Section Information for Fall 2012This course examines the sixteenth-century transformation of late medieval Christianity that historians call the Reformation. Made up of dozens of separate Protestant and Catholic reformations, these changes significantly altered most Europeans' religious experience. The course will explain the background and underlying causes of these reformations as well as analyze their impact on Western society. The emphasis will be on the goals that all these reformations had in common--Protestant as well as Catholic--and why they ultimately sought to remake their own society as a Kingdom of Christ on earth. The various religious wars and political rivalries of the sixteenth and early seventeenth century will also be stressed. Other topics include the impact of the Reformation on science, the European witch hunts of the period, and how the Reformation affected marriage and the family. Students will read a number of primary sources, including some of the principal writings of Martin Luther, John Calvin, and other major reformers, as well as some of the most recent studies of the Reformation era. There will be two papers to write out of class, as well as a mid-term and a final exam.
Late medieval ecclesiastical conditions and reform movements, late scholasticism, Protestant Reformation, Catholic Reformation, dynastic rivalries, and religious wars. Concludes with Peace of Westphalia.