Religious Studies | Christianity, 400-1500
R531 | 4169 | Furey


Historians often say that Christianity pervaded every part of life
in medieval Europe.  But what does this mean?  How did Christianity
shape politics? Piety? Social relationships?  And what about
Christians who lived outside of western Europe? Or Jews and Muslims
who lived among Christians in Europe?  In this course we will begin
to answer these questions by studying the history of Christianity
from the 5th century  the time when northern Europeans took over
the Roman Empire and solidified a political divide between eastern
and western Christianity  and the 16th century  the era when
powerful reformers like Martin Luther facilitated the rise of new
forms of Christianity and the break-up of Christendom.
To make this vast expanse of history comprehensible, our approach
will be both chronological and thematic.  In other words, we will
cover over 1000 years of history in three thematic cycles, using the
themes of authority, sanctity, and theology as our focusing lens.
This approach will enable us to review key dates, figures, and
social developments as we analyze how saints wielded power, how
popes and the institutional church garnered authority, and how
various groups of Christians in specific historical contexts
developed different practices and beliefs. This course can be seen
as a sequel to R327/521, but there are no prerequisites.  The course
will serve as a foundation for the study of Christianity in later
historical contexts, including the material covered in R331:
Christianity 1500-present.