Religion and Its Critics

Apr 2012

Proudfoot is an immensely long individual. He’s long, long, long—his body, his lectures, his papers, his assignments… and all these things even SEEM longer than they actually are. Paradoxically, Proudfoot’s lectures always start and end promptly within the allotted 75 minute period, his papers are by no means unreasonable and even rather lenient, and his reading assignments are far from the longest I have been assigned at Columbia (his body is actually just plain long, though). That’s why I say that, despite reality, all these things SEEM longer than they actually are. His lectures, for instance, tend to ramble. He repeats himself with regularity and constantly rephrases things several times during a lecture. On one hand, this is very helpful for grasping some of the harder concepts. Yet again, it can be quite boring. I found the texts that Proudfoot selected for this class to be interesting, but not much more than that. Nothing seized or enthralled me. Where the blame for this lies—with the text, the professor, or me—is a mystery. It’s probably a combination of all three. As for the papers, Proudfoot very kindly replaced the midterm with a take-home version. This made everyone happy. In fact, Proudfoot is immensely kind and approachable all around. He’s a solid grader. Not an easy A, but not a stick in the mud either. My main complaint is that the class only revolves around three grades: the midterm, the final, and one paper due on the last day of class. Although this is not the most consolidated grading format that I have ever experienced, it is among the more compact. My hope is that some day Proudfoot will assign the paper to be due during the first half of the semester. This will give students a better idea of what he expects from them earlier, and make the class a less mystifying experience. Ultimately, I’m not sure that I enjoyed Proudfoot’s class, although it was very decent. Proudfoot teaches other classes that seem equally as fascinating in print as this one did, but I doubt that I will take them.

Sep 2008

Heather was a great TA. She really cared about the discussion section and that we all got a better understanding of the material. She was really good at provoking discussion and challenging questions. While the class was great in it of itself, Heather definitely added something to make it especially awesome. She was always available to meet outside of class/office hours to clarify the material or help with the papers. She was really good at giving advice on picking paper topics and starting research. However, just as she puts a lot of effort into the section she had high expectations of the students: she was, so I hear, a bit of a harsh grader, although I didn't have a problem with it myself.

Apr 2006

If you are a religion major take this class. I am not a religion major and thought that this class sounding interesting and somewhat easy, but it really isnÂ’t. If you are interested in CC all over again, this is a perfect class for you. There is lots of reading, which in my opinion was optional. Professor Proudfoot is charming but not a good lecturer. As long as you go to lecture and discussion sections, you will be alright but very bored.

May 2004

Prof. Proudfoot really knows his stuff and is great at contecting the different writers that we studied during the course. He can be a bit dry at times especially if you haven't done the reading. If you have (and this is absolutely critical) his lectures are very good.

Nov 2003

This class was amazing. Having gone into it with almost no religious background and only 1 introductory philosophy class I was at first concerned with the number of religion majors in the class, but everything turned out just fine. Although the readings were a bit difficult, Professor Proudfoot explains them so well in lecture that I actually understood them. The class is mostly lecture, but even as my last class on Thursday it was still always enthralling. I highly recommend this class!!