History 4413 Fall 2005

Renaissance and Reformation in Europe, 1300-1650

Room: South Shepler Tower, Room 214
MWF, 2:00-2:50 p.m.

Instructor: Doug Catterall

Office: South Shepler Tower 634
Office Hours: M 11 a.m.-12 p.m., 3-4 p.m., W 11 a.m.-12 p.m., 3-5 p.m., F 11 a.m.-12 p.m., and by appointment.

work telephone: 581-2949
e-mail: dougc@cameron.edu

Course Overview:
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 unfolded between the 14th and 17th centuries. Collectively historians refer to these events using the terms Renaissance and Reformation. Because the processes to which each of these terms refers were regionally specific and unique, however, we will not deal with the Renaissance or the Reformation. Rather we will look at what the Renaissance and the Reformation meant in particular regions (Germany, Switzerland, France, The Netherlands and Italy) and to particular people (with the primary emphasis being on the middle and upper middle class).

In this course you should strive to develop your own understanding of Europe’s Renaissances and 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.

Specific Objectives of the Course:

This course will provide you with opportunities to improve in the following three areas of intellectual

Contextual Knowledge:
In this course you will improve your knowledge of the events, historical actors, and transformational trends that unfolded in Europe from 1300-1650 and pertained to the Renaissance and the Reformation.  In particular you will learn about 1) major changes in artistic and intellectual endeavor and their broader influences on European societies; 2) the crucial shifts in religious belief and practice and their broader impact on Europe; and 3) the basics of the social, economic, and political events of this era.  You will gain information on these topics by reading, evaluating, discussing, and writing about the books and in-class readings assigned for the course and by writing the various papers, quizzes, and examinations that the course requires.

Historical Thinking and Research Skills:
Since this is a seminar in which our main goal will be to understand how different historians have tried to understand complex historical phenomena, you will improve your ability to evaluate conflicting interpretations of past events and issues. You will do this in two ways: 1) by contributing to discussions
in class, which is a major component of the course grade, and 2) by writing the various papers and tests that form the writing component of the course.

All of the papers in this course are tied in some way to the research process that historians typically use.  In order to write these papers you will thus learn how to engage closely with primary and secondary source materials.  We will also discuss how historians have tried to relate their work to that of other historians (historiography); how they have used sources to explore the past (methodology); and how historians deal with the complex task of defining change, continuity, and the causes behind each.  Thus, you will be thinking about how to conduct, organize, and present research by examining and discussing how others have done these things and you will gain a knowledge of the terms and categories that historians use when they practice their craft.  In addition, you will have the opportunity to experience the research process as you write your primary source papers.

Texts and Other Aids

Secondary Works:

Richard Bonney, The Thirty Years' War, 1618-1648 (Oxford: Osprey Publishing Ltd., 2002)

Alison Brown, The Renaissance, second edition (Edinburgh & Essex: Pearson Education Limited, 1998)

Diarmid MacCulloch, The Reformation: A History (New York: Penguin Group, Inc., 2003)

Primary Sources:

Jean Bodin, On Sovereignty: Four Chapters from the Six Books of the Commonwealth, edited and translated by Julian H. Franklin (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992)

Marsilio Ficino, Meditations on the Soul: Selected Letters of Marsilio Ficino, translated from the Latin by members of the Language Department of the School of Economic Science, London (Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International, 1997)

Thomas More, Utopia, translated with an introduction and notes by Paul Turner (London: The Penguin Group, Penguin Books Ltd., 2003)

A Reformation Debate: John Calvin and Jacopo Sadoleto, edited by John C. Olin with a forward by Lester DeKoster (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1976)

On-line Reference Aids:

The Catholic Encyclopedia Online: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/

Table for Major Historical Trends in Northern Europe:  Click Here


Course work consists of four elements: attendance and participation in discussion and other classroom activities, informal writings, formal writings/papers, and quizzes and an essay-based examination.

Participation (100 Points):

1. Attendance and Discussion (88 Points): As this is an upper division course I want to stress that attendance and participation in discussion will count heavily in your grade and that active participation often improves performance in the pressure situations. The only exception to this will be the day on which you are responsible for helping to lead class discussion. For this see below.

2. Informal Writings (14 Points): Occasionally I will assign short writing exercises to help focus our discussions. The emphasis will vary from paper to paper.

3. Running Class Discussion (12 Points): 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 your co-facilitator(s) will be responsible for writing up a critical analysis (at least 1 double-spaced, type-written page) of some aspect of the reading assigned for that day. This must be handed in two days before the class that you are to help teach 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. I encourage you to discuss your approach with me before you have to take the class if you need guidance, but a consultation with me is not required.  Keep in mind, though, that your performance on this day will weigh heavily in your participation grade. If you want to know what group you are in and when that group is to lead class discussion, see the schedule of assignments and readings below.  For basic guidelines and recommendations for how to run class click on the hypertext in this sentence after week 2.

4. Credit for Participation: You can earn up to 2 participation points for each day's attendance and participation, between 2 and 3 points for each of the 5 informal writings, and up to 12 points for the day you lead class discussion.  Of the 114 participation points available, you need at least 90 points for an A in participation, 80 for a B, 70 for a C, and 60 for a D.  Less than 60 participation points will earn you a failing mark in participation.

Formal Writings/Papers (350 Points) :
In keeping with CU History Program's current guidelines for 4000-level coursework, you will have to write two primary source-based papers (6 pages each, each worth 125 points) and a structured take-home essay (8 pages, worth100 points) in this course.  Due dates for the papers are listed below and unless otherwise specified all papers are to be typed, double-spaced, and in 12-pt. Courier or Times Roman font.  They must also be properly footnoted.  General guidelines are available by clicking on the words in hypertext in this sentence.  Specific guidelines for the papers will be provided in a timely fashion and may be found by clicking on the hypertext for the appropriate paper listed immediately below:

Primary Source Paper #1

Primary Source Paper #2

Take-Home Essay

Examinations (300 points):

There will be three reading quizzes each worth 50 points.  I will drop the lowest of your three quiz scores and replace it with the average of the other two.  There will also be a final examination worth 150 points.  Format and additional details on these will be provided in a timely fashion. 

Grading Breakdown:

Course Component
Component Point Value
2 Primary Source Papers 250
1 Take-Home Essay 100
3 Book Quizzes
Final Examination 150
Total of All Categories 750
Calculation of your mark: In this course 750 points is a perfect score.  Thus an A requires a minimum of 675 points, a B at least 600 points, a C at least 525 points, a D at least 450 points.  Anyone earning less than 450 points fails the course and earns a mark of F.

General Policies:

Classroom Environment: Talking to your classmates or others outside the context of classroom activities is rude and will not be tolerated.  Reading outside materials, listening to music, taking telephone calls on your cell-phone, and similar non-class related activities are equally unacceptable.  I expect all students to be respectful of one another's right to speak and express opinions.  Disagreements and different viewpoints are welcome, but debates should not involve insults.  Finally, food and drink are permitted in class as long as courtesy is observed; e.g. if you haven't quite finished your cup of coffee, do bring it along to class, but turning the classroom into a cafeteria is not permissible.  

Attendance: As noted above, regular attendance is crucial to your success in this class.  If you miss class regularly, your grade will suffer.  I would also like to note that frequent lateness in coming to class and frequent early departures will also be penalized as these habits are rude to your fellow classmates and to me as the instructor.  I will take attendance daily in this class and an absence is an absence and will be counted as such.  

Preparation: All assignments for a given day, whether reading or writing, are to be completed before the class meets on that day.  I also recommend that you take notes as you read and during lectures and discussions as this will make studying for the quizzes and writing the papers for the class less of a challenge.

Late Formal Writings/Papers: The following policy applies to all late papers for this course that will receive a letter grade. All papers submitted at any time on the day that the paper is due will be considered on time. Papers submitted after that date, no matter what the reason may be, will be automatically marked down one grade. You will then have seven days from the original due date to turn in the paper. If in that time you are unable to complete the work, the paper will receive a zero.

Late Informal Writings: No late informal writings will be accepted, so don't ask. Remember, though, that your participation grade is a composite of your performance in class and your marks on informal writings and I have designed the grading system to allow you a cushion.  Thus, as long as you manage to achieve the necessary points for participation, it will not matter to me how you do so. Although I will obviously keep track of what you do by way of participation.  I would advise you to remain aware of where you stand so that you know whether or not you are achieving what you wish in this important component of the course mark.

Missed Quizzes and Examinations: As I drop the lowest of your quiz scores there will be no make-ups for quizzes.  A make-up final examination may be granted to the student at the instructor's discretion and only with a legitimate (e.g. a medical emergency) and documented reason.

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 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, know that you will not be exempt from following its guidelines.  In cases of plagiarism, the Department of History and Government at CU follows the plagiarism policy in the current "Student Handbook," as described in sections 4.07 and 4.08 of the CU Code of Student Conduct.  Penalties for plagiarism as defined by the Student Code of Conduct include:

1) The student may be required to perform additional academic work/project not required of other students in the course;

2) The student may be required to withdraw from the course with a grade of "W" or "F"; or

3) The student's grade in the course or on the examination or other academic work affected by the dishonesty may be reduced to any extent, including a reduction to failure. 

Please heed this warning as I am quite serious about it.

Disability Statement: Cameron University is committed to making its activities as accessible as possible.  The University provides a range of special services for those with disabilities.  If you anticipate a need for any of those services, please contact the Cameron University Disabled Student Services office, located in 314 N. Shepler, 2800 W. Gore Blvd., Lawton, Oklahoma 73505-6377. Phone: (580) 581-2209. 
Website for this office:


Schedule of Readings, Topics, Assignments and Activities

List of Topics
Readings, Assignments, and Activities
Introduction & Get Acquainted

The Early Renaissance Read: The Renaissance, 1-29, 101-106.
8-26 The High Culture of the Renaissance Read: The Renaissance, 30-69, 106-113.
The Commercial and "Popular" Renaissance Read: The Renaissance, 70-86, 114-122 & Meditations on the Soul, vii-xxi.
Religiosity in the Renaissance Read: Meditations on the Soul, 1-37.
Religiosity in the Renaissance Read: Meditations on the Soul, 37-74.
The Renaissance and Philosophy Read: Meditations on the Soul, 75-132.
The Renaissance and Magic Read: Meditations on the Soul, 133-170.
9-12 The Renaissance and Public Life Read: Meditation on the Soul, 171-208.
The Renaissance and Public Life Read: Meditation on the Soul, 245-261.
Introducing the Reformation Read: The Reformation, xix-xxvii
Europe before the Reformation, 1490-1517 Read: The Reformation, 3-42.
See Pictures of:
A Rood Screen
The Plan of a Medieval Church
Europe before the Reformation, 1490-1517 Read: The Reformation, 43-76.
Social Reform in Europe Prior to the Reformation Read: Utopia, vii-xxiv, 3-13, 118-120.
Take: Reading Quiz #1
Social Reform in Europe Prior to the Reformation Read: Utopia, 15-64.
Social Reform in Europe Prior to the Reformation Read: Utopia, 64-113. Student Class #1 (Scott & Kai)
The Reformation Begins Read: The Reformation, 106-157.
The Magistrate Responds Read: The Reformation, 158-212.
The Mid-Sixteenth Century: Protestants and Catholics Try to Find Common Ground Read: The Reformaton, 213-253.
The Debate between Calvin and Sadoleto Read: The Reformation, 253-269; A Reformation Debate, 7-27.
The Debate between Calvin and Sadoleto Read: A Reformation Debate, 29-94.
Turn In: Primary Source Paper #1 .
10-12 The Debate between Calvin and Sadoleto
Read: A Reformation Debate, 95-136. Student Class #2 (John & Bill)
10-14 Early Catholic Reform
Read: The Reformation, 270-313.
10-17 The Religious Civil Wars 1
Read: The Reformation, 317-367.
10-19 The Religious Civil Wars 2 Take: Reading Quiz #2; The Reformation, 367-399.
10-24 The Religious Civil Wars 3 Read: The Reformation, 400-441.
10-26 The Religious Civil Wars 4 Read: The Reformation, 442-484.
10-28 Jean Bodin's Solution to Civil War 1
Read: Bodin on Sovereignty, ix-xxviii.
Jean Bodin's Solution to Civil War 2 Read: Bodin on Sovereignty, 1-45.
Jean Bodin's Solution to Civil War 3 Read: Bodin on Sovereignty, 46-88. Student Class #3 (Saundra & Jessica)
Jean Bodin's Solution to Civil War 4 Read: Bodin on Sovereignty, 89-109. Student Class #4 (Charles & Dr. Catterall)
Jean Bodin's Solution to Civil War 5
Read: Bodin on Sovereignty, 110-126.
The Thirty Years' War: A Religious Conflict? 1 Read: The Reformation, 485-520.
The Thirty Years' War: A Religious Conflict? 2
Read: The Reformation, 520-545.
11-14 The Thirty Years' War: A Religious Conflict? 3 Read: Bonney, 11-38.
11-16 The Thirty Years' War: A Religious Conflict? 4 Read: Bonney, 39-67
Turn In: Primary Source Paper #2
11-18 The Thirty Years' War: A Religious Conflict? 5 Read: Bonney, 68-91.
11-21 The Cultures of the Reformation
Read: The Reformation, 549-575.
11-28 Religion, Magic, and Discipline Read: The Reformation, 577-607, 709-711.
Take: Reading Quiz #3
11-30 Relationships 1 Read: The Reformation, 608-629.
Relationships 2 Read: The Reformation, 630-667.
Outcomes 1
Read: The Reformation, 668-688.
Outcomes 2
Read: The Reformation, 689-708.
Turn In: Take-Home Essay
12-9 Does the Reformation Have Meaning Now? Present: article on the Reformation's influence today
Turn In:
if available outlines of your answers for the essay portion of the final examination (minimum of 1 page per essay, at least two outlines must be turned to receive credit
Review Session Turn In: if available outlines of your answers for the essay portion of the final examination (minimum of 1 page per essay, at least two outlines must be turned to receive credit
Final Examination (1-3 p.m.)

Note Well: The Web Syllabus is the Syllabus of Record and is Subject to Change if I Deem this Warranted.

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