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RELI 0140 / HIST 0140 Catholic Reformation

The Catholic Church of the late middle ages was very far from the moribund monolith portrayed by its adversaries. It had a rich tradition on which to draw in responding to the changes of the early modern era; indeed Catholic theologians and ecclesiastics may have renewed the Church just as profoundly as their Protestant opponents.  New articulations of doctrine, new forms of the religious life, new devotional practices for the laity, and new approaches to the arts were all enthusiastically enjoined on the Catholic world. This period was thus one of the most dynamic in life of the Church.   

Sample Topics

  • Reforming the Church before Luther
  • Erasmus, More and Catholic Humanism
  • Responding to Protestant Attack
  • Institutional Reform and the Council of Trent
  • Ignatius Loyola and the Jesuits
  • New Orders and New Spiritualities?
  • The Politics of Counter-Reformation
  • A New Aesthetic? Art, Architecture and Music


Introductory Reading

  • Lindberg, C., The European Reformations. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2nd  edn, 2009
  • Mullet, M.A., The Catholic Reformation. Abingdon: Routledge, 1999
  • Hsia, R. Po-chia, The World of Catholic Renewal, 1540-1770. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2nd edn, 2005
  • Bireley, R., The Refashioning of Catholicism, 1450-1700. Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1999
  • O'Malley, J.W., Trent and All That: Renaming Catholicism in the Early Modern Era. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2nd edn, 2002
  • Luebke, D.M. (ed.), The Counter-Reformation: The Essential Readings. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999
The City of Dreaming Spires
Waking up surrounded by Gothic architecture Studying in the Radcliffe Camera­ Strutting in high heels across cobblestones Shopping at the Covered Mar...
Veronica Popp, Spring Semester 2009, Elmhurst College