Bertrand Russell on the Existence of God & the Afterlife (1959)

Bertrand Rus­sell, the Nobel Prize-win­ning philoso­pher, math­e­mati­cian and peace activist, died 40 years ago today. And so, above, we rewind the video tape to 1959, to Rus­sell explain­ing why he does­n’t believe in God. This was a view­point that he oth­er­wise elab­o­rat­ed upon in his well-known lecture/essay, Why I Am Not a Chris­t­ian. For more vin­tage Bertrand Rus­sell, you can check out anoth­er wide-rang­ing BBC inter­view with Rus­sell flagged by one of our faith­ful read­ers, Mike S. Find it in three parts here, here and here. To be sure, some read­ers won’t share Rus­sel­l’s views on reli­gion. But don’t take umbrage. Just remem­ber, we offer media from across the divide too..

Update: Anoth­er read­er sent us a nice addi­tion to the video above. Here, you can lis­ten to a famous 1948 debate between Bertrand Rus­sell and Father Fred­er­ick C. Cople­ston, Jesuit Catholic priest and pro­fes­sor of phi­los­o­phy. It was orig­i­nal­ly aired on the BBC.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

How Bertrand Rus­sell Turned The Bea­t­les Against the Viet­nam War

Bertrand Rus­sell & Oth­er Big Thinkers in BBC Lec­ture Series (Free)

Bertrand Rus­sell Sends a Mes­sage to the Future


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Introduction to New Testament History and Literature: A Free Yale Course

Taught by Yale pro­fes­sor Dale B. Mar­tin, this course offers an intro­duc­tion to New Tes­ta­ment His­to­ry and Lit­er­a­ture, and cov­ers the fol­low­ing ground:

This course pro­vides a his­tor­i­cal study of the ori­gins of Chris­tian­i­ty by ana­lyz­ing the lit­er­a­ture of the ear­li­est Chris­t­ian move­ments in his­tor­i­cal con­text, con­cen­trat­ing on the New Tes­ta­ment. Although the­o­log­i­cal themes will occu­py much of our atten­tion, the course does not attempt a the­o­log­i­cal appro­pri­a­tion of the New Tes­ta­ment as scrip­ture. Rather, the impor­tance of the New Tes­ta­ment and oth­er ear­ly Chris­t­ian doc­u­ments as ancient lit­er­a­ture and as sources for his­tor­i­cal study will be empha­sized. A cen­tral orga­niz­ing theme of the course will focus on the dif­fer­ences with­in ear­ly Chris­tian­i­ty (-ies).

You can watch the 26 lec­tures from the course above, or find them on YouTube and iTunes. To get more infor­ma­tion on the course, includ­ing the syl­labus, vis­it this Yale web­site.

Intro­duc­tion to New Tes­ta­ment His­to­ry and Lit­er­a­ture will be added to our col­lec­tion, Intro­duc­tion to New Tes­ta­ment His­to­ry and Lit­er­a­ture: A Free Yale Course. There you can find a spe­cial­ized list of Free Online Reli­gion Cours­es.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.