History 337 - Fall 1999
Office: 445 Main Building
Work Telephone: 363-5190
Home Telephone: (612) 788-3963
Office Hours: Days of Class Meetings 10a.m.-11a.m. and by appointment
Age of Reformations: Europe c. 1450-1650
Goals and Approach:
The purpose of this course is to introduce you to a series of events and changes bearing on the religious, social and cultural complexion of Europe that took place chiefly in the 16th century. Collectively historians refer to these events as the Reformation. Because the Reformation took place not in one European society but many and responses to it encompassed all of Europe in one way or another, I call this course Age of Reformations. In our case this will mean a focus on the following regions/societies: Germany, Switzerland, France, The Netherlands, Britain and Italy. The plural Reformations is also a way of pointing out that the Reformation was a complex phenomenon that involved different groups of people in different ways. The Reformation for common folk was not necessarily the Reformation of kings and princes. The Reformation for Catholics was not what it was for those who became known as Protestants. Finally, this is a course in which we will also think about historiansí interpretations of these events. For just as those who participated in the Reformation had varied notions of what it was, so too have those who comment on it.
Chronologically, the course will take us from the mid-15th century into the 17th century, a span of about two centuries. We begin in what is now Germany, where the Reformation first took hold and where some of the central ideas, practices and beliefs that would lend shape to the Reformation first had their genesis. Germany is also a good place to begin because of its unique relationship to Italian society and Italian culture as well as its special relationship to the Catholic church in the 15th century. If being first is important, though, we should not assume the Reformation elsewhere was any less important. Thus, after looking at events in Germany and Switzerland between about 1450 and 1550 we will turn to Britain and the Low Countries (what are now the Netherlands and Belgium), two regions quite different from Germany and from one another. Having looked at how the Reformation came to these societies we will turn to an altogether different society, the kingdom of France. In France we will be looking at a society in which Protestantism took hold for a time, but ultimately ceded the field to the Catholic faith. Having looked at France, where Protestantism had some success, we will turn to Italy for our last regional case study. Italy was the seat of what became known as the Roman Catholic Church, so it should not be surprising that Catholicism remained the predominant faith there. Nevertheless, it would be a mistake to assume that orthodox Catholicism was not challenged or that it was not renewing itself. At this point in the course we will also look at the broader context of what historians call the Catholic Reformations in Britain, the Netherlands and Spain. At the close of the course we will consider the longer term trajectory of the Reformation, the changes it wrought and some of the responses to it, which should take us through to the middle of the 17th century.
In this course you should strive to develop your own understanding of Europeís Reformations both as contemporaries saw them and as historians and others know them now. As I place a particular emphasis both on written and oral expression, it is also my hope that you will each improve your abilities in these areas. Finally, it is my intention that each student leave this class with an understanding of the place of the Reformation in contemporary perceptions of European and North American culture.
The heart of the class-room environment (for me) rests
in respect, enthusiasm, and openness. This may sound general, so I will
elaborate. Enthusiasm means a persistent willingness to tackle the
problems that come up in the readings and assignments for each week. It
does not mean that everyone always has to show up happy and cheerful, but
readiness to make a contribution to class is a must. Respect in
the classroom means valuing each person's participation, not because their
ideas are the best (although you might think so), but because they are
trying to make a contribution to the group.
in the freedom for people to express their thoughts and opinions, which
includes scope for debate and disagreement with me or anyone else. The
closer we approach this ideal environment, the more the classroom will
be an effective space for clarifying, making manageable and even experimenting
with the issues confronted in the course. This ideal may not always be
achievable, but in my view we should always strive for it. Dramatic deviations
from the ideal ought to be avoidable and I will be particularly hard on
persons whose behavior makes it difficult for others to learn.
Course work consists of four elements: participation in
discussion, informal writings, formal writings, and essay-based examinations.
a. Preparation: In order to understand the
lectures and participate in class discussions and other activities you
will need to do the assigned readings. Please budget time to complete readings
for the date in which they appear in the assignment and reading schedule.
The readings are in three forms, which are listed below.
Textbook: Carter Lindberg, The European Reformations (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1996)
Studies: Lyndal Roper, Oedipus & the Devil: Witchcraft, Sexuality and Religion in Early
Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994)
Carlo Ginzberg, The Cheese and the Worms: The Cosmos of a Sixteenth-Century Miller, translated by John and Anne Tedeschi (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992)
Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Carnival in Romans, translated
by Mary Feeney (New York: George Braziller, Inc., 1979)
Sources: The Protestant Reformation, edited by Hans J. Hillerbrand (New York: Harper &
Row Publishers, Inc., 1984)
Additional source hand-outs as needed.
All of the above readings will be required for the course. Most important for an overview of the issues will be Carter Lindbergís The European Reformations. The three monographs, the document collection edited by Hillerbrand and the in-class hand-outs will be the basis of many of our in-class discussions. The studies or monographs give snapshots of the Reformation in particular contexts while the primary sources will allow us to become familiar with processes of Reformation at first hand. I have adopted the approach of supplementing a single document collection with individual hand-outs to keep the costs of the course down for you as much as possible. Apart from the hand-outs, copies of all the required readings will be on reserve at the Clements Library.
b. Discussion: This may seem like a small thing and something unrelated to the real stuff (passing the exams and hammering out the papers). As this is an upper division course, however, I want to stress that participation in discussion will count in your grade and that active participation often improves performance in the pressure situations. In general, I will gauge participation on a daily basis with a check, check-plus, check-minus system. The only exception to this will be the day on which you are responsible for helping to lead class discussion. For this see below
c. Informal Writings: Occasionally I may assign short writing exercises to help focus our discussions. The emphasis will vary from paper to paper. Informal writing will also be graded with a check, check-plus, check-minus system and include comments.
d. Running Class Discussion: In this course I will call on each of you to take a turn at running the show for a portion of one of our meetings. On the meeting for which you sign up to do this, you and (if more than one person chooses the same day) your co-facilitators will each be responsible for writing up a critical analysis of some aspect of the secondary reading assigned for that day. This must be handed in two days before our meeting so that your classmates can have a chance to look it over. In class you will be responsible for setting up the class discussion and also for discussing your analysis of the reading for the day, including responding to any questions your fellow students might have. I will weigh in with background and context information where necessary, but otherwise this portion of each class will be your show. Your performance on this day will weigh very heavily in your participation grade.
e. Credit for Participation: Informal writing(s), class discussion and running class for one day will be worth 20% of the final grade. The single most important element in this grade will be your presentation, but daily participation on other days will also be very important.
Reaction Papers: You will have to write one primary source reaction paper (due in the fourth week of class) and two secondary source reaction papers for this course, the first one due in the sixth week and the second one due on the day of your class presentation. Each paper will account for about 10% of your total grade. Due dates for the papers are listed below. Guidelines for the papers will be provided.
Examinations: There will be one examination worth 20% of the total grade. The mid-term examination will be a mixture of essays and matching questions.
Structured Essay: In lieu of the standard end-of-term
examination I will ask you to write a formal paper that addresses a question
set by me. I will hand out the possible questions from which you may choose
three weeks before the end of term. With my approval you may choose to
address a question of your own design. As with the reaction papers, detailed
guidelines will be forthcoming. The structured essay will count account
for 30% of your total grade. A rough draft of it will come
due in the tenth week of the term and the final draft is
due on the last day of regular class meetings.
Guidelines for Academic Work:
Late Papers: Late work will lose a half grade per day after the set due date. Barring a serious illness or other extenuating circumstance which can be documented, there will be no exceptions to this rule.
Incompletes: Incompletes will be granted on a case by case. Please come see me one week before the final examination is due if you think that you will need to take an incomplete. If you do not do this I will have difficulty in granting your request.
Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the representation of the work of another
as your own. In all of the writing you do for this course you must make
clear to me which ideas in a paper are your own and which come from someone
else. This is especially important for any formal essays you write. In
these such essays you must cite all primary and secondary sources you use
in accordance with the proper conventions. I will hand out a sheet explaining
the basics of citation before any formal essays come due. If for some reason
you do not receive a copy of this hand-out, do not assume you will be exempt
from following its guidelines. You are responsible for knowing whatís in
the hand-out. The recommended penalties for plagiarism are a failing grade
on the assignment for the first offense and failure of the course for a
second offense. Please heed this warning.
Schedule of Readings, Lecture Topics, Assignments and Activities
Week 1 Introduction to the Reformation and its Historiography
Why Study the Reformation in Todayís Society?
The Reformation and the Historians
Read: Lindberg, 1-23
Week 2 Religion and Society before the Reformation
Late Medieval Society and the Church
Read: Lindberg, 24-55, In-Class Hand-out
The Challenges of the Renaissance and Humanism
Read: Selection from Erasmus, The Praise of
Week 3 Martin Luther and the First Reformation
Martin Lutherís Message and its Appeal
Read: Lindberg, 56-90
The Reformation Takes Hold in Wittenberg
Read: Lindberg, 90-110
The Reformation and the Poor
Read: Lindberg, 111-134
Week 4 The German Reformation and the Common Folk
The German Peasants War
Read: Lindberg, 135-168
Read: Lindberg, 199-220
Week 5 The German Reformation Comes of Age
The Anabaptist Kingdom at Muenster
Read: Lindberg, 220-228
Reformation of Magistrates and Princes in Germany
Read: Lindberg, 229-248
The German Reformation and the Moral Order: The Construction of Gender
Read: Roper, 107-167
Turn-in: Secondary Source Reaction Paper
Week 6 Zwingli, Calvin and the Swiss Reformation
The Reformation Comes to Zürich
Read: Lindberg, 169-198
John Calvinís Geneva
Read: Lind berg, 249-274Hillerbrand, 172-221Turn
In: Primary Source Reaction Paper.
Week 7 The Reformation in Northern Europe: Britain
Princely and Popular Reformation in England
Read: Lindberg, 308-322
The Elizabethan Church in England and Scotlandís Presbyterian Reformation
Read: Lindberg, 323-334
Week 8 The Reformation in the Low Countries: From Churches Under the Cross to the Dutch Republicís Public Church
The Spanish Placards and the Churches Under the Cross
Read: Lindberg, 298-308
Pick up: Questions for Structured Essay
Calvinism or Arminianism?
Read: In-Class Hand-out
An Overview of the French Reformation
Read: Lindberg, 275-297
The Province of Dauphine in the early modern period
Read: Le Roy Ladurie, 1-78
Week 10 The Reformation in France: The Failure of Confessional Coexistence II
The Beginnings of the Crisis in Romans (1579)
Read: Le Roy Ladurie, 79-152
Mardi Gras (1580)
Read: Le Roy Ladurie, 153-228
Civil War in Romans
Read: Le Roy Ladurie, 229-287
Turn in: Rough Draft of Structured Essay
Week 11 Italy and Popular Responses to the Catholic Reformation
An Overview of the Catholic Reformation(s)
Read: Lindberg, 335-356
Micro-history and the World of Menocchio
Read: Ginzburg, xiii-xxvi, 1-51
Pick Up: Corrected Rough Draft of Structured Essay
Week 12 The End of Menocchio and the Coming of the Second Wave of Reformation
Read: Ginzburg, 51-86
Read: Ginzburg, 86-128
The Shadows of the Reformation in 17th century
Read: Lindberg, 357-374
Week 13 Witchcraft and the Confessionalization of Society
Confessionlization in Europe
Read: In-Class Hand-out
Watch: The Devils 1
Week 14 The Counter Reformation: Reaction or Evolution?
Witchcraft in 17th-Century Augsburg
Read: Roper, 199-225
Watch: The Devils 2
Society and the Devil in 17th-Century Europe
Read: Roper, 226-249
Read: In-Class Hand-out
Week 15 Interpreting the Reformation
and the End of Confessionalization
The Historianís View of Europeís Reformations
Review: A reading of your choice and prepare to
discuss the interpretation of the Reformation offered therein.
Linking the Reformations to Contemporary Society: Open Discussion
Bring in: News items relating to religion in contemporary Western society
Turn in: Structured Essay
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