Martin Luther and the Reformation

Fall 2016
M 3:30pm - 5:20pm
Area III
Permission Not Required
No Limit to Enrollment
Course Description: 

This course investigates the life and thought of Martin Luther in the context of the late-medieval/early modern culture in which he lived. We shall examine the development of his key ideas, his networks of friends and colleagues, his relationship to the world of print, and his role as a reformer of the church. Attention will be given to the development of Luther’s thought, as well as to areas of conflict, such as the Peasants’ War, the Lord’s Supper, church and temporal authority, and the reformer’s views on his numerous opponents. Through Luther’s writings we shall encounter the his complex and volatile character, which found expression in sermons and pastoral care as well as in vicious polemic against adversaries. The course will ask why the Reformation took the shape it did. The overall question is how, as its five-hundredth anniversary is about to be marked, we can interpret this momentous event that profoundly shaped the modern world? The course will include visits to Beinecke Library and the Yale Art Gallery. 

Background Expected: 

Rel 700a and 700b or equivalent

Course Requirements: 

Weekly reading, online responses, choice of two short or one long paper

Basis of Evaluation: 

20% seminar participation (including weekly postings on V2)

80% Papers: choice of either two (10-12 pages) or one (20-25 pages)