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The Bible and Western Culture by Michael Sugrue

The Bible and Western Culture

by Michael Sugrue


Title Details

Running Time
18 Hrs.
User Rating
  4.0  Stars Based on 2 ratings


Note: This course is out of print with The Great Courses, but you can view all 16 lectures from the course by Professor Michael Sugrue on his official YouTube channel. It is 12 hours out of 18 hours of the course. The lectures by the other professors are not available.

This course is a scholarly treatment of the Bible as literature that examines the many literary and cultural themes that originate in the Bible. Michael Sugrue and three other Princeton University professors take an analytical rather than a spiritual approach.

The initial focus is on the Bible itself—a focus that extends back before Genesis by discussing the Gilgamesh epic. You then study a selection of books from the Old and New Testaments with an appreciation for literary forms.

The balance of the course explores biblical themes in St. Augustine, Meister Eckhart, Dante, Thomas More, Martin Luther, Shakespeare, Milton, David Hume, Jonathon Swift, Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, and James Joyce.

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Reviewer pgmd2
 February 17, 2006
The entitled the “Bible and Western Culture” is mainly taught by Professor Michael Sugrue, along with Professors David Thurn, Andrew Ford, and Robert Hollander.

The course provided interesting “food for thought” as it presented a literary analysis of the Bible. Much of the beginning of the course was spent on lectures focusing on the main books of the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, the lectures focused on the first book of the Bible, Genesis, and its description of God’s creation of man. Then lectures then moved onto speak about Job who was depicted in the Bible as a man who had everything bad happen to him and his family, yet he refused to stop believing in God. The beginning description of the books of the Bible ended with the New Testament writers and Paul’s contributions to many of the doctrines that Christians believe in today.

After analyzing the content with the Bible, the lecture series took a different turn to present the views of scholars on themes contained with the Bible. This was illustrated in the lecture on Milton’s poem entitled “Paradise Lost; and Milton’s view of the Genesis Creation story. Also this was illustrated in Shakespeare’s “Measure For Measure” in which the main character falls from grace and commits one sin after another. The course was available in a good audio quality cd format.

More Details

  • Published: 2002
  • LearnOutLoud.com Product ID: T002710