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The Modern Scholar

Religions of the East: Paths to Enlightenment
Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins

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Publisher's Summary

The main aim of this course is to cultivate basic literacy in the principal religions of Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. This course explores the origins of these religious traditions in Asia and their transplantation to the United States. The course focuses on three related issues: why religion matters, what the term "religion" means, and how Asian religions - especially Buddhism and Confucianism - wonderfully complicate that term.
©2005 Stephen Prothero (P)2005 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Chi-Hung
  • 29-06-10

A scholarly presentation

The professor knows what he's talking about, this presentation is lucid and very objective, although I wish he could work on his Chinese Pronunciation, since this is a lecture, I can't blame the narrator, but still it is interesting.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mike
  • 25-10-19

On Par with The Great Courses

This was the first title I'd listened to in The Modern Scholar series, and I was quite pleased. Having listened to almost 70 Great Courses titles I was eager to compare the two series. The most similar Great Courses titles I'd listened to were "Great Minds of the Eastern Intellectual Tradition" and "The Meaning of Life", as well as titles on each religion considered separately; none of those is quite like this book, so this book fills a nice niche. I can also say, as a Zen Buddhist practitioner in the U.S. myself, Professor Prothero's admittedly outsider knowledge was well researched and accurate.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Listen
  • 22-08-11

Over promise, under delivery

This is an ambitious project, which is unfortunately undelivered I my view. The descriptions were over-simplistic and they were accompanied with shallow explanations and examples that overall the lecturer did not do justice to this extraordinarily profound and complex subject. Also, being as a professor of Eastern religious study, the lecturer's inability to properly pronounce some of the key concepts is just shocking. Surely one of his Chinese or Japanese-speaking undergrads could have given him a lesson or two around the recording time.

Having listened a dozen of books in this Modern Scholar collection and generally satisfied with overall quality and value of these books, I have to say that this one is probably the most disappointing one.

Two stars for the effort.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 21-09-10

Good listen

Overall the book did a great job of bringing me the understanding I hoped for on eastern religion. Close to the end of the book the author seemed to loose some objectivity and slid into a more Judea/Christian thought pattern. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about eastern religions. One might want to chop listening time into small pieces, the material can seem to run together if you are not on your toes.

3 people found this helpful