What, exactly, is religion? And why does one religious tradition often differ so markedly from another, even when you might not expect it to? Why, for example, are the Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—despite their common source—often so different? And what kinds of factors separate the beliefs of a Hindu or Buddhist not only from those held by Jews, Christians, or Muslims, or by each other, but also from many who identify themselves as fellow Hindus or Buddhists?
Dr. Charles Kimball is Presidential Professor and Director of the Religious Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma. A graduate of Oklahoma State University, Professor Kimball holds an M.Div. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Th.D. from Harvard University in Comparative Religion with a specialization in Islamic studies. An ordained Baptist minister, Professor Kimball is a frequent lecturer and an expert analyst on issues on the Middle East, Islam, Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations, and the intersection of religion and politics in the United States. Professor Kimball has visited the Middle East more than 35 times and has worked with Congress, the White House, and the State Department. Professor Kimball is the author of four books, including When Religion Becomes Evil (named one of the Top 15 Books on Religion for 2002 by Publishers Weekly) and Striving Together: A Way Forward in Christian-Muslim Relations.
This is a series of 24 lectures of 30 minutes each. We will watch and discuss the first 12 lectures and decide if we need a break or if we want to continue to watch the remaining 13-24.
July 24 – Comparative Religion—Who, What, Why, How
July 31 – Exploring Similarities and Differences
Aug 7 – The Sacred, the Holy, and the Profane
Aug 14 – Sacred Time, Sacred Space, Sacred Objects
Aug 21 – Sacred People—Prophets, Sages, Saviors
Aug 28 – Sacred People—Clergy, Monastics, Shamans
Sept 4 – Sacred Signs, Analogues, and Sacraments
Sept 11 – Creation Myths and Sacred Stories
Sept 18 – From Sacred Stories and Letters to Doctrine
Sept 25 – Sacred Texts—The Bible and the Qur’an
Oct 2 – Sacred Texts for Hindus and Buddhists
Oct 9 – Polytheism, Dualism, Monism, and Monotheism