December 31, 1999

Thurman, Robert
V2607 Buddhism: Indo-Tibetan; V3000 Buddhist Ethics

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

Although he often parachutes into class without preparation, Thurman is a fascinating man and agile speaker, which makes for entertaining lectures. Besides, who would turn down a chance to learn about Buddhism from someone who's renowned for knowing so much about it? People magazine and the Dalai Lama can't both be wrong. Still, the hype surrounding him as a campus "famous-guy" tends to really build up some unrealistic expectations for his classes. People who register for his classes expecting to attain Nirvana in time for the midterm will probably be a little disappointed. Taken as a class, it's a good experience and a prime choice for the major cultures requirement. One thing: Many of the classes wind up in the default "one-hundred person question and answer session" format which can be frustrating compared to the real lectures.

Workload:

Midterm exam; 1 essay.