1 x 1.5-hour lecture weekly
1 x 30-minute seminar weekly
Enrolment not permitted
THEO2404 has been successfully completed
Topic description
This topic will consider some of the major themes in Christian history from the 17th to the 20th Centuries. The Reformation crises of the 16th Century ended in stalemate, with the countries of Western Europe divided according to religious affiliation. Yet they were unwittingly united in the belief that Christianity mattered. In subsequent centuries, however, the Christian churches faced the challenges of the Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the rise of liberalism and secularism, and war and totalitarian regimes. This topic will consider not only how institutional churches responded to these challenges, but also developments in popular piety and religious art. While the expansion of the church around the world will be explored briefly, the focus will be on developments in Western Europe, with some consideration of the impact that these have had on religion in Australia.
Educational aims
This topic aims to:

  • give students an understanding of the major developments in Christian history from the 17th to the 20th Centuries
  • introduce students to a range of textual and visual historical sources
  • encourage students to engage in scholarly debate and analysis
  • give students the opportunity to think and work creatively and collaboratively
  • deepen students' appreciation of the significance of developments in recent Christian history

Expected learning outcomes
On successful completion of this topic, students should be able to:

  • identify key developments in Western Christian history from the 17th to 20th Centuries
  • analyse the significance of particular events and periods of change
  • demonstrate an ability to interpret a range of historical sources
  • recognise the complexity of historical developments and the existence of different interpretations
  • communicate knowledge coherently and concisely through essay writing, oral presentations, class discussions and, in some cases, a creative project
  • critically reflect on the impact of recent developments in Christian and general European history on contemporary Christianity