Review Comment

[RELI V2802] Introduction to Asian Religions

December 20, 2002

Deutsch, Celia
[RELI V2802] Introduction to Asian Religions

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

boring as hell. run away. if you aren't a religion major sitting in the front row, you won't get an A, no matter how innovative your ideas or beliefs may be. there is no room for confrontational theory in her class...especially with Lillian, her TA. you must agree, or you must pay the price of eternal damnation in the "B-ZONE!" hers was the only B i've gotten at columbia and her class was equally unfulfilling......a goddamn shame.

Workload:

weekly responses (1-2 pages) and 2 papers: 10-12 each.

May 12, 2002

Adamek, Wendi
[RELI V2802] Introduction to Asian Religions

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Adamek specializes in the chinese section of this class. While some reviewers say her indian counter-part, Jack Hawley, was hard to understand(I think he was awesome, by the way), at least he was entertaining and easy to listen to. Adamek was neither informative nor easy to listen to. Reads lectures VERY softly off of a typed-up speech with little inflection or change in her voice. The subject matter she chooses to discuss was hard to follow. I ended up with little understanding of what she was trying to get across, other than when the Zhou empire was in relation to some other empire, which while important, didn't directly give me what I wanted from a religion class. The TA's were a life saver - if you have her for the intro class pick a good TA. I wouldn't take a class that was just her lecturing without a co-professor. Despite the fact that I was SURE she was giving me "the eye" during her lectures, when I ran into her in the religion office she didn't even give me a once-over. So much for that.

Workload:

a few short papers on the texts. The primary source texts (those actually by asians who practice the religion) were fascinating. the secondary texts, by middle aged white guys, were awful, but there's only one or two of them.

May 01, 2002

Thurman, Robert
[RELI V2802] Introduction to Asian Religions

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Dr. Thurman is a very talented speaker and an intelligent man. He certainly has a wealth of knowledge about Buddhism. He also has a very big ego, and he doesnt seem to try very hard to restrain it. He does most of the talking in class. Even when he invites others to speak, he seems far more interested in what he has to say. He quickly jumps to conclusions and has a habit of projecting extreme opinions onto students that they never claimed to have. He can be defensive when students say something that could contradict one of his own ideas. His lectures are entertaining, but I feel we missed a lot of the details of what we are studying. I rarely took notes because he rarely wrote on the board, and much of what he says are opinions, anecdotes, and stories. I enjoyed the class; however, it would have been much better if there had been more concrete information given to the students. We had, in theory, a total of six three to four page papers and weekly postings to Courseworks

Workload:

Significant amount of reading. six three to four page papers. Weekly postings to Courseworks.

November 09, 2001

Hawley, John Silver_nugget
[RELI V2802] Introduction to Asian Religions

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I think you have to assume that many of the people who write these reviews are discouraged students airing their discontent about a bad grade or a bad relationship with the professor. This is particularly true in regards to Prof. Hawley, whose knowledge of Hindu lore and many of the relevant languages is never anything but amazing. Hawley is engaging , funny, and a little eccentric, making his lectures always interesting. His honest devotion (in a scholarly way, not necessarily religious) to the concepts he is teaching makes every lecture exciting. Don't listen to those other jackasses -- Hawley could probably give an entire lecture on his experiences in India, his knowledge of Sanskrit, etc, and it would be great.

December 31, 1999

Hawley, John Silver_nugget
[RELI V2802] Introduction to Asian Religions

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

It is a testament to Hawley's ability to teach that he managed to make thoroughly enjoyable and interesting a lecture class frequently interupted by the most idiotic questions I've ever heard from a class consisting mostly of people who were unable to pick out the blue man with the flute and aura around him as Krishna. A testament to his patience as well. Hawley is clearly excited by the material, even the stuff he is not so familiar with, enough to make each lecture worth attending. These characteristics, even more than his considerable knowledge of all things Hindu, would make it worthwhile to take virtually any class from him.

Workload:

Midterm, final, 2 short essays.

December 31, 1999

Hawley, John Silver_nugget
Hinduism and [RELI V2802] Introduction to Asian Religions

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

It's pretty impressive to meet a white man who can speak Hindi. Of course, it would be even more impressive if he didn't announce it the first day of class and take every later opportunity to remind you. He's just proud of his learning. Very proud. Some find the resulting lectures too pompous and self-congratulatory to tolerate. Note: Napping in class incurs the risk of having things thrown at you by the indignant professor.

Workload:

4 short papers; Midterm and Final.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
RELB / RELI RELB RELI V2802: Intro to Asian Religions Wendi Adamek 2008 Fall MW / 2:40- 3:55 PM 1