August 16, 2006

Thurman, Robert
[V2607] Buddhism: Indo-Tibetan

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

If a professor polarizes students into two camps, they he is leaving a significant portion of the student body disaffected and alienated -not exactly the hallmark of a good instructor. Similarly, a "tangential" approach to "esoteric" material is hardly encouraging. Poorly construed thoughts aside, Thurman is, I think, a pathetic windbag who uses his academic position to expound on a number of themes pertaining to politics and mass culture, using eastern religion as a vehicle. He did not seem to me truly interested in explaining Buddhist philosophy in any comprehensible way. The class is large, the lectures bad, and the TAs mildly useful. Oh, and Big Bob will likely be absent a lot because of other commitments. Don't believe for a second that your tuition obligates him to be present for your education.

If you want a quick three credits, take this course. You won't learn a great deal, but it will be only mildly irritating. I pulled an 'A' and didn't break a sweat.

Workload:

Listening to a lot of verbal diarhea, outside readings you can skip, mid-term, final, and a short essay that will be read by the great American buddhist himself.