HIS 306N • Christianity since 1500
We will study the history of Christianity as a world religion since the Reformation. Here Christianity is defined as the religion of people who say they are Christian, so attention will be placed not only on large Christian bodies, but on minority groups as well. Focus will be divided evenly between what Christians thought and wrote (theology, doctrine, devotional literature, confessional and denominational statements) and what they have done (formation of new denominations, mission, popular and elite practice of piety and devotions, political organizations). Course assumes no prior knowledge of the Christian religious tradition. While the course attempts to orient students' understanding of modern forms of Christianity within the perspective of world Christianity, emphasis will be placed on the relationship of developments in Christianity to political, social and economic circumstances rather than on a genealogy of the denominations. While we will refer to the development of Christianity in the US, more emphasis will be placed on the development of Christianity in Europe, Africa, Asia and elsewhere.
3 in class exams, with possibility of extra credit paper
Bettenson & Maunder, Documents of the Christian Church Howard Clark Kee, Christianity: A Social and Cultural History Robert van Voorst, Readings in Christianity 3 slightly longer readings (short primary sources of c. 100 pp.), to be determined