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.

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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, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities. There you can find a specialized list of Free Online Religion Courses.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.