The Great Courses: Religions of the Axial Age: An Approach to the World’s Religions
by Prof. Mark W. Muesse
These 24 extraordinary lectures offer you the rare opportunity to relate your own spiritual questions to a variety of ancient quests for meaning and transcendence.
Professor Muesse looks at the historical conditions in which the world religions arose and explores how they answered shared metaphysical and human dilemmas. The Axial Age – a pivotal era between 800 and 200 BCE – saw the rise of many of the world’s religions in Iran, South Asia, and China. On this stirring journey, you’ll learn about the rise of Zoroastrianism in Persia (now Iran); Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism on the Indian subcontinent; and Confucianism and Daoism in China. You’ll also see how these religions compare, contrast, and contribute to contemporary Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Through sacred texts, modern scholarship, and thoughts arising from his own personal experiences, Professor Muesse reveals what it meant to be a conscious, morally responsible individual in the Axial Age. You’ll enjoy a ringside seat as each founding sage wrestles with moral accountability, the nature of self and ultimate reality, good versus evil, suffering and transcendence – all topics that still puzzle us today.