REL 331
Reformations: Faith, Politics, and the World Spring 2020
Division II
Cross-listed HIST 330 / REL 331

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The Protestant Reformation has long been understood as the first salvo of modernity. Martin Luther and his followers upheld the faith of the individual believer against the authority of the established Church. They sparked a series of transformations that created not just Protestantism in all its varieties but, it has been argued, the state as we know it, the modern self, capitalism and even, as an unintended consequence, secularism. While considering these classic interpretations, this seminar will also probe more recent research on the plural Reformations: not just Protestant but also Catholic, and not solely the elite movement of Luther and John Calvin but also the less orthodox Reformation of non-elite believers such as tradesmen, artisans, and peasants. Moreover, in this same period, European missionaries traveled to Africa and Asia, making Christianity a global religion. We will ask: what was at stake in these sweeping transformations of what it meant to be a Christian? To what extent was the Reformation a step towards the disenchantment of the world? And how did Reformations of the faith intersect with the expansion of Europe? Historical developments to be considered include theological debates about human agency, the changing relationship of religion and the state, female mysticism, religious warfare, and overseas missions. Authors to be read include Luther, Calvin, Teresa of Ávila, John Hooper, Ignatius of Loyola, and others.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 25
Expected: 18
Class#: 3268
Grading: no pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: two short papers (5-7 pages) and a longer final paper (10-12 pages)
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: History majors
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
HIST 330 Division II REL 331 Division II
Attributes: HIST Group C Electives - Europe and Russia
HIST Group P Electives - Premodern

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