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HIST201: History of Europe, 1000 to 1800

Unit 4: The Era of Reformation   The Protestant Reformation began in 1517, when a little-known German priest, Martin Luther, nailed his ninety-five theses protesting the sale of indulgences—the full or partial remission of punishment for sins—to a church door.  The weaknesses of the Catholic Church during the late Middle Ages, including corrupt popes, schisms, and unresolved doctrinal issues, made Europeans receptive to Luther’s protests and calls for reform.  Although the Reformation began in Germany, it spread throughout Europe during the sixteenth century.  Protestant reformers, such as John Calvin, substituted their own scriptural beliefs for those held in Rome.  The Catholic Church, however, launched a powerful Counter-Reformation by calling a major church council at Trent and by encouraging the formation of new Catholic religious orders.  

In this unit, we will see how the religious upheaval of the Reformation caused fundamental changes in European society, including religious life, marriage, education, and the status of women.

Unit 4 Time Advisory
This unit should take you approximately 8 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 4.1: 5 hours ☐    Subunit 4.1.1. 1 hour

☐    Subunit 4.1.2: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 4.1.3: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 4.1.4: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 4.1.5: 1 hour

☐    Subunit 4.1.6: 0.5 hour

☐    Subunit 4.1.7: 0.5 hour

☐    Subunit 4.2: 2 hours

Unit4 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to:

  • Identify the major causes and personalities of the Reformation.
  • Describe the nature of the counterreformation.
  • Define the longterm effects of the Reformation on Europe.

4.1 The Protestant Reformation   4.1.1 The Spirit of Reform   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European History: “Lecture 3: The Protestant Reformation” Link: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European History: “Lecture 3: The Protestant Reformation” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire lecture on the Protestant Reformation—one of the most pivotal events in European history.
 
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4.1.2 The Impact of Martin Luther   - Lecture: iTunes U: Dr. Frank A. James III’s “Martin Luther” Lecture Link: iTunes U: Dr. Frank A. James III’s “Martin Luther” Lecture (iTunes U)
 
Instructions: Scroll down to lecture 6 “Martin Luther,” and select “View in iTunes.”   Once redirected to iTunes, click on play for lecture 6, and listen to the entire discussion on who Martin Luther was and how he led the movement to reform the Catholic Church (run time 58:20 minutes).  
 
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4.1.3 The Radical Reformation   - Reading: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European History: “Lecture 4: The Impact of Luther and the Radical Reformation” and The Virtual Library: Bill Gilbert’s “Chapter 15: The Radicals of the Reformation” Links: Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European History: “Lecture 4: The Impact of Luther and the Radical Reformation” (HTML) and The Virtual Library: Bill Gilbert’s “Chapter 15: The Radicals of the Reformation” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read Dr. Kreis’s whole lecture linked above.  Then, please read the entirety of Gilbert’s “Chapter 15.”  Dr. Kreis’s lecture outlines the struggles between Luther (and his followers) and other radical groups during the Reformation.   The second reading provides information about the groups of Christian reformers—Anabaptists, Spiritualists, and Evangelical Rationalists—that rejected both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism in the 1500s.   
 
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4.1.4 The Reformation in Germany and Scandinavia   - Reading: The Virtual Library: Bill Gilbert’s “Chapter 12: The Reformation in Germany and Scandinavia” Link: The Virtual Library: Bill Gilbert’s “Chapter 12: The Reformation in Germany and Scandinavia” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of the chapter linked above.  This reading discusses the unique manner in which Protestantism influenced northern Germany and the Scandinavian countries.     
 
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4.1.5 The Reformation in Southern Germany and Switzerland   - Reading: The Virtual Library: Bill Gilbert’s “Chapter 13: The Reformation in Southern Germany and Switzerland” Link: The Virtual Library: Bill Gilbert’s “Chapter 13: The Reformation in Southern Germany and Switzerland” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of the chapter linked above.  This reading will help you to understand the impact of the beliefs of Ulrich Zwingli and Martin Bucer on Germany and Switzerland.
 
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4.1.6 The Reformation in England   - Reading: Boise State University: Skip Knox’s Europe in the Age of Reformation: “The Reformation in England” Link: Boise State University: Skip Knox’s “The Reformation in England” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Read this article. This reading provides a good overview of how and why Protestantism was adopted in England.
 
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4.1.7 Calvinism   - Reading: The Virtual Library: Bill Gilbert’s “Chapter 14: Calvin and Geneva” Link: The Virtual Library: Bill Gilbert’s “Chapter 14: Calvin and Geneva” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read the entirety of the chapter linked above.  This chapter will help give you a sense of the tremendous influence of John Calvin’s beliefs in Geneva, Switzerland during the Reformation.
 
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4.2 The Catholic Reformation   4.2.1 Church Reforms   - Reading: The Virtual Library: Bill Gilbert’s “Chapter 19: The Counter Reformation” and Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European History: “Lecture 5: The Catholic Reformation” Links: The Virtual Library: Bill Gilbert’s “Chapter 19: The Counter Reformation” (HTML) and Dr. Steven Kreis’s The History Guide: Lectures on Early Modern European History: “Lecture 5: The Catholic Reformation” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read Gilbert’s “Chapter 19” in its entirety.  “Chapter 19” will give you a sense of why the Catholic Church tried to reform itself during the sixteenth century.  Then, read Dr. Kreis’s entire lecture, which outlines the contours of the Catholic response to the Protestant Reformation.   These readings cover the topics outlined in subunits 4.2.1 and 4.2.2.
 
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4.2.2 New Religious Orders  

Note: This topic is covered by the readings beneath sub-subunit 4.2.1.