The Wisdoms of the World


Reading List (the following is the required reading for the course. The books from which these selections are taken are all recommended reading in their entirety. There is also a list of other recommended texts and reference works.)

Trial and Death of Socrates from The Apology, the Allegory of the Cave from The Republic.
Various selections on Aristotle and logic.
Bertrand Russell, "The Value of Philosophy."
Biblical Wisdom: Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, The Wisdom of Solomon, The Wisdom of Sirach.
Selections from the Analects of Confucius and the Tao Te Ching.
Selections from the Bhagavad-Gita on the four yogas.
Extracts from the Prajña-paramita sutra, the Heart Sutra.
Basic doctrines of Buddhism from Thomas, The Life of Buddha, pp. 87-88.
Selections from Rumi, Idries Shah, and Marietta Stepaniants, Sufi Wisdom.
Selections from Joseph Cambell, Myths to Live By, and Mircea Eliade's Essential Sacred Writings.
Selections from Uncommon Wisdom, by Fritjof Capra.
Selections from American Religion, by Harold Bloom.
Hans Jonas, "Gnosticism and Modern Nihilism," from The Allure of Gnosticism, Robert Segal (ed.).
"Whose Church is the 'True Church'?" from The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels.
Selections from The Truth about the Truth, Walter Truett Anderson (ed.).


Other Recommended Texts and Reference Works.

The Encyclopedia of Religion, Mircea Eliade, Editor-in-chief (has an excellent introductory article to the whole idea of wisdom)

The History of Philosophy, Frederick Copleston (still a useful reference work. See Vol. 1 on Plato and Aristotle.)

Wisdom in Israel, Gerhardt von Rad.

The World's Religions, Huston Smith (has a helpful introduction to the Chinese traditions)

A History of God, Karen Armstrong (has chapters on "the god of the philosophers" and "the god of the mystics" which are helpful to understanding the final ends of these groupings. Thanks to Kevin Kaufmann.)


Comments?

brennie@westminster.edu