December 21, 2009

Balmer, Randall Silver_nugget
religion and american culture

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

This class is one long simplistic powerpoint presentation. The minimal amount of reading (almost all at least co-authored by Balmer) meant that it was really a course on Balmer's view of American religious history. Each day consisted of him flipping through powerpoint slides, waiting as the class copied down names and dates, and then reading the contents of the slides more or less verbatim. He presents US religious history as a serious of bullet points. This felt like a high school class. Sparse on analysis, heavy on apologies whenever he happened to accidentally overburden us with 'too much theology.' Never mind that this is a religion course. Intellectual lightweight is correct. Academic disappointment.

Workload:

Minimal reading, almost all from his book. 2 4-6 page papers on simple topics. Midterm and final with multiple choice and matching sections.