Honors | Bibles, Bodies and Religious Reform (HON)
H203 | 27702 | Constance Furey

TuTh 9:30-10:45am
SY 022

Christianity is often described as a religion of the book. Many
Christians believe that faith alone saves. Yet some of the fiercest
debates in Christianity have been about rituals, and many Christian
movements focus as much (or more) on what Christians do with their
bodies as on how they interpret particular passages of Scripture. In
this course we'll focus on how the birth of Protestant Christianity
forced these debates to center stage. Protestants condemned Catholic
rituals as idolatrous, and many stripped churches bare and replaced
traditional ceremonies. For their part, Catholics argued that
Protestants were wreaking destruction, overthrowing divinely
established traditions, and creating chaos by encouraging everyone
to interpret the Bible for themselves. Some people think this
conflict ushered in modernity. In this course we'll analyze that
claim alongside the strange, cataclysmic, and sometimes comic
conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in sixteenth century
Europe. Sources will include works by Protestants and Catholics, as
well as theoretical work about ritual, belief, and modernity. The
grade in this course will be based on participation; two take-home
midterms; and a final (5-7 page paper).