HIEU 3231 / RELC 3231
This course explores the history of religion in Europe from 1450 to 1650. At the beginning of this period, the overwhelming majority of Europeans were bound together by a commonly-held Christian culture. In the sixteenth century, these bonds were shattered as Europeans debated what “Christianity” meant. In order to defend their answers, children disowned their parents, princes waged wars, and martyrs faced violent deaths. By the seventeenth century, Europeans lived in a world divided by religion. How did these divisions take shape? And how did they shape the lives of early modern European individuals, families, and communities? Throughout the semester, we will explore these questions through a combination of lectures and discussions. A few central themes include the formation of divergent Lutheran, Reformed, Anabaptist, and Catholic communities; persecution and toleration; the effects of religious reform on art and culture; and the interplay between Reformations in Europe and the exploration of the wider world. The majority of our readings will be drawn from primary sources. Written work will include papers and essay examinations (midterm and final).