May 01, 2004

Thurman, Robert
[V3000] Buddhist Ethics

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

I disagree completely with all the negative reviews posted on here about Thurman. Thurman is indeed an incredibly smart thinker and highly intelligent--the only thing the prior reviewers have gotten right about him, in my opinion. Thurman definitely is not your typical stuffy Ivy League lecturer filled with mundane academia crap. If you're expecting to be given a boring textbook lecture, then of course you're going to be disappointed. I, for one, absolutely LOVED going to his classes; it was the highlight of my week. Thurman challenged one to think outside the box, reject unquestionably accepting the mores of established society, and really lay off the pretentiousness and act realistic. Don't expect to get anything out of his class if you're planning on approaching it with the same systematic mentality you approach the majority of other CU classes. Thurman's class is truly the only challenging course I've taken here at Columbia (I'm a 3rd year). ... Buddhism is learning what the nature of reality really is and consider yourself fortunate if you have him for a professor. He's one of the very few Westerners appropriately trained in Tibetan Buddhism--was taught by the same teachers who taught the Dalai Lama.

Workload:

Weekly CourseWorks postings. No midterm. Final 8-10 page paper on topic of your choice.