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RELI 0130 / HIST 0130 Protestant Reformation

The Protestant Reformation in sixteenth-century Europe saw fundamental Christian beliefs and practices challenged and overturned; a huge range of theological views gaining adherents; and much of the continent convulsed with warfare in the name of God. Change, challenge and innovation were emphatically not confined to areas we might today consider ‘religious’; the whole structure of politics and pattern of European life was profoundly reconfigured. This course explores both the ideas of the theologians and their impact in everyday life through a careful study of primary texts with the aid of a lively body of modern scholarship.

Sample Syllabus

  • Religion on the ‘Eve of Reformation’
  • Martin Luther and the Reformation in Germany
  • Reforming the Cities
  • Zwingli and the Swiss Reformation
  • John Calvin: an International Reformation?
  • Reforming Authority
  • The Reformers and Justification
  • Sacraments: What, How Many and From Whom?


Introductory Reading

  • MacCulloch, D., The Reformation: A History. London: Penguin Books, 2005
  • McGrath, A.E., Reformation Thought: An Introduction. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 4th edn, 2012
  • Cameron, E., The European Reformation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2nd edn, 2012
  • Lindberg, C., The European Reformations. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2nd  edn, 2009
  • Dixon, C.S. (ed.), The German Reformation: The Essential Readings. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999
  • Englander, D. (ed.), Culture and Belief in Europe 1450-1600: An Anthology of Sources. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990
  • Janz, D.R. (ed.), A Reformation Reader: Primary Texts with Introductions. Minneapolis, MN : Fortress Press, 2nd edn, 2002
You never know what you'll find
One afternoon, I left St. Michael's Hall with the desire for a cookie and thought I'd pick one up before heading back to the Bodleian. The shop around...
Gabrielle Linnell, Spring Semester 2012, Wellesley College