December 22, 2004

Castelli, Elizabeth
Intro to the New Testament

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

I came into the class expecting a focus on the New Testament as both a historical and a theological document & got only the former -- so was disappointed right from the start. That said, the historical focus itself was problematic. First, the scope was far too broad and anyone who didn't already know a lot about early Christianity was completely lost by the third class. Second, there was no coherent theme whatsoever throughout our reading of the New Testament except maybe the constant desire to prove the text not historically accurate. To add to this, Castelli had no control over the class and about half way through each session her lecture would be entirely derailed by some completely off-topic question. As a professor, Castelli is very nice & very boring and, above all, well-intentioned. Overall, I felt like I learned very little & was entirely baffled by a professor -- and a group of students, apparently -- who would rather talk about the ancient Greek derivatives of words than the theological significance of the New Testament, especially at a time when those theological ideas are of such influence in the country at large.

Workload:

Lots of reading, most of which will never be mentioned in class, two ~2000 word papers of average difficulty, an extensive final.