Review Comment

[V1101] Introduction to Western Religion

January 21, 2002

Deutsch, Celia
[V1101] Introduction to Western Religion

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

The worst class I've ever taken? Easily. I can easily say I've learned nothing, and anyone who takes this class is in for a world of trouble. I have nothing more to add that hasn't been said already.

Workload:

8 page midterm paper. 10-12 page final paper.

December 17, 2001

Deutsch, Celia
[V1101] Introduction to Western Religion

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

The worst class I have ever taken. Deutsch's lecture method is to read word for word in a monotonous voice other scholar's quotes, and then comment on them. In a class fo 75, about thirty went each week, and ten of those left before class was over. The weekly two-page response papers were assignments in how to bullshit. NEVER TAKE A COURSE FROM HER! You will hate yourself for doing it.

Workload:

weekly 2 page response papers torn apart by the TA's, then 2 research papers, midterm 8 pgs, final 10 pgs.

December 16, 2001

Deutsch, Celia
[V1101] Introduction to Western Religion

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

She is the nicest woman ever, but boring beyond belief. She reads her lectures off pre-written speeches, but shes so nice and will hep you with whatever you need. The good thing is that you don't really have to do the readings or go to the class, and she says she doesn't give As, but its just not true.

Workload:

ungraded response papers once a week, 2 papers, no tests.

December 04, 2001

Deutsch, Celia
[V1101] Introduction to Western Religion

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

It is puzzling to me that other reviewers claim that Professor Deutsch is intolerant of others' views or somehow close minded. She goes to great lengths to be open and understanding of others' viewpoints. However, she is unwilling (unlike certain humanities professors) to compromise basic facts in order to boost someone's self-esteem. Thus, when someone makes a comment that goes beyond being uninsightful, and is, in fact, flat out wrong, she let's them know. Case in point, she refused to agree with several members of the class who seemed hell-bent on their own bizzarro-world definition of the word "theology." (Yes, one has to be a believer to be a theologian.) Overall, a very good and enriching class. The lectures are sometimes a bit overwhelming, but this is a function of professor Deutsch's unwillingness to oversimplify the material. Since there is no midterm or final you don't need to memorize every fact. Deutsch clearly cares about teaching and about her students and is extremely knowlegeable. The readings are generally good, although there are too many of them for most people to do every one. The response papers are a bit annoying. Still, highly recommended.

Workload:

Weekly response papers, an eight page take-home midterm and a ten to twelve page take-home final.

November 10, 2001

Deutsch, Celia
[V1101] Introduction to Western Religion

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

AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL. This woman stands and reads an inpenitrable essay on random religious topics every week. The readings are sometimes rather interesting, if you're inclined towards the material in general, but somehow Deutsch murders it in class session. There are a great many people in the class who seem to float in once a week to hand in their papers and then skeedadle out before the brutal lecture starts. Seems like a good strategy to me.

Workload:

2 page reading responses every week are required, and are mindnumbing. Also, an 8 page midterm paper and a 12 page final.

November 09, 2001

Deutsch, Celia
[V1101] Introduction to Western Religion

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

Run....don't walk.....run from this class!! It was by far the worst class I have taken at Columbia or Barnard. The lectures are boring and tedious, and what's more, they're simply read from (presumably) her previous writings. As Bishop Fulton Sheen once said about preachers who need to read their homilies: "If we can't remember it, how can we expect those listening to remember it?" Deutsch is knowledgeable, but is not that receptive to views that vary too much from her own. Also, the readings are too heightened and are inappropriate for an "intro" level class.

Workload:

Weekly response papers that two narrow-minded TA's criticize, as well as lengthy papers in place of the mid-term and the final.The weekly response papers are waste of effort, because even if you invest tremendous time and thought, they don't help your grade. They're simply "standard operating procedure" like attendance.

April 16, 2001

Deutsch, Celia
[V1101] Introduction to Western Religion

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

I found her lectures uninteresting. I came in with a really fresh mind, excited to do work. I began the class reading everything, but by the end, class was so unbearable that I not only didn't read but found myself skipping class. She just reads straight from an essay she prepared before class, and although she engages you in a discussion, she rarely leaves any room for interpretation. In fact, she is one of those teachers who just expects the obvious answer, but an answer so obvious that you can't even think of it. Anyways, I used to want to major in religion, and now I am not so sure. I hope that makes a difference...

Workload:

a lot of reading and two papers along with small papers each week proving that you did the reading (which the TA's often lose) and which are subject to the random decision of whichever TA is grading you that week.

December 31, 1999

Deutsch, Celia
[V1101] Introduction to Western Religion

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

I took this class as a first semester freshman and so I was terrified when she began lecturing a mile a minute, pausing only to announce that she "doesn't give As". As it turned out though, she may not give As but her TAs do, and the fact that I stressed out over actually doing the readings turned out well for me. Fascinating stuff.

Workload:

Tons of reading, but your grade is based on papers of your topic choice, so you can cheat a bit.

December 31, 1999

Deutsch, Celia
[V1101] Introduction to Western Religion

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

I cannot say enough about how amazing this woman is. Celia Deutsch's lectures prove that she has two things few Columbia professors have in combination: thorough knowledge of her subject and a passion for teaching. Though some have complained that Deutsch's lecture style is a tad boring (she simple reads a prepared speech), I found her willingness to incorporate discussion refreshing, especially in a class of 50 or so students.

Workload:

Two 5-6 page papers and a 10-page paper in lieu of a final. Papers require no research beyond the books read for the course.

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