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.

Pope Francis: The Times Are Changing

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Pope Francis: The Times Are Changing

Episode 34
September, 2015
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Just in time for the first-ever visit of Pope Francis to the U.S., The Torch presents an in-depth look at the life and legacy of this unconventional religious leader. Join Ed Leon of The Great Courses and Professor William Cook, Distinguished Teaching Professor of History at the State University of New York at Geneseo, as they discuss Pope Francis, his unique approach and perspectives, and his influence on both the Catholic church and the world.

The appointment of Pope Francis has signaled a shift in the Catholic Church. From eschewing the traditional papal chambers for a small two-room apartment, to advocating more liberal-leaning views on social issues, his reign has been nothing short of influential and controversial among Catholics. Even his selection of name was unconventional. Examine the history, beliefs, and legacy-in-the-making of Pope Francis, the 266th vicar of Jesus Christ on Earth.


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In This Podcast Listen To:

  • Dr. William R. Cook, the Distinguished Teaching Professor of History at the State University of New York at Geneseo, will examine the past and current states of the Papacy and the Catholic Church as well as the significance of Pope Francis. Dr. Cook explores not only the current philosophies of the church and Pope Francis, but provides the history and context of his namesake St. Francis, and what the adoption of that name signifies about the current Pope’s beliefs and philosophies.
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