Religious Studies | Honors Pro-Seminar -Reformations:The Body and the Word
R201 | 3958 | Furey


In this course we will explore the relationship between practices and
beliefs by looking at the debates about rituals and theology in the
Protestant and Catholic Reformations.  During the dramatic religious
changes of the sixteenth century, the bitter divisions between
Catholics and Protestants highlighted ritual differences (some
Protestant groups, for example, removed all pictures of saints from
the walls of their churches, and Anabaptists rejected the custom of
baptizing babies). Moreover, the close link between beliefs and
practices is particularly vivid as people enacted their diverse
theological beliefs by changing their practices even as Catholic and
Protestant reformers alike critiqued ritualism and called for a new
focus on morality. We will analyze these phenomena by reading
primary source debates and decrees and secondary sources which
describe how various groups altered and preserved their rituals
throughout this time of religious upheaval.