6000 Years of Religion (in 60 minutes)

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Duration 01:13:03

Tufts University

Sol Gittleman is a Professor Emeritus at Tufts University. Professor Gittleman was named the Alice and Nathan Gantcher University Professor, one of three current university professors at Tufts. Professor Gittleman lectures extensively on topics of American immigration, the National Pastime, and comparative religion. He has received two Fulbright awards, the Harbison Prize of the Danforth Foundation for Outstanding Teaching, a citation as Professor of the Year from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, and is the recipient of the 2009 Robert J. McKenna Award from The New England Board of Higher Education.


Since the beginning of recorded civilization roughly 6000 years ago, religious groups have been making war on someone. What is there in monotheism and in the three faiths that most clearly represent this idea-Judaism, Christianity and Islam that has made them so aggressive? The world was once destroyed by flood; all three faiths believe that it will once again be destroyed by flames. Is this inevitable? What do we mean by the end of time? Will our grandchildren live to have children? How does an academic approach to the study of these topics prepare us for the world to come? What is Millennialism? Eschatology? The meaning of the Apocalypse? This fascinating fast-paced class will cover all this and more.



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Eric Jay Dolin

Illuminating and alarming

I can see why Sol Gittleman was, and is, a revered professor at Tufts. He is a phenomenal and learned lecturer, who delivers fascinating facts and observations in a way that compels you to pay attention, and more importantly, to think about what he is saying. His lecture was thoroughly enjoyable, and also terrifying. His final observations will leave you unsettled. Will the future be a time of peace or continued war, regardless of your perspective on religion and its value? Like him, I don’t know, but hope for the best.

3 years ago
Greg Paskal

Exceptional Presentation

What an incredible and informative talk. Worth every minute of the lecture.

2 years ago
John Boorman

Wow, brilliant and entertaining!

This is a fantastic and entertaining recap of 6000 years of history. I learned many new things a got clarification on things that weren’t clear to me. He made the connections from early Judaism to present day, with many stops on the way. I would recommend this for anyone wanting to learn more about the history of monotheism and notable historical events tied to this religious tradition.

1 year ago
Philip Huan JT

Enlightening and Refreshing

Such a learned man and compelling teaching! Incredible that he engages such salients points covering such a long span in just 60mins. I really appreciate how he reference movies, books and other authors, always telling us “go read/see it, it’s good for you”. I do hope that faith turns people’s hearts upward & give hope to change, or the cycles described in the lecture will ultimately destroy humankind… a poignant insight that strikes me through this lecture.

1 year ago


If you were ever even the least bit curious about religion’s place in history, take your computer or tablet, cuddle up in your coziest corner and BUCKLE UP!

12 months ago
Mary Steinmetz


The professor was clearly highly educated about the three faiths and presented the facts in an unbiased fashion. I know more now about other religions, yet it did not try to dissuade me from following my chosen religion. Excellent!

9 months ago
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