Religion, the Occult, and Science: Science, Magic, and Religion, 1600 to the Present
Most Helpful Review
-The class isnt that hard.
-It covers a lot of material, i.e. its a lot of reading.
-The class could have been structured better in that the topics covered were grouped in a hodge-podge way.
-Professor Jacob is very knowledgeable in general, however I regret to say that she talks nonsense about modern physics.
-Do all the reading if you can, but don't sweat it if you can't do it all. Study guides were given before the tests so you could study only for the things that were gonna be tested.
-The exams were graded generously, e.g. If you could write a few paragraphs summing up the mainpoints, you could get an A on the first midterm.
Most Helpful Review
This is one of those classes that you either love, or hate, but there's no middle ground. Personally, I LOVED it! Seriously, it was one of the best classes I've ever taken at UCLA. Even though I loved it, other people I know hated it. The subject matter wasn't easy, but it's so interesting that it's not hard to learn. Also, she gives you a study guide with everything listed out for you a week in advance. Other history classes are not like that at all-- in my world history class, we just got handed 3 focus questions and were told to write some essays. Professor Raia's study guides are way better! Professor Raia is such a poised instructor, who really cares about what she's teaching. She's passionate about the topic, and is a great lecturer who knows her stuff. Seriously, she's the kind of person you would NOT want to take on in a debate, because she's very articulate, and draws on facts that she just pulls out of nowhere! We learned about some of the most famous thinkers in history, and their involvement with the occult (hermeticism, emmanationist ideas, and more than you'd ever believe). We also studied the development of different religious sects, and the tenuous relationship between science, magic, and religion. The main point of the class was that Science, Magic, and Religion struggle for power over the public sphere. Religion used the be institutionalized (educationally, governmentally), but now science has started to take over, pushing religion to the private sphere (mostly). And magic has always been there, but was pushed aside by religion (all though today it's still very much alive). If hypnotism, religious sects, historical figures interested in the occult, hermeticism, techno pagans, and scientific investigation of the paranormal, doesn't interest you then don't take this class! I'm a pretty artistic north campus person who's very spiritual, and I loved that this stuff was approached from an objective academic perspective. People who were more south campus science-types didn't seem to like it as much. . .