Early Christianity

Jan 2019

I originally did not plan to take this course, as I'm not a religion major and I was just searching for an elective to take. After I took the first class, I was a bit daunted by the amount of reading expected. But I was interested in the subject and hoped that would make it worth the time, and I think it definitely was. By the end of the class, you're questioning everything about Christianity (in a good way). You realize that all powerful things start from humble beginnings. The class goes beyond learning the tenets of Christianity and considers the lives of early Christians and how they interacted with other people. It becomes a study of history, a study of texts, and a study of people. For me, this mix made for a fascinating class. I also stayed because Castelli is a wonderful professor and person. She is incredibly knowledgable in her subject and will take the time to listen to anyone's questions or concerns, either during class or outside class. She approaches touchy subjects with caution and understanding, and, again, will listen to anything someone has to say during these touchy discussions. Personally, I came for the subject, and I stayed for Castelli. The workload is a bit daunting as there are some heavy reading days, which Castelli recognizes, and she suggested on the first day of class that the primary sources are more important than the secondary. Follow this advice: that is what I did, and there were only one or two days where I felt that I did not know completely what was happening, and that was only for a portion of those classes. For the definite majority of the time, reading the primary sources will get you far.

Dec 2007

Throughout the course of every class meeting I slowly felt the will to live drain out of my body. The readings were terribly dull, the lectures never ending. A few classmates who thought they knew everything tended to take over the class every once in a while and yap for what felt like hours, which the professor seemed to encourahe. Not at all worth the $3000+ I paid for it. If I wanted to hear the opinions of a bunch of clueless kids trying to seem smart I'd sit in Lerner Hall at lunchtime.

May 2005

Ooooh I love Professor Deutsch! Her teaching style is reading from pre-written lectures, which can be dull, but at least she is upfront about it and you know what to expect from the beginning. A LOT of reading, and some of it is dull, but if you put a lot in you can get a lot out. She is also pretty admirable: as a nun, as a prof, and as a person--if you go to her office hours, which you should, ask her about the social justice work she has been involved in. It will blow your mind how cool she is, and make the sometimes-boring lecture style much easier to stomach. Plus, she is caring and wants to help her students and treats them like real valuable people. She is the cool nun Auntie you never had, and if you can get through the complicated material, you will be so glad you took her class.