January 20, 2004

Loizzo, Joseph
[RELI V2660] Science & Religion East & West

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

This course is co-taught by Loizzo and Robert Pollack. I found Loizzo to be the worse of the two professors. For a Buddhist, he had quite the ego! It often seemed as though he were trying to convert everyone to Buddhism. It's OK to be excited and happy with your religion, but I didn't sign up for this course to get preached at.

Loizzo gets VERY defensive when challenged. it's difficult to say anything in response to his lectures, because he just wants to tell you you are wrong and shoot down your ideas. (He is quite interested in hearing Pollack critique his arguments, though. Pollack and Loizzo, in general, take each other seriously and do not take student contributions seriously at all. They interpret student comments during class not as contributions to the discussions, but as requests for clarification of their much more important ideas.) His religion=good/peaceful while secular society=bad/violent bias is really clear and really disgusting.

Overall, the course is mainly philosophical and religious texts. I was hoping it would explore the political and social clashes of science and religion throughout history, but there is pretty much NONE of this. If you want to study this sort of stuff, don't take this course. If you like philosophical and religious debate about huge questions such as "What is the nature of consciousness?" and "Is there life after death?" you will probably love it.

Workload:

1 short paper and 1 long paper on whatever you want to write about. Lots of reading, only some of which is essential.