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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Mary R O'Neil
HSTEU 402
Seattle Campus

The Reformation

Origins of the disunity of Europe in the crisis of the sixteenth century with emphasis on the relations between religion and politics.

Class description

The Protestant Reformation of the l6th century constitutes a major turning point in European history. By ending the unity of medieval Christendom and redefining the role of religion in society, it prepared Europe in decisive ways for the modern era. This course will study the Reformation movement from its origins in late medieval religion, through the theological revolution of Luther and Calvin, to the institutionalization of the reform in varied local contexts. Particular attention will be given to the interaction of religion with politics and society, as for example in the Peasants' Revolt of l525 and the spread of religious warfare. Other topics to be considered include the splintering of the reform movement into rival groups (including the radical Anabaptists), the efforts of the Catholic Church to reassert control, and the gradual, if reluctant, emergence of the idea of religious toleration.

Student learning goals

How the Reformation emerged from the religious and theological situation of late medievalCatholic Europe.

How to read original documents from the sixteenth century concerning religion, society and politics.

Changes in the role of marriage, family and women between Catholic and Protestant societies.

Restructuring of Catholicism in response to the Reformation.

How to think and write about religious differences without taking sides.

Historical background and context to understand religious controversies that persist today, whether between Protestants and Catholics, or among different Protestant denominations.

General method of instruction

Lecture and discussion of primary documents. Slide lectures will be given at intervals throughout the quarter.

Recommended preparation

Some background in European history &/or history of religion.

Class assignments and grading

Two papers, one short, one longer Midterm and final

Graded assignments (listed above) plus participation in discussions


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Mary R O'Neil
Date: 04/11/2007