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Hist 126 Advanced Topics in Medieval History: Christianity

Time: TR 1200-1315
Location: DMH165


This course will trace the development of Christianity from its origins as a small sect in Judaism and within the religious thought of the ancient Near East through its early growth, its ‘conquest’ of the Roman Empire and its spread into the Medieval West up to its crises in the Late Middle Ages (ca. 1415) and the dawning of pre-reformation thought. Using primary source materials and pertinent images (Christian iconography), we will examine: the establishment of the initial and manifold beliefs emerging about its mail figure, Jesus; the emergence of Christian religious texts and a specific Christian theology and dogma; the rise of the ‘institutional’ Church and its implications; the position of women in the church; and the existence and manifestation through the centuries of various and competing modes of Christian spirituality; and the manifold relations between Christianity and the societies it engaged. In addition to examinations and active participation in class discussions, students will be required to write a short analytical paper using assigned primary sources from the period, a research paper using primary and some secondary sources, and an academic book review from a list of suggested additional readings. Please Note: Students taking teacher preparation classes may substitute History 126 for other European classes on the list. This class aligns with state standards for middle school teachers and secondary teachers who want to incorporate religious and social movements and their respective literatures into their middle school and high school history classes.