This is an examination of the reform movements in the Western European Church during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with special attention to the interactions between theology and history. Building on religious practice in the late medieval era, this unit moves through the major theological and political issues raised by figures like Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, Thomas Cranmer and Thomas Cajetan, examining in detail their theological positions, writings and the reactions which they sparked. This material will be located in its socio-political contexts to demonstrate the mutual effect of religion and politics upon each other.

Unit code: CH2010Y

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate basic knowledge of the major theological and political issues of the European Reformation


Demonstrate an ability to use a range of early modern historical sources, including written material and visual evidence


Engage with the key historiographical debates on the causes, nature and effect of ‘Reformation’


Identify causes of division and union in the European Reformation

Unit sequence

CH1001Y or equivalent



Indicative Bibliography

  • Bagchi, David and David C. Steinmetz, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  • Collinson, Patrick. The Reformation: A History. New York: Random House, 2006.
  • Dixon, C. Scott. Contesting the Reformation. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012.
  • Heal, Felicity. Reformation in Britain and Ireland. Oxford: OUP, 2003.
  • Jones, M. D. W. The Counter-Reformation: Religion and Society in Early Modern Europe. Oxford: OUP, 1995.
  • Lindberg, Carter, ed. The European Reformations Sourcebook. Oxford: Blackwell, 2014.
  • ———. The Reformation Theologians: An Introduction to Theology in the Early Modern Period. Oxford: Blackwell, 2002.
  • MacCulloch, Diarmaid. Reformation: Europe’s House Divided 1490-1700. London: Penguin, 2004.
  • McGrath, Alister E. Reformation Thought: An Introduction. Rev. ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999.
  • Po Chia Hsia, R. The World of Catholic Renewal, 1540-1770. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Document Study

Document Study 1500 words

0 40.0

Major Essay 2500 words

0 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2019-03-15 14:24:20 +1100