May 11, 2004

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

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

This is the second class I have taken with Loizzo--there will not be a third. He's a nice guy, and he can be amusing at times, but for my money I want a teacher who can deliver a clear lecture and/or facilitate a class discussion. Loizzo does neither. He sputters and rambles and has trouble getting to the point. There were some interesting readings but going to class was a huge waste of time. I got nothing out of this course that I wouldn't have gotten by doing the readings on my own.

Also, don't be fooled by the title, you won't really learn about the science of religious experience. In fact the few readings that actually had anything to do with science came at the tail end of the course, and after so much foreplay they didn't live up to expectations. The subtitle "The Nature and Culture of Contemplative States" is more accurate.

On the up side--I'm not sure if he's actually a practicing Buddhist, but he's certainly compassionate when it comes to final grades. So if you like easy classes...

Workload:

Reading: 50-80 pages a week. 5 page midterm paper, 12-15 page final paper.