than large and popular-it is extremely complex and often highly contradictory.

    Christianity's Central Creeds: Difficult to Fathom

    Uniquely, Christianity asserts that its central figure, Jesus Christ, was not only a man but also God. The central elements of its creed-that there are three persons in one God, for example-are often difficult to accept or even fathom.

    It emphasizes belief rather than law and ritual practice. And it is highly susceptible to paradox:

  • Bearing a message of peace and unity, it has often been a source of conflict and division.
  • Proclaiming a heavenly kingdom, it has often been deeply involved with human politics.
  • Rejecting worldly wisdom, it has claimed the intellectual allegiance of great minds.

    These apparent contradictions arise from the complex character of Christianity's claims about God, the world, and above all, Jesus of Nazareth, whose death and resurrection form the heart of the good news proclaimed by this religious tradition.

    "The lectures concentrate on the basics," says Professor Johnson. "They seek to provide a clear survey of the most important elements of this religious tradition and a framework for the student's further study."

    In his course, you will consider fundamental issues including:

  • Christianity's birth and expansion across the Mediterranean world
  • the development of its doctrine
  • its transformation after Christianity became the imperial religion of Rome
  • its many and deep connections to Western culture
  • the tensions within Christianity today.

    Discover a Great World Religion

    This course introduces Christianity as a world religion. The obvious first questions to ask are: "What is a religion?" and "What is a world religion?"

    Religion can be defined as "a way of life organized around experiences and convictions concerning ultimate power."

    A world religion is one whose experience and convictions succeed in organizing a way of life beyond local, ethnic, or national boundaries.

    By any measure, Christianity must be considered one of the world religions because:
  • it claims more adherents than any other religion and is the dominant tradition among many diverse populations
  • it has 2,000 years of history, making it younger than Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, but older than Islam
  • it is complex both in terms of its internal development and in terms of its engagement with culture
  • it is remarkably various in its manifestations, existing not only in three distinct groupings (Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant), but in thousands of specific styles
  • most of the world operates on a dating system that revolves around the birth of Jesus: B.C. (before Christ) and A.D. (anno Domini).

    Beginning as a sect of Judaism in an obscure province of the Roman Empire in the 1st century C.E., it became the official religion of the Empire by the 4th century, dominated the cultural life of Europe for much of its history, and now counts more than two billion adherents throughout the world.

    Although Christianity's influence has declined in Europe and North America, it continues to grow worldwide. In the First World, Christian fundamentalism struggles with modernity. Yet, in the 21st century, Christianity is poised for a possible renaissance in the developing nations, where millions of new followers are drawn to its central and powerful claim: the resurrection of Christ.

    Various Manifestations of Christianity

    Professor Johnson's synthetic approach provides first an overview of the Christian story (how it understands history from creation to new creation-and the relation of Scripture to that history), and the Christian creed (what Christians believe about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the church).

    He explains Christian practice as expressed, in turn, by the structure of the community and its sacraments, by the struggles of Christians to find a coherent and consistent moral teaching, and by various manifestations of Christianity's more radical edge in martyrs, monks, mendicants, missionaries, and mystics.

    Professor Johnson's lectures also deal with internal and external conflicts:

  • The first of these is the division of Christianity into three great families: Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Protestant.
  • The second is the centuries-long struggle to find an appropriate role within the political structures of society.
  • The third is Christianity's past and present engagement with culture and the life of the mind, with particular emphasis on the impact of the Enlightenment.

    Christianity's Distinctive Character and Its Future Possibilities

    At the end, students will have a grasp of:
  • Christianity's distinctive character
  • the major turning points in its history
  • its most important shared beliefs and practices
  • its sharp internal divisions
  • its struggles to adapt to changing circumstances
  • Christianity's continuing appeal to many of the world's peoples.

    Harold McFarland, Editor of Midwest Book Review, writes about this course: "If you want a good understanding of Christianity from a historical perspective-where it came from, where it is going, how its doctrines have come about and how they have changed, this is one of the best places to acquire that knowledge."

    (12 lectures, 30 minutes/lecture)

    Item no.: WA09280166
    Format: 2 DVDs
    Duration: 360 minutes
    Price: USD 200.00

    [Go top]

    Add to cart


    Taught by Mark W. Muesse

    Terms we associate with Hinduism-"Hinduism," "religion," and "India"-are all Western creations, notions that for most of history did not accurately reflect the thinking of those who practice this most ancient of the great faiths.

    In fact, one of the primary themes of Professor Mark W. Muesse's lectures is the difficulty of studying Hinduism without imposing Western perceptions upon it.

    In Hinduism you will find a religion that is perhaps the most diverse of all, that worships more gods and goddesses than any other, and which rejects the notion that there is one path to the divine.

    A Window into All Religions

    These lectures provide a window into the roots of not only this religion, but perhaps all religions. You will explore over the course of Hinduism's 5,000-year journey:

  • the Indus Valley civilization
  • the huge variety of Hindu gods and goddess
  • the sacred writings in the Vedas, the Bhagavad-gita and the Upanishads ritual purity rites
  • the Aryan language of Sanskrit, whose roots can be seen in such English words as "divine," "video," and "ignite."

    The story of Hinduism is the story of very un-Western traditions-arranged marriages and the caste system-that have survived and thrived for thousands of years; and of a wealth of gods, terms, and practices-karma, Krishna, yoga, guru-that have found a home in Western lives and language.

    The course also explains that Hinduism rejects the notion that there is one path to the divine, and at its best, it honors all seekers after the truth.

    Understand the Oldest Religion

    Hinduism is the world's oldest living religious tradition, with roots deep in the early cultures of India. These ancient cultures, the most important of which were the Indus Valley civilization and the Aryan society, combined to create a highly diverse family of religions and philosophies.

    The series moves chronologically through the history of Hinduism, from its earliest precursors through its classical manifestations to its responses to modernity. Along the way, Dr. Muesse discusses salient aspects of Hindu life and places them in historical and theological context.

    The journey begins with an examination of the early cultures that most significantly shaped the development of Hinduism.

  • Dr. Muesse makes a brief visit to the indigenous culture of northern India, the Indus Valley civilization, before introducing the migration of the Aryans from Central Asia.
  • Hinduism received from the Aryans its most sacred and authoritative scripture, the Veda , which is explored in detail.
  • After the "Vedic" period, classical Hinduism developed. During the classical period, Hinduism generated many of its basic ideas and practices, including the notions of transmigration of the soul, reincarnation, and karma. Major social arrangements were established in Hindu culture during its classical phase.
  • The classic phase strongly influences the present day. Social stratification and gender relations greatly affect the nature of spiritual life for all Hindus. Professor Muesse discusses the caste system, and the different life patterns for men and women.

    The Way of Action; The Way of Wisdom; The Way of Devotion

    Hinduism is religiously and philosophically diverse. It affirms not only the multiplicity of the divine but also the multiplicity of paths to divine reality. Different people require different spiritualities. Dr. Muesse outlines:

  • The "way of action," the spiritual discipline pursued by the vast majority of Hindus, aims to improve an individual's future lives through meritorious deeds (according to the Hindu belief of reincarnation). The series looks at several varieties of such action, including ritual, festival, and pilgrimage.
  • The "way of wisdom" is a much less traversed pathway to ultimate salvation. It is demanding and rigorous. Gaining wisdom means to understand the unity of the soul and ultimate reality and to live one's life accordingly.
  • The "way of devotion," or bhakti, is oriented toward faith in a personal deity of choice. It is a widely traversed road to god among Hindus. Your introduction to bhakti practice comes through one of the most important and beloved Hindu texts, the Bhagavad-gita, a wondrous story of a warrior's dilemma and the counsel of the god Krishna which has been a treasure trove of spiritual enrichment for Hindus for centuries.

    These are different paths that involve very different conceptions of the divine reality, and Dr. Muesse explains how such divergent views can coexist within the Hindu tradition.

    He also explores the functions of images in Hindu worship and how Hinduism can be both monotheistic and polytheistic.

    You also learn about devotion to the Goddess and her many manifestations in the Hindu pantheon, and investigate some of the theory and practice of Tantra, a yogic discipline associated with the Goddess.

    Hinduism in the Modern Era

    Modern Hinduism faces challenges from Islam and from Western culture.

    The great theological differences between Hinduism and Islam have formed the basis for tense relationships between Hindus and Muslims, frequently erupting into outright violence.

    Dr. Muesse describes the British Raj and the Indian independence movement led by Gandhi, includes examples of Hindu missions to the West, and discusses the tensions between Hinduism and modernity.

    (12 lectures, 30 minutes/lecture)

    Item no.: SF09280168
    Format: 2 DVDs
    Duration: 360 minutes
    Price: USD 200.00

    [Go top]

    Add to cart


    Taught by John L. Esposito

    University professor and international government and media consultant John L. Esposito guides you through the facts and myths surrounding Islam and its more than 1.2 billion adherents.

    How familiar are you with the world's second largest and fastest-growing religion? Many in the West know little about the faith and are familiar only with the actions of a minority of radical extremists.

    This course will help you better understand Islam's role as both a religion and a way of life, and its deep impact on world affairs both historically and today. It is important to understand what Muslims believe, and also how their beliefs are carried out privately and publicly as individuals as well as members of a larger community.

    Learning about Islam: What Does the Future Hold?

    What does the future hold for Islam and the West in the coming century? How will it change under the influence of conservatives, reformers, and extremists?

    "The focus of this course will be to better understand Islam's role as a religion and as a way of life," says Professor Esposito. "In 12 lectures, moving from Muhammad to the present, from the 7th to the 21st centuries, we will explore Muslim beliefs, practices, and history in the context of its significance and impact on Muslim life and society through the ages, as well as world events today."

    You will learn about:
  • Muhammad
  • Jihad
  • Muslim beliefs about other faiths
  • whether the Quran condones terrorism and what it says about God
  • the contributions to math, science, and art made by a flourishing Islamic civilization
  • the role of women in Islam
  • whether Islam is compatible with modernization, capitalism, and democracy.

    Like Judaism and Christianity, Islam is one of the great monotheistic faiths that traces its ancestry to Abraham. Professor Esposito discusses the similarities and differences in the three great Abrahamic faiths and explores more closely the core beliefs that serve as the common denominators that unite all Muslims throughout the world.

    "We will see that Islam is not monolithic," says Professor Esposito. "Although Muslims share certain core beliefs, the practices, interpretations, images, and realities of Islam vary across time and space."

    The Stunning Growth of the Muslim Community and Its Golden Age

    The growth of the Muslim community has been stunning; within 100 years of Muhammad's death, it became a vast, dynamic, and creative Islamic empire that stretched from North Africa to India.

    Islamic civilization flourished under the Umayyad and Abbasid empires. Under Abbasid rule (7501258 C.E.), the Islamic community became an empire of wealth, political power, and cultural accomplishments.

    Muslims made original creative contributions in law, theology, philosophy, literature, medicine, algebra, geometry, science, art, and architecture.

    Arabic became the language of literature and public discourse. Centers were created for the translation of manuscripts from Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Coptic, and Persian into Arabic.

    Europeans, emerging from the Dark Ages, turned to Muslim centers of learning to regain their lost heritage and to learn from Muslim advances. Through Islamic philosophy, Greek philosophy was re-transmitted to Europe.

    Examining the history of Islamic civilization helps us to appreciate the remarkable achievements of its "Golden Age" and to understand the sources of sectarianism, religious extremism, and the conflict between Islam and Christianity, epitomized by the Crusades.

    Understand the Development of Islamic Law

    Professor Esposito takes a closer look at the historical development of two great Islamic institutions: Islamic law, (the Shariah) and Islamic mysticism (Sufism).

    Islamic law has been seen as the ideal blueprint guiding Muslims' correct action, that is, what to do in their public and private lives in order to realize God's will.

    Sufism resulted from efforts to experience a more direct and personal sense of God. Both law, the exterior path to God, and mysticism, known as the interior path, developed as responses to what was perceived as the abuse of the enormous wealth and power in the Islamic empires.

    The historical tradition of Islamic renewal and reform was developed to fight internal disintegration and upheaval in the Muslim world caused by outside forces from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

    Professor Esposito examines the variety of religious sociopolitical movements that struggled to address weakness and decline in diverse Muslim societies through the ages, and discusses how and why these efforts continue to inspire Islamic modernists and contemporary movements in our time.

    Discuss the "Struggle for the Soul of Islam"

    The lectures examine the worldwide "struggle for the soul of Islam" occurring today between conservatives and reformers, mainstream Muslims and extremists. Among these issues, none is more fraught with controversy than the debates about women and Islam.

    Professor Esposito discusses women and their changing roles in the modern world, a hotly contested topic, not only in the Muslim world but also in the West. Issues include diversity of dress, social status, education, and roles for women in the family throughout the world.

    Professor Esposito expands this human dimension to spotlight the ever-increasing reality of Muslims as our neighbors and colleagues in Europe and America, examining how and why Muslims came to Europe and America and the issues of faith and identity, integration and assimilation that face them in their new homelands and how they are grappling with these challenges.

  • Harold McFarland, Editor of Midwest Book Review, writes about this course: "This is easily the most accurate, even-handed, and thorough survey of Islam that I have seen to date. The extent of coverage, breadth and depth of Professor Esposito's knowledge, recognition of the various groups and beliefs within Islam and scholarly treatment of the subject makes this a very highly recommended lecture series and the only one on the subject that I could recommend to date."

    (12 lectures, 30 minutes/lecture)

    Item no.: JC09280170
    Format: 2 DVDs
    Duration: 360 minutes
    Price: USD 200.00

    [Go top]

    Add to cart


    Taught by Isaiah M. Gafni

    What is the "essence" of Judaism? Is it the Ten Commandments, given by God to Israel at Mount Sinai? Or is it the totality of teachings in the Hebrew Bible? Or is it symbolized by something outside the Bible?

    However Judaism is defined, the beliefs, practices, attitudes, and institutions of Jews through the ages display a striking diversity, despite the fact that all would ascribe to a common heritage.

    Professor Isaiah M. Gafni of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem addresses these and other issues as he explores the ever-changing 4,000-year-old saga of Judaism, one of the world's most ancient and influential religions.

    More Than a Faith

    Indeed, as Professor Gafni points out, Judaism is something more than a religion. Christianity and Islam are faiths, or "systems of beliefs," that embrace diverse communities and ethnic groups throughout the world. Although Judaism also adheres to particular beliefs and practices, many Jews would nevertheless consider the designation of Judaism as a "religion" as a far too narrow or confining categorization.

    Where Does the Term Judaism Come From?

    Consider the origin of the term Judaism:

  • In the Hebrew Bible, known to Christians as the Old Testament, what came to be called Judaism is practiced by a people that are referred to as the nation of Israel.
  • The Israelites believed their destiny was linked to a faith in God and to God's promise to give a particular land to the offspring of Israel's founding patriarch, Abraham, who lived around 1800 B.C.E.
  • Abraham had a son Isaac, who had a son Jacob, who had a son Judah.
  • King David, a descendant of the tribe of Judah, founded a dynasty that would rule over Israel for four centuries. The kingdom would ultimately go by the name of Judah.
  • The term Judaism appears for the first time in the Second Book of Maccabees, composed 1,700 years after Abraham, as the designation of a way of life maintained by those people linked to the land of "Judaea" (the Roman term).

    Hence, from the beginning, Judaism meant a people defined by a place as well as an ethnic and religious heritage.

    Judaism From Within

    Throughout this course, you will study Judaism from within-as it was understood by its adherents in the past and by those who practice or identify with Judaism today.

    The lectures cover the critical stages of Jewish history; the centrality of such books as the Torah, Talmud, Midrash, and Mishna; and the manner in which the Jewish calendar and Jewish law, or Halakha, define daily life.

    The course also illustrates how Judaism reinvented itself by embracing the rabbinical tradition after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 C.E. and considers the thinking of such philosophers as Philo of Alexandria and Moses Maimonides, a 12th-century C.E. scholar whom Professor Gafni calls "the star of this series."

    The final lecture turns to the issue of how Judaism deals with the outside world. How does it handle converts to Judaism? How does it manage its dual but potentially conflicting missions: to be true to itself as a people chosen by God, and to be a spiritual example to the world, a "light unto the nations"?

    Digging Deeper Into Judaism

    These are some of the issues you will encounter:

  • Among many Jews today the Hebrew Bible is known by the Hebrew acronym Tanakh, which is composed of the initial Hebrew letters for the three component parts of the Bible. The first part is the Torah (or five Books of Moses, also known as the Pentateuch); the second is Nevi'im (Hebrew for "prophets"); the third is Ketuvim (Hebrew for "scriptures").
  • Judaism's calendar is arguably the most important unifying factor in what is otherwise a frequently fragmented religious community. The key to the calendar is that it is both lunar and solar. Months are defined by the period from one new to moon to the next, while the year is adjusted with periodic "leap months" to keep it in concord with the seasons.
  • Judaism has no dogma or creed in the Christian sense. The most famous attempt at formulating a set of principles was made by the philosopher Maimonides, replying to a convert's request with this 13-point list:

    1.The existence of God.
    2.God's unity.
    3.God has no corporeal aspect.
    4.God is eternal.
    5.God alone (and no intermediaries) should be worshipped.
    6.Belief in prophecy.
    7.Moses was the greatest of prophets.
    8.All of the Torah in our possession is divine and was given through Moses.
    9.The Torah will not be changed or superseded.
    10.God knows the actions of man.
    11.God rewards those who keep the Torah and punishes those who transgress it.
    12.Belief that the Messiah will come.
    13.Belief in the resurrection of the dead.

  • Even the most zealously practiced Judaism of today is radically different from the biblical representation of that very same tradition. Why? The break came with the Roman destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in the 1st century C.E. In the aftermath, Rabbi Yohanan ben Zakkai created an alternative system based on a spiritual, decentralized, mobile leadership, without priests or a temple, and focused on prayer instead of animal sacrifice.

  • The idea of a messiah has wielded enormous influence on much of Jewish history. The nature of this belief has been constantly in flux-from a restorative notion that envisioned a return to the old glory of Israel to a utopian image that encompassed all nations and pictured a total revision of the laws of nature, where animals that are natural enemies would become friendly neighbors.

    (12 lectures, 30 minutes/lecture)

    Item no.: AE09280172
    Format: 2 DVDs
    Duration: 360 minutes
    Price: USD 200.00

    [Go top]

    Add to cart


    The Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower, the central cathedral of Florence, was constructed over eight centuries. Under the supervision and funding of the Wool Merchants' Guild, generations of Florentine artists and architects dedicated their lives to the project, setting in stone changes in the aesthetic ideals of the time and advances in engineering. The biography of Filippo Brunelleschi, the brilliant self-taught master who introduced the technique of one-point perspective, designed the cathedral's dome as well as machinery necessary for its construction is intertwined with the story of the cathedral and the city itself, his career, which was full of professional rivalry and inspiration to future artists and engineers. Restoration workshops still follow the traditional techniques of the master sculptors who adorned the cathedral's interior and facade.

    Item no.: ZV00161525
    Format: DVD
    Duration: 52 minutes
    Copyright: 2011
    Price: USD 225.00

    [Go top]

    Add to cart


    After the Fall of the Roman Empire, an Eastern Roman province of Venetia survived the conquest by the Franks. It gradually grew to become a crucial trade center between the Byzantine Empire and Europe. Saint Mark's Basilica was built in place of an older church and from the very start, became a symbol of the economic and political power of Venice. The design, a mix of Eastern and Western basilica, its ornaments-an imposing display of Byzantine mosaics and altar pieces, Gothic sculptures and lavish treasures stripped off the buildings of the old empire. The famous bronze Horses taken from Constantinople's Hippodrome stood for centuries as symbols of Venice's unruly defiance, and a legend of empires falling whenever they were moved, grew around the monumental sculptures. The Most Serene Republic of Venice fell to Napoleon's conquest, and the Basilica has had to face the challenges of age, negligence and tourism.

    Item no.: ZS00161526
    Format: DVD
    Duration: 52 minutes
    Copyright: 2011
    Price: USD 225.00

    [Go top]

    Add to cart


    There are five Pillars of Islam, duties every Muslim is obliged to perform. Belief in God is first; then prayer, five times a day; fasting in the month of Ramadan; Zakat, or donations to the needy; and Hajj, the Fifth Pillar, is a once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca), Saudi Arabia, by all capable Muslims. In this documentary we travel to Islam's holiest mosque to witness not only the Hajj, a journey that begins on the 8th day of the month of Dhul Hijja (the month for Hajj in the Islamic calendar), but also we hear perspectives on the non-radical meaning of Islam from a variety of pilgrims from nations around the world, as well as Muslim leaders, such as, Khaled Al-Maeena, Editor-in-Chief, Arab News, Dr. Zamel Abu Zinada, Saudi Ministry of Information, and Dr. Ahmad Ibn Saifuddin, an Islamic Scholar.

    Item no.: HR05531272
    Format: DVD
    Duration: 30 minutes
    Copyright: 2004
    Price: USD 160.00

    [Go top]

    Add to cart


    Considers the nature of England's monastic orders, their power and corruption, and the aftermath of the edicts of 1536 and 1539.

    Item no.: VM00160208
    Format: DVD
    Duration: 30 minutes
    Copyright: 1995
    Price: USD 195.00

    [Go top]

    Add to cart


    Asks how it is possible for us to interpret and understand each other. Is there a true or correct way of interpreting the meaning of what people say or write? Explores the views of Schleiermacher, Gadamer and Wittgenstein on language and meaning.

    Note: Not available in Hong Kong.

    Item no.: NT08860205
    Format: DVD (Closed Captioned)
    Duration: 30 minutes
    Copyright: 1998
    Price: USD 49.95

    [Go top]

    Add to cart


    Addresses formalist theories of ethics, particularly that of Immanuel Kant, and explores the implications of his views in relation to ethical issues.

    Note: Not available in Hong Kong.

    Item no.: NG08860207
    Format: DVD (Closed Captioned)
    Duration: 30 minutes
    Copyright: 1998
    Price: USD 49.95

    [Go top]

    Add to cart


    Delves into how philosophers have probed the universe for evidence of God's existence. How did the world begin? Is there a reason for its order and design? And, can we reconcile the existence of God with the existence of evil?

    Note: Not available in Hong Kong.

    Item no.: EL08860210
    Format: DVD (Closed Captioned)
    Duration: 30 minutes
    Copyright: 1998
    Price: USD 49.95

    [Go top]

    Add to cart


    Explores Aristotle's and other ancient views of virtue and the good life, as well as contemporary virtue ethics with its focus on emotions, personal relationships, character, and long-term values.

    Note: Not available in Hong Kong.

    Item no.: LJ08860217
    Format: DVD (Closed Captioned)
    Duration: 30 minutes
    Copyright: 1998
    Price: USD 49.95

    [Go top]

    Add to cart

    ***Price on web-site may not be current and is subject to modification by quotation***

    Email :

    Websites :
    http://www.learningemall.com [ English ]
    http://www.learningemall.com.hk [ Chinese ]