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HIST 0280 Reformation Europe

The Reformation and subsequent ‘Counter-Reformation’ transformed and divided Europe to such an extent that its impact still reverberates today. This course examines the history and reasons for the success of reformers such as Martin Luther, John Calvin and Huldrych Zwingli, as well as the reaction of both the Catholic Church and a host of European rulers to the challenges that their beliefs heralded. Encompassing a broad geographic sweep and a chronology that spans from the beginning of the sixteenth century to the end of the seventeenth, you will be encouraged to consider how the Reformation spread; the ways in which it impacted the populace; why it was so successful in particular areas; the transformations it brought to politics, devotional practices and the visual arts; as well as the usefulness of terms such as ‘Counter’ or ‘Catholic’ reformation.

Sample Topics

  • Reform before Luther
  • Protestant Theology: Luther, Calvin and Zwingli
  •  The Battle for Hearts and Minds: How were Protestant ideas diffused?
  • Early Catholic Responses to Protestantism
  • Iconoclasm: The Question of the Image in Protestant and Catholic Thought
  • The Convening of the Council of Trent
  • Instigating Reform in the late Sixteenth Century
  • The Legacy of the Reformation


Introductory Reading

  • Rublack, U., Reformation Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005
  • Laven, M. (et al.), eds, The Ashgate Research Companion to the Counter-Reformation. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate, 2013
  • Luebke, D.M. (ed.), The Counter-Reformation: The Essential Readings. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999
  • Dixon, S., The Reformation in Germany. Oxford: Blackwell, 2002
  • Dixon. S., Contesting the Reformation. Oxford: Blackwell, 2012



I consider it my alma mater
My diploma might not say CMRS but I consider it my alma mater as much as my actual alma mater. I did some of my best university work at CMRS and I man...
Brenna Kearney, Autumn Semester 2003 & Spring Semester 2004, William Jewell College.