The Torch

The Great Courses Podcast

THE TORCH introduces you to the fascinating professors and experts who create the Great Courses. Each episode showcases several of our top professors in a fresh light, spotlights the great work they are doing, and gives you an opportunity to learn from their incredible insights.

New Views on the Present, the Past, and Future

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New Views on the Present, the Past, and Future

Episode 49
June, 2016
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Learn the benefits of writing personal essays, examine the Bible as a work of literature, and explore what effects the future will have on your mind in this exceptional episode of The Torch, hosted by Ed Leon, Chief Brand Officer for the Great Courses.

Begin by looking at a fantastic and flexible outlet for sharing your personal experience with the world: the essay. Dr. Jennifer Cognard-Black, Professor of English at St. Mary's College of Maryland, reveals the simplicity and ultimate gratification of writing personal essays, along with some fascinating insights and tips.

Then, step into the past by looking at the many authors, varied viewpoints, and numerous interpretations of the Bible. Learn how these invaluable words of the past are viewed through the lens of literature with Professor Craig R. Koester of Luther Seminary.

Lastly, look ahead to see what's in store for your brain as you age. While getting older is inevitably in everyone's future, declining mental faculties are not a given, as explained by Professor Thad A. Polk from the University of Michigan.

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In This Podcast Listen To:

  • Professor Jennifer Cognard-Black, as she breaks down the components that make a piece of writing into an essay, reveals how to put the classical principles of rhetoric into practice, and discloses why essayists get to "invent the truth."
  • Professor Craig R. Koester, as he compares traditional views of Bible stories with a literary interpretation, often putting a much different (and sometimes surprising) spin on the stories we thought we knew.
  • Professor Thad A. Polk, as he surveys the changes your brain may face as you get older and reveals that, while certain conditions associated with aging are not ideal, science has proven that there is also much to look forward to.
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