26 September 2006 Wisdom Christian College
Welcome to the Reformation group
There are a number of ways in which we can use this facility. I’d like you to post comments and queries about the assignments, but also share any material/ websites/ books etc that we can use on this and future modules.
On reflection, rather than posting your assignments on the web, simply email them by attachment to my office.
First : a reminder to check out the reserved shelf in the college library where I have placed a quantity of material to get you started. Remember that this stuff is for use in the library only, but there some duplicates available on the shelves themselves.
Also: as you get to know the general areas of study and the major writers involved you may wish to purchase some material for yourself. Don’t rush into this (save it for Christmas?) and remember that “big and glossy” is not necessarily the same as valuable. There is a huge quantity of shiny “new” books that turn out to be reprints of old scholarship. The college library includes many of these works, suich as SCHAFF, D’AUBIGNE and others which came out in the 1860s. (Not that “Old is bad”, of course, but simply that you will find the style of communication and the type of scholarship difficult to access).
So I would like you to start with one book and to purchase this as quickly as possible. The LION HANDBOOK: THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY 1977 was reprinted in paperback in 1996. This is a very attractive, inexpensive and accessible volume written from a conservative standpoint that will stand you in good stead as a Church History “primer” over the whole two millenia.
The section that particularly relates to our topic is Section 5, running (in my edition) from pp352-434. Over the next four weeks until we meet up for seminars at the end of October, I would like you to purchase this book and read this section (Plus, there a few copies in the library). To encourage you (!). our first assignment in this module through October, is to develop a PEOPLE FILE. I’d like you to research TWELVE people whom you consider to be important to our topic within the 1483-1603 time frame.
I would expect you to include LUTHER, CALVIN and ZWINGLI (but don’t just give me my lecture notes back!).
But then you may use a bit more initiative. Consider MELANCTHON, BUCER, BEZA or CRANMER in the English Reformation. Have a look at some of the radical reformers (HUTTER, MUNTZER), and the Catholic reformers such as CONTARINI. LOYOLA, TERESA OF AVILA and JOHN OF THE CROSS. There are many others, of course, but your choice is your choice.
Write a simple sketch survey of about 300 words (one type- written page of A4) on EACH reformer and email it to me by attachment a week before the October seminars. The week will give me a bit of time to reflect. This assignment is designed to give you a sketch coverage of a huge period of history. The next task will be to consolidate the information and investigate the theological trajectories that these characters developed.
Any comeback to this can be posted on this site. Enjoy the course!