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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

HIST5032M Reformation(s): Belief and Culture in Early Modern Europe

30 creditsClass Size: 10

Module manager: Dr Sara Barker

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

On 31st October 1517, an obscure German monk pinned a notice to a church door and changed Europe forever. Martin Luther's actions and ideas and their consequences have been debated ever since, and continue to be the subject of spirited scholarly discussion and widespread public interest. The impact of religious change on long-term social, political and economic development affected every social group in almost every area of Western Europe, and its legacy can still be seen today. In this module, we will begin by examining the theological and spiritual revolutions that took place over the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth century. We will then consider the wider reverberations that this had in early modern society: from the impact on gender roles and family life to international politics and Europe's relationship with the wider world. We will think about issues such as martyrdom, religious violence, the role of the media, exile experiences, toleration and co-existence - areas where the Reformation continues to exert a lasting and sometimes problematic existence to this day.


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- demonstrate understanding of the key theological debates and discussions of the reformation period
- analyse the different ways in which the reformation impacted on everyday life
- critically evaluate the scholarship on the Reformation, its processes, consequences and legacies
- develop and support an argument through use of primary & secondary sources

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will have developed the following skills:
- ability to communicate complex ideas through oral & written communication
- independent research & study skills
- ability to locate, handle and synthesize complex information
- ability to employ analytical, problem-solving abilities


Topics for discussion will include the following:
- Luther and Zwingli
- John Calvin, Reformed Protestantism & the Church of England
- Religious Radicals
- Catholic Responses
- Religious violence and martyrdom
- Exile and missionaries
- Religion, the nation and war
- Reformation media
- Gender and the family
- Toleration & Co-existence
- Legacies of the Reformation

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours278.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

Students will prepare for each seminar by reading texts and primary sources as specified by the Module Leader. They will also be expected to undertake further, self-directed reading for each class, and to locate suitable source materials for discussion in seminars.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Contributions to class discussions
- Feedback on written work
- Individual tutorials with the module leader.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay4,000 word essay due 12 noon Monday of Exam Week 270.00
Presentation10-minute verbal source commentary, taking place throughout semester as assigned by tutor15.00
Assignment1000-word book review due 12 noon Monday of week 615.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 15:57:33


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