Origins of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Description: (Same as Ancient Near East M50B and Religion M50.) Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Examination of three major monotheisms of Western cultures--Judaism, Christianity, and Islam--historically and comparatively. Development, teachings, and ritual practices of each tradition up to and including medieval period. Composition and development of various sacred texts, highlighting key themes and ideas within different historical and literary strata of traditions, such as mechanisms of revelation, struggle for religious authority, and common theological issues such as origin of evil and status of nonbelievers. Letter grading.

Units: 5.0
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Overall Rating 4.0
Easiness 2.0/ 5
Clarity 3.0/ 5
Workload 3.0/ 5
Helpfulness 3.0/ 5
Most Helpful Review
Winter 2021 - I have a love-hate relationship with this class. The lectures were grueling, but we had some amazing discussions. I struggled with the distanced-learning since participation was 20% of our grade, and attendance is mandatory. This was probably the worst part of the class because Professor Bakhos talked really slow and wouldn’t record lectures and I couldn’t stay focused on anything she was saying. The breakout rooms were too crowded for everyone to contribute, and most of the time we didn’t even have a TA guiding the conversation. The syllabus also says if you miss more than two discussion sections, you can’t pass. However, our discussion sections were great, and we had a group chat where everyone elaborated on the topics we were covering. In Professor Bakhos’ defense, though, a lot of my complaints would be resolved if in-person instruction was available. I don’t want to discourage you from taking the course if you’re interested, but I definitely struggled with the new format. She also had pretty chaotic and disorganized energy and I’m sure the transition was difficult for her. She seemed like she cared, and she had moments where she was really funny. Our exams were take-home, and we had about a week to do them. They had five short answers, and one long essay at the end. I didn’t study or do any of the readings, and I threw something together the night before it was due and still got a B. My TA gave me very specific feedback and this bumped my next exam up to an A. (Shoutout to Aaron) Overall, it was a cool class, but it’s too much information for 10 weeks (covering three of the world’s largest religions) and there are much easier GEs out there.
Overall Rating N/A
Easiness N/A/ 5
Clarity N/A/ 5
Workload N/A/ 5
Helpfulness N/A/ 5
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