April 23, 2002

Segal, Alan
[RELI V3210] Judaism in the Time of Jesus

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

In response to the previous review, he does not hate orthodox Jews. He just disagrees with them. He said that the author of one of the texts, who happens to be an orthodox Jew, is one of his good friends, and one of the guest lecturers, also a friend, was from an orthodox background. i think he's an ordained rabbi, or however you get to be a rabbi, too, so i think he just selects bits and pieces that he disagrees with in the orthodox philosophy, but harbors no general disdain. He is brilliant, but he doens't shove it in your face. He knows German, Hebrew, Greek, French, pieces of Italian, and of course, English. He knows everything there is to know about ancient Jewish civilization, and if you pay attention, you'll realize this. The material is pretty interesting, but i have a hard time caring sometimes because everything is so easy, and there's absolutely no motivation to do the reading except for overzealousness and extra time. He is incredibly sarcastic, so when he told one of the previous reviewers he aims to prove that religion is full of crap, he probably meant that any intellectual human being should ask questions about his or her religion and actively try to find answers, with the knowledge that sometimes there won't be any. Having taken Massad's class on Palestinian and Israeli politics and societies, this class was total cake in terms of offensiveness, except when the orthodox people in the class started spouting their "always right" views. That was more difficult than listening to Joseph Massad.

Workload:

three papers. don't bother doing the reading. enjoy your A. ideal for jocks.