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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Divinity : Divinity

Postgraduate Course: Theology in the Long Reformation 1400-1600 (ECHS11020)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Divinity CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course enables students to engage with late medieval and Reformation theology and come to an informed conclusion about their complex relationship. It engages contextually with key late medieval and Reformation texts and seeks to place them in dialogue. In this way the narrative of reform in both the Late Middle Ages and Reformation is presented as one of complex interconnections and intersections.
Course description Academic Description:
This course enables students to engage with late medieval and Reformation theology and come to an informed conclusion about their complex relationship. It does so through contextual readings of a wide variety of theological texts (in translation) from the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries. The late medieval texts have been chosen to provide a graduated introduction to key theological terms and issues, as well as to illustrate a diversity of perspectives. The Reformation texts develop these themes and pay close attention to the transformation of traditional theological concepts (e.g. grace, justification). They have been chosen, where possible, to offer explicit engagement with key debates of the Late Middle Ages, as well as sixteenth-century concerns. In this way the narrative of reform in both the Late Middle Ages and Reformation is presented as one of complex interconnections and intersections
Syllabus/Outline Content:
See below for a prospective outline (precise topics subject to change from year to year). The course will begin with an introduction to late medieval theology, its method and dynamic. From here it will move on to a consideration of important late medieval theological debates and their connections to reform. It will then seek to trace these debates into the various Reformations of the sixteenth century and assess their impact. Primary texts will be chosen, where possible, to illustrate contrasting theological voices and secondary texts will help to facilitate a contextual understanding. These will address writings across the reform spectrum, from a variety of genres, including works by male and female mystics and from the milieu of the Radical Reformation:

Week 1: Theology after 1277
Week 2: Scripture, Realism and Radical Reform
Week 3: Conciliarism and the Dispute over Authority
Week 4: Mysticism and the Modern Devotion
Week 5: The Augustinian Revival and Modern Pelagianism
Week 6: Christian Humanism and Neo-Platonism
Week 7: Beyond the Medieval Synthesis
Week 8: Justification Contested
Week 9: Predestination, Grace and Freedom
Week 10: Scripture, Church and Theology
Week 11: Signs, Sacraments and the (Dis)enchanted World

Student Learning Experience Information:
Each two-hour seminar will, typically, include teaching from the course organiser, student presentations and class discussion. Students' preparatory reading of primary and secondary sources will enable contextual, comparative discussion in tutorials of their major themes and their impact on wider currents of reform.

The structure for the course is both (roughly) chronological and thematic. The readings have been designed to allow for graduated progression through the topics. In addition there is a certain mirroring of late medieval and Reformation themes, allowing students to examine first-hand continuities and discontinuities between the two periods. Both course teaching and preparatory reading will help students to place intellectual and theological developments in their wider social, political and ecclesiological contexts. Students will be offered formative feedback on their presentations and an essay plan.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students interested in late medieval or early modern religious history would benefit from this course.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  12
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 90 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 10% - Class presentation

90% - Extended final essay (4000 words)
Feedback Students will have the opportunity to submit and receive feedback on an essay plan.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identity and examine contextually key themes in theological texts from the late medieval and Reformation eras.
  2. Evaluate theological ideas from late medieval and Reformation texts in their social, political and intellectual contexts.
  3. Identify and evaluate continuities and discontinuities between late medieval and Reformation theology.
  4. Interrogate late medieval and Reformation themes according to the polyvalent notion of reform.
  5. Critique historiography on the relation between medieval and Reformation thought and the 'origins of modernity'.
Reading List
Indicative Bibliography:

Bagchi. David, Luther's Earliest Opponents: Catholic Controversialists, 1518-1525 (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2009).

Ballor, Jordan, David Sytsma and Jason Zuidema (eds.), Church and School in Early Modern Protestantism: Studies in Honor of Richard A. Muller on the Maturation of a Theological Tradition (Leiden: Brill, 2013).

Bouwsma, William James, John Calvin: A Sixteenth-century Portrait (New York: OUP, 1988).

Cameron, Euan, The European Reformation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991).

Courtenay, William, Schools and Scholars in Fourteenth-Century England (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press).

Dickens, Andrea, Female Mystics: Great Women Thinkers of the Middle Ages (London: I. B Tauris, 2009).

D'Onofrio, Guilio, History of Theology III: The Renaissance (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1997).

Gregory, Brad, The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012).

Hamm, Berdnt, The Reformation of Faith in the Context of Late Medieval Theology and Piety: Essays by Berndt Hamm, ed. Robert Bast (Leiden: Brill, 2004).

Fudge, Thomas, The Magnificent Ride: The First Reformation in Hussite Bohemia (Aldershot: Ashgate, 1998).

Hudson, Anne, The Premature Reformation: Wycliffite Texts and Lollard History (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002).

Kaminsky, Howard, A History of the Hussite Revolution (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2004).

Kristeller, Paul, Renaissance Thought: The Classic, Scholastic and Humanistic Strains (New York: Harper, 1961).

Levy, Ian, John Wyclif: Scriptural Logic, Real Presence, and the Parameters of Orthodoxy (Milwaukee, WI: Marquette University Press, 2003).

Lindberg, Carter, Reformation Theologians: An Introduction to Theology in the Early Modern Period (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002).

Macdonald, A,. Z. von Martels, and Jan Veenstra (eds.), Christian Humanism: Essays in Honour of Arjo Vanderjagt (Leiden: Brill, 2009).

McGinn, Bernard, The Harvest of Mysticism in Medieval Germany (1300-1500) (New York: Crossroad, 2005).

McGrath, Alister, The Intellectual Origins of the European Reformation (Malden: Blackwell, 2004).

Muller, Richard, Christ and the Decree: Christology and Predestination in Reformed Theology from Calvin to Perkins (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2008).

Muller, Richard, Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: The Rise and Development of Reformed Orthodoxy, ca. 1520 to ca. 1725 (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2003).

Mullett, Michael, Catholic Reformation (London: Routledge, 2002).

Oakley, Francis, The Conciliarist Tradition: Constitutionalism in the Catholic Church, 1300-1870 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).

Oakley, Francis, The Western Church in the Late Middle Ages (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1985).

Oberman, Heiko (ed.), Forerunners of the Reformation: The Shape of Late Medieval Thought (Cambridge: James Clarke & Co., 2002).

Oberman, Heiko, The Dawn of the Reformation: Essays in Late Medieval and Early Reformation Thought (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1986).

Oberman, Heiko, The Harvest of Medieval Theology: Gabriel Biel and Late Medieval Nominalism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1963).

Oberman, Heiko, and Frank James III (eds.), Via Augustini: Augustine in the Later Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation: Essays in Honor of Damasus Trapp (Leiden: Brill, 1991).

Ozment, Steven, The Age of Reform (1250-1550): An Intellectual and Religious History of Late Medieval and Reformation Europe (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1980).

Pascoe, Louis, Jean Gerson: Principles of Church Reform (Leiden: Brill, 1973).

Rummel, Erika, The Confessionalization of Humanism in Reformation Germany (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).

Selderhuis, Herman (ed.), A Companion to Reformed Orthodoxy (Leiden: Brill, 2013).

Steinmetz, David, Reformers in the Wings from Geiler von Kaysersberg to Theodore Beza (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001).

Tierney, Brian, Foundations of the Conciliar Theory: The Contribution of the Medieval Canonists from Gratian to the Great Schism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).

Van Asselt, Willem J., Introduction to Reformed Scholasticism (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2011).

Van Engen, John, Sisters and Brothers of the Common Life: The Devotio Moderna and the World of the Later Middle Ages (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008).

Williams, George H., The Radical Reformation (Kirksville, MO: Sixteenth Century Studies, 1992).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Critical thinking and reflection (developed through lectures, tutorials and extended essay)
- Historical analysis and comparative evaluation (developed through tutorials, presentations and extended essay)
- Oral communication skills (developed through tutorials and presentations)
- Working within a team (developed through small group work in tutorials)
KeywordsTheology,Late medieval,Reformation,Reform,Scripture,Church,Grace,Predestination,Trinity
Course organiserDr Simon Burton
Tel: (0131 6)50 8920
Course secretaryMr Patrick McMurray
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