Over 4000 free audio and video lectures, seminars and teaching resources from Oxford University.
Skip to Content Skip to Navigation

Ian Ramsey Centre: The Great Debate

The Great Debated is a series of fifteen lectures by Timothy McGrew, Professor and Department Chair, Department of Philosophy, Western Michigan University. The 'Great Debate' is a convenient umbrella term for a set of theological and philosophocal disputes about miracles, prophecy, and theism itself in the wake of the Deist Controversy. These disputes spanned roughly the years 1760 to 1900, played out across England, Europe, and North America, and associated with seven types of sceptical attack on the grounds of revealed religion: continental, urbane, populist, scholarly, transcendental, establishment, and Dutch/German. The ensuring controversies continue to shape cultures to the present day. This series was delivered as a graduate-level online course in Western Michigan University 10 May - 28 June 2016, produced in collaboration with the Ian Ramsey Centre, Oxford University Faculty of Theology and Religion, as part of the Special Divine Action project, sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation.

# Episode Title Description People Date
5 Lecture 01: Introduction and Course Overview This lecture introduces the course and the seven sceptical challenges of the period: continental, urbane, populist, scholarly, transcendental, establishment, and Dutch and German. Timothy McGrew 29 Jun 2017
4 Lecture 02: Continental Skepticism The focus of this lecture is continental scepticism, primarily a French movement influenced by Deism, and its main proponents: Voltaire and Rousseau. Timothy McGrew 29 Jun 2017
3 Lecture 03: Urbane Skepticism: Gibbon vs. Watson Urbane scepticism, an extension of English Deism, is presented in this lecture mostly through the lens of Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, with a response by Bishop Richard Watson. Timothy McGrew 29 Jun 2017
2 Lecture 04: Urbane Skepticism: Mill and Arnold This second and final lecture on urbane scepticism deals with the work of the Utilitarian John Stuart Mill and the English poet Matthew Arnold. Timothy McGrew 29 Jun 2017
1 Lecture 05: Populist Skepticism: Paine and Watson This lecture begins the account of the sceptics who appealed to the common working man, with the main focus of this first lecture on Thomas Paine, with responses by Bishop Richard Watson. Timothy McGrew 29 Jun 2017