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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
Thankful for every moment
I devoured the integral lectures, the seminars, the tea and biscuits, and the charming streets of Oxford. Aided by my tutors, my passion for the human...
Mike Rectenwald, Summer 2000, Geneva College