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: CH9010Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate familiarity with the major theological and political issues of the European Reformation


Analyse critically a range of early modern historical sources, including written material and visual evidence


Evaluate critically the key historiographical debates on the causes, nature and effect of ‘Reformation’


Distinguish the theological and socio-political forces at work in the European Reformation


Articulate historical conclusions drawn from study of primary and secondary historical sources of the Reformation

Unit sequence

CH8001Y or equivalent 15 points of elective units from fields B or C



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 of 3000 words

3000 40.0

Major Essay of 4000 words

4000 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:49 +1000