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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Catholic Christendom, 1450-1650 (HIST10170)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaHistory Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionDenounced by one polemical Protestant writer in the sixteenth century as a 'Synagogue of Satan' the
Catholic church has frequently had a bad press from those who have sought to challenge the
predominance of the first truly world religion. It is often forgotten that the Catholic Church's
severest critics actually came from within its own ranks, and that most of the population of Europe
remained Catholic by 1650. This course examines some of the resons for this success, and addresses
the dynamism and energy, as well as the corruption and chicanery, that characterised Catholicism in
an era of unprecedented expansion and conflict. Topics covered include: the Inquisition and the
prosecution of 'superstition'; ritual brotherhood; false saints and visionaries; art and music; and
the Renaissance papacy.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Directors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503783).
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 3 History courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. Applicants should note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
After successful completion of this course the student will have some knowledge of the nature of
Catholic beliefs and practices over the course of two centuries. The student will also appreciate
the internal and external challenges faced by the Catholic church after 1450 and the strategies
employed to deal with them. The student will understand the the term 'reform' in its contemporary
usages, as well as the different ways in which reform was attempted: from reform in 'head and
members' to mystical and humanist programmes of renewal. The interaction of popular and elite,
religious and secular groups will also be examined and students will have some appreciation of the
cosmological continuum which existed in Catholicism from the strictly liturgical to the frankly
'superstitious', as well as the continuities which characterised Catholic beliefs and practices
before and after the Council of Trent (1545-63): notably in the use of councils, inquisition,
religious brotherhoods, prophecy and providentialism, and lay discipline.
Assessment Information
This course will demand one 3000 word essay worth one third of overall assessment and one two hour examination worth two thirds of overall assessment.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Course organiserDr Stephen Bowd
Tel: (0131 6)50 3758
Course secretaryMiss Annabel Stobie
Tel: (0131 6)50
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