Review Comment

[W4011] Lotus Sutra

December 10, 2009

Moerman, David Silver_nugget
[W4011] Lotus Sutra

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

Professor Moerman is great.

Some of his other reviews indicate he may not be a great lecturer, but in a seminar format he is very comfortable. He has a self-deprecating sense of humor, which I can appreciate. He's fairly relaxed and open to letting class discussions go wherever the class takes them. That said, this is graduate level class, so for the most part the discussion stayed on track.

The class is firmly bedded in the Lotus Sutra. You're not going to get a survey of other related texts or general background on Buddhism in this class. Therefore it is helpful to bring a general understanding of Buddhism to the seminar. If you have no knowledge of the religion you might feel a bit lost. That's not to say you couldn't do it, just be prepared to do some extra reading to flesh out some of the more general points. I should add that Prof. Moerman was very open to anyone coming into the class. There were even a couple of freshmen in the mix who seemed to do just fine. About half the class were undergrads with varied majors, the other half were PhD or Masters students from the Religion or East Asian Studies Depts.

Being a seminar there was quite a lot of reading each week with a short response required on Courseworks. Each week one person acted as the discussion leader and wrote a longer review of the readings, and posed some questions for discussion in class. At the end of the semester a final paper was due. For undergrads it only had to be 10 pages. For grad students it was 20. We were required to hand in rough drafts by the last day of class. He reviewed the papers and gave helpful suggestions on how to improve them, and the final copy was due at the end of exam week. Nb. There were no exams in this class.

I highly recommend this class.

Workload:

Fairly manageable...

Weekly postings on Courseworks (1 page) with an extended post (2-3 pages) one week in which you act as the discussion leader.
1 Final paper (10 pages for undergrads / 20 pages for grad. students)
No exams

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
RELB / RELI RELB RELI W4011: Lotus Sutra-E Asian Buddhism David Moerman 2011 Spring R / 9:00-10:50 AM 1
RELB / RELI RELB RELI W4011: Lotus Sutra-E Asian Buddhism David Moerman 2009 Fall T / 2:10- 4:00 PM 1