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Last modified: 27 Feb 2018 16:02

Course Overview

The European Reformation was a time of immense ecclesiastical, social, intellectual and political transformation that changed the religious and cultural landscape of the West forever. By way of regular seminars, this course draws students into detailed exploration of critical events, developments, ideas and debates of this tumultous period in history to consider the nature of the transformations which it bequethed to subsequent centuries up to and including our own.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Marie-Luise Ehrenschwendtner
  • Prof Philip Ziegler

Qualification Prerequisites


What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Programme Level 4
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • DR301J Reformation, Reason and Revolt (Studied)
  • DR302D Reformation, Reason & Revolt: Church, Politics & Theology (Studied)
  • DR351U Christendom Divided: Luther, Calvin and the Council of Trent (Studied)
  • DR352D Reformation, Reason & Revolt: Church, Politics & Theology (Studied)

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

This course explores the history of European Christianity during the period of the Reformation (15th - 17th c). Focussing upon 16th century efforts to reform the church and the permanent rifts such efforts ultimately created within western Christianity, we consider developments in Roman Catholic doctrine and practice ensuing from internal and external pressure to reform, the origins and early development of national Protestant churches (Reformed, Lutheran and Anglican), as well as more radical Christian parties which often shared uneasy relations with political states and their allied churches; the course also examines the emergence of a divided Christendom and the political revolutions which accompaned this transformation of the European religious landscape. Special attention is given to critical examination of the central theological issues and debates of the period with a view to understanding both the nature and stakes of these divisive disputes.  Regular seminars will offer students a broad introduction to developments in Christian theology, spirituality and institutional life during this period. Direct engagement with contemporary primary texts will offer students opportunities to consider individual items of historical evidence in greater depth.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt

  • Two 3000-word essays (90%)
  • Seminar participation (10%)


  • No resit

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.


Feedback will be given by course instructors in the form of personal conversation with students in seminar, detailed written comments on all submitted written work.

Course Learning Outcomes


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