From the 10th to the 14th century, the Medieval Church faced many challenges including the rise of divergent theological and spiritual thought, diverse experiments in reform and the coming of Islam into the Christian world. This unit seeks to explore the contours of these challenges in order to wrestle with related challenges in the Church today.

Unit code: CH9016Y

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Articulate the particular challenges facing the mediaeval church, both from within and external to the Church itself


Analyse and critically interpret primary and secondary sources from mediaeval church history


Demonstrate an understanding of the heresies, reform movements and the Crusades


Analyse and critique the arguments for and against various heresies, reform movements and the Crusades


Formulate a sustained argument about a questions or issues that emerge in the study of heresy, reform or the Crusades


Analyse and debate the contemporary significance of the Middle Ages for the Church and the World of today

Unit sequence

The Unit is an elective within the discipline of Church History. Pre-requisite: CH1001Y – Survey of Early and Medieval Church History or equivalent.


The unit will consist of Lectures, Tutorials and discussion forums all delivered in a Seminar style (whether on-line or face to face) so that students can interact with the ideas presented, engage with other students and their reflections and ideas and develop skills in critique, debate and practical application.

Indicative Bibliography

  • Allen, S.J. and Emilie Amt, eds. The Crusades: A Reader. 2nd Ed. North York, ONT: University of Toronto Press, 2014.
  • Ames, Christine Caldwell, Medieval Heresies: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015.
  • Bennett, Judith M. Medieval Europe: A Short History. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011.
  • Constable, Giles. The Reformation of the Twelfth Century. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
  • Deane, Jennifer Kolpacoff. A History of Medieval Heresy and the Inquisition. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2011.
  • Housley, Norman. Contesting the Crusades. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 2006.
  • Lynch, Joseph H. The Medieval Church: A Brief History. Harlow, UK: Longman, 1992.
  • Riley-Smith, Jonathan. The Crusades: A History. 3rd Ed. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014.
  • Sackville, L.J. Heresy and Heretics in the Thirteenth Century: The Textual Representations. York: York Medieval Press, 2011.
  • Ullmann, W. A Short History of the Papacy in the Middle Ages. 2nd Ed. London: Routledge, 2003.
  • Whalen, Brett, The Medieval Papacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Portfolio of 5 Tutorial Exercises of 300 words each

1500 25.0
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper 1500 25.0
Essay 4000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 22 Sep, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-09-22 18:38:51 +1000