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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Undergraduate Course: Reformations: Continental Europe 1475-1600 (DIVI10079)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA study of central issues at stake in the varieties of Reformation that took root across Continental Europe in the 16th century. The course uses key texts from Luther, Calvin, Anabaptist and Catholic reformers. It sets the documents and their authors in context, historically and theologically. It considers continuities/discontinuities with late medieval thought. It explores the directions reform thought took within the Protestant movement, and in Catholic settings. It analyses the character and consequences of the polemics that divided Europe.
Course description Academic Description:
This course allows students to gain knowledge and understanding of Protestant and Catholic reform movements in Continental Europe, c.1475-1600. It looks at the intellectual, social, cultural contexts in which reform took root; the hinterland in late medieval life and thought; the positions adopted by different parties on central themes in debate, such as justification by faith alone, the nature of Christ's presence at the Eucharist, the authority of Scripture/tradition; the impact of printed propaganda on the character of Reformation debate; the cohesive and divisive pressures of confessional division within Continental Europe. Students will study key 16th century texts in translation, to interpret their historical and theological significance. They will become familiar with the variety of approaches taken in recent Reformation scholarship.

Syllabus/Outline Content:
The course starts with an introduction to recent writing on the Reformation, and to significant currents in late medieval religious life and theology. Then the focus is on Luther and the German reform movement of the 1520s. The parallel reform movement in Zurich and Swiss cantons is explored through the conflict that developed between Luther and the Swiss reformer Zwingli. Following this, attention turns to radicals such as Anabaptists, who resisted the mainstream (magisterial) Reformation and were persecuted and marginalised as a result. Moving forward into the 1530s, the course then looks at the second generation of Protestant reform, represented by religious change in Geneva, the work of Calvin, and the international spread of the Reformed tradition. The final third of the course looks at Catholic reform movements, from the common ground of late medieval religion to the decisive rejection of Protestantism at the Council of Trent. The last session is an opportunity to look at the character and consequences of Europe's divisions over religion.

After the first week, the pattern of teaching will typically be a one-hour seminar discussion of pre-assigned texts, followed by a one-hour lecture that provides background for the following week's texts.

1. Recent writing on the Reformation; late medieval background
2. Luther's protest
3. Luther's ideas, and how and where they took root
4. Conflict and controversy
5. Radical reformers
6. The Reformation in Geneva
7. Calvin's Institutes
8. Reform thought in Catholic circles
9. Catholic mysticism and devotion
10. The Council of Trent
11. Europe divided

Student Learning Experience Information:
The class meets for two hours a week, typically for a one-hour seminar discussion of pre-assigned texts, followed by a one-hour lecture that provides background for the following week's texts. A course reader will be provided. The LEARN site for the course will run a blog from week 2: each week, all students will be asked to contribute a comment on seminar texts of 100-150 words, to feed into discussion. Each student will be allocated a seminar to co-lead and facilitate, with a presentation of no more than 10 minutes. Students will be offered formative feedback on their presentations and at other appropriate points. Students will be provided with titles and bibliographies for the coursework essay, and will be offered a preparatory meeting with the course manager to discuss their choice of essay topic.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Reformations: Continental Europe 1475-1600 (ECHS10023)
Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students interested in Reformation or early modern religious history would benefit from this course. Visiting students should have at least 3 Divinity/Religious Studies courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  18
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 171 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 30% - Coursework Essay (2000 words)

10% - Weekly blog contributions

10% - Class presentation

50% - Exam (in person exam)
Feedback Students will have receive feedback on blog comments and presentations.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify and examine contextually key themes in the Reformations of Continental Europe, Protestant and Catholic.
  2. Compare and contrast different types of reform movement in Continental Europe over the course of the sixteenth century.
  3. Identify and evaluate continuities and discontinuities between late medieval reform and 16th century Protestant and Catholic reform movements in Continental Europe.
  4. Critique historiography to show understanding of different scholarly perspectives on 16th century reform.
  5. Analyse different social, intellectual, political and religious factors involved in Reformation.
Reading List
Indicative Bibliography:

Bagchi, D. & D. Steinmetz, eds The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology (2005).

Cameron, E. The European Reformation (1991).

Cameron. E. ed., Early Modern Europe (2001).

Collinson, Patrick The Reformation (2005).

Greengrass, M. The Longman Companion to the European Reformation (1998).

Hendrix, Scott H. Martin Luther: A Very Short Introduction (2010).

Hillerbrand, H.J. The Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Reformation (1996).

Hsia, R. Po-Chia, ed. The Cambridge History of Christianity Vol. 6, Reform and Expansion 1500-1600 (2007).

Lindberg, C. The European Reformations (1996).

Lindberg, C. ed., The Reformation Theologians (2002).

MacCulloch, D. Reformation: Europe's House Divided (2004).

McGrath, A. Reformation Thought: An Introduction (2000).

Marshall, P. ed., The Oxford Illustrated History of the Reformation (2015).

Pettegree, A. ed., The Early Reformation in Europe (1992).

Pettegree, A. The Reformation World (2000).

Pettegree, A. Europe in the Sixteenth Century (2002).

Pettegree, A. Reformation and the Culture of Persuasion (2005).

Rublack, U. Reformation Europe (2nd ed. 2017).

Rublack, U. The Oxford Handbook of the Protestant Reformations (2016).

Scribner, R., R.Porter, M.Teich, eds. The Reformation in National Context (1994).

Wandell, Lee Palmer The Reformation: Towards a New History (2011).

Primary source collections:
Hillerbrand, H.J. The Reformation in its Own Words (1964).

Lindberg, C. ed., The European Reformations: Sourcebook (2nd ed. 2014).

Olin, J. ed. Catholic Reform from Cardinal Ximenes to Council of Trent (1990).

Medieval background:
Arnold, John H., ed. The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Christianity (2014).

McGrath, A. Intellectual Origins of the European Reformation (1993).

Oberman, H. ed., Forerunners of the Reformation (1967).

Oberman, H. The Harvest of Medieval Theology (1983).

Luther and the German Reformation:
Edwards, M. Luther's Last Battles: Politics & Polemics, 1531-46 (1983).

Edwards, M. Printing, Propaganda, and Martin Luther (1994).

Lohse, B. Martin Luther's Theology (1999).

McKim, D. ed. The Cambridge Companion to Martin Luther (2003).

Oberman, H. Luther: Man between God and Devil (1989).

Roper, L. Martin Luther: Renegade and Prophet (2016).

The Reformation in Zurich:
Gäbler, U. Huldrych Zwingli (1986).

Gordon, B. The Swiss Reformation (2002).

Potter, G.R. Zwingli (1976).

Radical Reformation:
Baylor, Michael G., ed. The Radical Reformation (1991).

Williams, G.H. The Radical Reformation (3rd ed., 1992).

Calvin and Reformation in Geneva:
Bouwsma, W. John Calvin: A Sixteenth Century Portrait (1988).

Gordon, B. Calvin (2009).

McKim, D. ed., The Cambridge Companion to John Calvin (2004).

Partee, C. The Theology of John Calvin (2008).

Catholic Reform:
Bireley, R. The Refashioning of Catholicism, 1450-1700 (1999).

Hsia, R. PoChia The World of Catholic Renewal 1540-1770 (2005).

O'Malley, J.W. Trent: what happened at the Council (2013).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Critical thinking and reflection (developed through lectures, seminars, coursework essay)
- Historical analysis and comparative evaluation (developed through seminars, presentations, blogs, coursework essay)
- Oral communication skills (developed through seminar presentations and discussion)
- Working in a team (developed through small group work in seminars)
KeywordsReformation,Luther,German Reformation,Radical Reformation,Zwingli,Calvin,Reformed Theology,Catholic
Course organiserDr Simon Burton
Tel: (0131 6)50 8920
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Dutton
Tel: (0131 6)50 7227
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