History | Religion/Violence-Early Modern Europe
B300 | 3100 | Sheehan
A portion of the above section reserved for majors
Above section open to undergraduates only
From Biblical massacres to September 11, religion and violence
marched hand in hand. Religious wars, apocalyptic and messianic
sects, official inquisitions, religiously justified slavery, moral
discipline and legal violence: these varied forms of violence are
inseparable from religious history. We need look no further than the
Middle East, Northern Ireland, Yugoslavia, or Afghanistan to see
that the link between religion and violence is still alive and well.
This course will concentrate on one particular period--Early Modern
Europe (ca. 1400-1700)--and will investigate the connection between
violence, religion, and the emergence of our modern nation state.
Beginning with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain and the conquest
of the New World, we will trace Europe's religious history as it
manifested itself in its most extreme forms. Internal conflicts
between Catholics and Protestants, attempts to suppress and repress
religious heresy, efforts to impose Christianity on New World
peoples: these bloody battles--we will discover--were key to the
development of the economic, military, and political institutions of
modern governments. By understanding them, we will seek to
understand the complexities of our modern world.