Best Greatbooks podcasts we could find (Updated September 2019)
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We discuss the great books, the great ideas and the process of liberal education.
 
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Close Reads
Weekly
 
From the Close Reads Podcast Network, Close Reads is a book-club podcast hosted by David Kern and featuring an array of contributors, including Tim McIntosh, Heidi White, and others. We read Great Books and talk about them. A NOTE ABOUT OLDER EPISODES: Since most podcast apps don't go further back than 100 episodes, you'll need to click here to listen to anything further back than that. And our first 32 episodes can be found here, on the original CiRCE Institute feed.
 
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Banned Books
Weekly
 
Welcome to Banned Books, where we read and converse with the rebel children, the holy mischief-makers of God, who fight against the kind of useless religious, spiritual, and moral methods of life improvement that seeks to smother the glory of God in Jesus Christ. We want to introduce you to those who forgot everything except Jesus Christ and him crucified. We all struggle with fear of being last, lost, least, littlest, and dead, and so we are here to encourage, challenge, provoke, and maybe ...
 
Beyond the Book is presented by Literary Affairs a literary lifestyle company that has been promoting great literature and fostering a community of book lovers for two decades. Beyond the Book offers book club style salons with best-selling and literary debut authors, literary talks on classic novels, professionally facilitated book groups, panel discussions and cultural conversations related to current books. Each audio or video episode is curated by Literary Affairs founder and leader Juli ...
 
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show series
 
So we bailed on that reality and we came to this one. Gillespie and Riley continue to discuss The Pilgrim's Progress. This episode, why fight demons when God will do it for you? Text: The Pilgrims Progress in Modern English Hardcover – 1979 Show Notes: Order “Crucifying Religion” by Riley Donavon Riley on 1517, FB, and Instagram Past Bunyan’s “ ...…
 
In the second installment of the series, Scott Hambrick and Karl Schudt continue their discussion of Tolkien’s magic in The Lord of the Rings. The two talk about the problem of evil in this Homeric story, what the good life actually looks like, models of hope we see in many of the characters, the unyielding power of friendship, language’s capti ...…
 
Life... say this out loud with an aspirational sigh. Gillespie and Riley continue their series on Pilgrim's Progress. This episode, the cross, present-tense Jesus, and getting the direction right. Text: The Pilgrims Progress in Modern English Hardcover – 1979 Show Notes: Order “Crucifying Religion” by Riley Donavon Riley on 1517, FB, and Instag ...…
 
The saga continues. On this week's episode, David, Heidi, and a very special guest discuss books XVII and XVIII of the Odyssey. Conversation touches on the patience of Odysseus and Telemachus, Athena's role in the story, whether the suitors are worthy adversaries, and Penelope's beauty.
 
Gillespie and Riley read and discuss John Bunyan's "The Pilgrim's Progress." This week, chapter one and two, The City of Destruction and Interpreter's House. We talk more about our need for a present tense Jesus, the limits of allegory, and why Jesus isn't a good example for us to follow. Text: The Pilgrims Progress in Modern English Hardcover ...…
 
After years of Karl’s persistent hounding, Scott finally reads The Lord of the Rings. The two discuss elves, orcs, dwarfs, hobbits, and so much more. Disclaimer: If you haven’t yet already, do not watch The Lord of the Ring movies before reading the books. Don’t let your first Tolkien experience be from Peter Jackson. Karl will find you and sco ...…
 
Gillespie and Riley read and discuss John Bunyan's "The Pilgrim's Progress." This week, chapter one, The City of Destruction. We talk about apocalyptic literature, our old friend Plato, the necessity of a real present tense Jesus, and why Riley's version of The Pilgrim's Progress would be a pamphlet. Text: The Pilgrims Progress in Modern Englis ...…
 
And we're back with more discussion of Homer's Odyssey! David, Heidi, and Tim explore the fascinating character of Eumaeus the swineherd; Poseidon, the anti-xenia god; the Western-y nature of the second of half of the poem; and much more.
 
Gillespie and Riley again read and discuss C.S. Lewis' The Joyful Christian. This episode, the Incarnation. Do we go far enough with Jesus' incarnation, to where He wants us to go with him? Text: “The Joyful Christian,” C.S. Lewis, p. 50-52 Show Notes: Order “Crucifying Religion” by Riley Donavon Riley on 1517, FB, and Instagram On the Incarnat ...…
 
Join David, Heidi, and Tim as they continue their journey with Odysseus. In this episode they discuss books XI and XII, focusing on Odysseus' virtues, the allegorical aspects of the poem, the popularity of the story of the sirens, and much more.
 
Gillespie and Riley read and discuss C.S. Lewis' meditation on the Fall into Sin. They go deep into the subjects of free will, dualism, retributive justice, and why discussing sin isn't as easy as we'd like. Text: “The Joyful Christian,” C.S. Lewis, p. 48-50 Show Notes: Preorder “Crucifying Religion” by Riley Donavon Riley on 1517, FB, and Inst ...…
 
It's time for books IX and X of Homer's Odyssey! Join David, Heidi, and Tim for a discussion about the cyclopes, Circe, and the degree to which Odysseus is truly virtuous. And, remember, it helps the show out a whole lot when you leave reviews on whatever app you use to listen to podcasts.
 
Gillespie and Riley continue to read and discuss Robert Capon’s “The Mystery of Christ... and why we don’t get it.” Faith, works, and more Christian absurdity. Text: “The Mystery of Christ . . . and Why We Don't Get It” by Robert Farrar Capon, p. 90-94 Show Notes: Preorder “Crucifying Religion” by Riley Donavon Riley on 1517, FB, and Instagram ...…
 
David, Heidi, and Tim are back with more conversation about The Odyssey. They discuss the question of Odysseus' faithfulness, they compare Nausikaa and Calypso, and they discuss the role of this section in the grand scheme of the poem. Remember: if you like this series on the Odyssey we could use your help. Rate and review the show to spread th ...…
 
Gillespie and Riley read and discuss Crucifying Religion, by Donavon Riley so Riley can have a discussion about himself with himself. It’s a meta, meta episode! Text: Crucifying Religion: How Jesus is the End of Religion, p.40 Show Notes: Donavon Riley on 1517, FB, and Instagram The Gospel for Those Broken by the Church - Rod Rosenbladt Warrior ...…
 
Join David, Heidi, and Tim for more conversation about Homer's classic epic poem. in this episode they chat about the role of the gods in the story, the complicated nature of ancient Greek paganism, whether the characters in the book have "faith," and much, much more. Remember: if you love this show, please subscribe, rate, and review it. It go ...…
 
Gillespie and Riley return to Robert Capon to read and discuss the incarnation of Jesus and how we try to turn free grace into a transaction. Text: “The Mystery of Christ . . . and Why We Don't Get It” by Robert Farrar Capon Show Notes: Preorder “Crucifying Religion” by Riley Donavon Riley on 1517, FB, and Instagram — Questions? Comments? Show ...…
 
If you don't believe in anything, how can you make meaningful art? Scott and Dr. Karl Schudt discuss their first encounter with philosopher-novelist Iris Murdoch. Her essay "Against Dryness" addresses that question, along with the ideas and forces that brought that question about. Looking at art and of literature, Murdoch laments the loss of mo ...…
 
It's time for a new book! Join David, Heidi, and Tim as they dive into Homer's Odyssey, books one and two. Discussion touches on the purpose of these early books, Telemachus' journey, the relationship between the gods and humans, Penelope's wisdom, and much more. Remember: if you like this show it really goes a long way when you leave starred o ...…
 
Gillespie and Riley dive deep into an early church argument about Mary, why a bishop named Nestorius, and Mohammed, rejected the virgin birth, and why it's important to discuss the topic today. Text: Chapter XII.—That the holy Virgin is the Mother of God: an argument directed against the Nestorians. Show Notes: Preorder “Crucifying Religion” by ...…
 
Scott and Dr. Karl Schudt discuss Walker Percy's essay on how preconceived ideas about experiences cause us to overlook their essence. Why do so many people surrender their experiences of things to the way others want those people to experience them? How do we get around Percy's "symbolic complex" of a book or a place, and find a way to experie ...…
 
Join David, Heidi, and Karen Swallow Prior as they answer your questions about Jane Austen's novel. And if you like this episode be sure to leave a review. Those 5-star reviews go a long way.
 
Gillespie and Riley finish their reading of John of Damascus’ critique of Islam, then jump into the writings of Arius to better understand the foundation of Islam and modern American Christianity. Text: Thalia (Arius) Show Notes: Preorder “Crucifying Religion” by Riley Donavon Riley on 1517, FB, and Instagram Episode #64 - John of Damascus - Cr ...…
 
Plato's Seventh Letter has it all - history, politics, epistemology, pedagogy. And the complaints of an old man who has watched his life's work...fail? Scott and Dr. Karl Schudt discuss the letter and the drama behind it, and then wrestle with the question of whether or not a lover of wisdom actually has the ability to "make people good." And e ...…
 
An enthusiast came in here looking for you — real God and country-type. I don't know. Might further the plot. Gillespie and Riley read and discuss John of Damascus again this week. What’s an enthusiast? Why are footnotes important? How do Aphrodite, Arius, and a Nestorian monk lay the foundation for Islam? Text: St. John of Damascus’s Critique ...…
 
In the second installment of the Moments miniseries, seminar leader Karl Schudt reflects on the capricious and tenuous nature of our current political environment. As Thucydides reminds us, extreme partisanship is nothing new: "reckless audacity came to be considered the courage of a loyal supporter... prudent hesitation specious cowardice." An ...…
 
Join David, Heidi, and special guest Karen Swallow Prior as they discuss the final chapters of Sense and Sensibility. Conversation touches on whether Edward deserved Elinor, Marianne's evolution, Elinor's most of catharsis, and the reversal of the book's beginning. Remember: subscribe, rate, review!
 
Scott says it all the time -- if you can start your own Great Books group at home, do it! There's nothing that can truly replace the camaraderie, the deep shared intellectual experiences, and the accountability of an in-person group. Several years ago Scott started his own Great Books group in the tradition set forth my Mortimer Adler in his fo ...…
 
God’s prophet? Inconceivable! Gillespie and Riley read and discuss the work of John of Damascus which explains why Islam is a Christian heresy. Text: St. John of Damascus’s Critique of Islam Show Notes: John of Damascus Josh MacDowell - More than a Carpenter — Questions? Comments? Show Ideas? Send them to us at BannedBooks@1517legacy.com. Pleas ...…
 
Join David, Heidi, and special guest Karen Swallow Prior for a conversation about Marianne's growth, Willougby's villainy, Edward's issues, and the balance of satire and pathos in a book like this. Remember: subscribe, rate, review!
 
This week we're trying something new at Online Great Books: a new series of short episodes reflecting on one aspect of the Great Books. We're calling them Moments. We'll hear personal reflections from the seminar staff and from members. One core tenet of Online Great Books is that seminar staff do NOT teach during seminars. They serve to modera ...…
 
Gillespie and Riley conclude their discussion of hymnody with Chad Bird’s hymn, "The Infant Priest Was Holy Born." Again, they focus on pastoral care, comfort for Christians, and what happens when the church ignores the reality of sin, death, and Satan. Show Notes: The Backstory of “The Infant Priest”: From a Student’s Meditation, to a Scrap of ...…
 
Join David, Heidi, and very special guest, Karen Swallow Prior, as they chat about volume 2 of Jane Austen's classic novel. Conversation focuses on which character most bears the essence of the novel, whether there are any ideal types in the book, and the characterization that makes Austen so important (and amazing). Remember: Subscribe, rate, ...…
 
This very special Beyond the Book conversation with Whitney Scharer was recorded live at ROSEGALLERY in Santa Monica, California. Julie Robinson and Whitney Scharer engaged in a book club style discussion about Whitney's novel, The Age of Light, followed by a brief Q & A. Their conversation covered Lee Miller's life and photography of course bu ...…
 
Do You Have a Great Hymn This Week? Go Fish! This week, Gillespie and Riley discuss Thomas Chisholm’s poem turned hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness. More discussion of hymnody, church music, and how what we sing can help or hinder pastoral care. Show Notes: Banned Books #80 - “Amazing Grace” Crucifying Religion - Donavon Riley Great Is Thy Faithf ...…
 
David, Heidi, and special guest, Karen Swallow Prior are back with more conversation about Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility. Conversation touches on the differences between Elinor and Marianne, the similarities in their situations and responses, Edward and Willougby, and much more. Remember: subscribe, RATE, review!…
 
Scott Hambrick and Karl Schudt discuss Friedrich Nietzsche's book The Joyful Wisdom, Book 3, which contains his infamous proclamation "God is dead." Nietzsche is perhaps best known for his writings about nihilism, the rejection of God and moral principles, or of any notion of meaning in life. From the nihilist's perspective, nothing in the worl ...…
 
Jesus joins us in our weirdness. In this episode, Gillespie and Riley continue their discussion of how to judge a hymn with Joseph Scriverner’s classic hymn, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Show Notes: Banned Books #80 - “Amazing Grace” What a Friend We Have in Jesus What a Friend We Have in Jesus (Wikipedia) Spock’s Funeral — Questions? Comm ...…
 
This week, David, Heidi, and special guest, Karen Swallow Prior, dive ever-deeper into the world of Jane Austen's classic first novel. Discussion touches on the languid pacing of this middle section, the question of stakes, the various binaries Austen asks us to consider, and much more. Remember: Subscribe, rate, review!…
 
This week, Gillespie and Riley begin a four episode discussion on how to judge a hymn. In the first installment, they look at Amazing Grace and ask: "Is this a great, good, or bad hymn?" What makes a Christian hymn great? What should a church do with bad hymns? Show Notes: Amazing Grace (Wikipedia) Amazing Grace: A Journey in Time and Faith Why ...…
 
Further up and further (as they say)! Join David, Heidi, and special guest Karen Swallow Prior (author of the much-loved book, On Reading Well) as they continue their discussion of Jane Austen's classic novel. Topics of conversation include: How the irony and satire in the book ought to be read for each character, how Jane Austen portrays her m ...…
 
A Beyond the Book interview with Paula McLain recorded live at The Literary Escape at Miraval Tucson. Paula McLain and Julie Robinson talked to a book club audience about Paula’s latest novel Love and Ruin, that led to a conversation about The Paris Wife, Martha Gellhorn and of course lots and lots about Ernest Hemingway. It was recorded in Mar ...…
 
This week, Gillespie and Riley go live, reading, discussing, and responding to your questions and comments about Bunyan's writing on law and grace. Text: The Doctrine of the Law and Grace Unfolded, John Bunyan Show Notes: Banned Books LIVE American Gods Law and Gospel Lectures of CFW Walther — Questions? Comments? Show Ideas? Send them to us at ...…
 
Join David, Heidi, and special guest, Karen Swallow Prior (author of the much-loved book, On Reading Well) for this new series of shows about Jane Austen's classic novel. In this episode they discuss Austen's use of irony and satire, her genius point-of-view techniques, the purpose of a comedy of manners, and much, much more. Remember: If you l ...…
 
In this episode, Gillespie and Riley continue to read and discuss the Schwabach Articles. Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, Church, and all things churchy. Text: The Schwabach Articles, Sources and Contexts of The Book of Concord, trans. William R. Russel, p.83. Show Notes: Banned Books #57 - Schwabach Articles, Part 1 Banned Books LIVE Blues Brother ...…
 
It's question and answer time! Join David, Adam, and Heidi as they answer your questions about Little Britches. Remember: Subscribe, rate, review!
 
Scott Hambrick and Online Great Books member Miles Marco Bennett -- in fact the very first member to join OGB -- discuss Michel de Montaigne's insightful, tongue-in-cheek, and occasionally droll essay Of Cannibals. Montaigne's essay, which appears in a larger collected work of his essays written in the 16th century, describes the author's exper ...…
 
In this episode, Gillespie and Riley read and discuss The Schwabach Articles. Sin, faith, lots of Holy Spirit, and why the Schwabach Articles are the roots of Lutheran, Reformed, and Protestant confessions of faith. Text: The Schwabach Articles, Sources and Contexts of The Book of Concord, trans. William R. Russel, p.83. Show Notes: Banned Book ...…
 
It's time for the final chapters of Ralph Moody's Little Britches! In this episode, David, Heidi, and Adam discuss the denouement of Ralph's journey to manhood (and cowboyhood), the relationship between Ralph and his mother, the poignent moment in the finale, and much more! Remember: subscribe, rate, review!…
 
In this episode, Gillespie and Riley read and discuss the Marburg Theses. The Reformers, Luther and Zwingli (and their colleagues), sat down to try to find common theological ground. What resulted has influenced the Church to this day. Text: The Marburg Articles, Sources and Contexts of The Book of Concord, trans. William R. Russel, p.88. Show ...…
 
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