500 years ago, Martin Luther’s protest sparked a revolution in religion at a time when religion was people’s prime preoccupation. Ramifications of this revolution extended into all areas of life - political, economic, and social. Class sessions will demonstrate how Western history’s Great Divide gave rise to free enterprise, democratic government, scientific innovation, and secular society. Lectures will be augmented by extensive visuals, since the Reformation also inspired a new approach to artistic expression.
Week 1) Revolution in Religion – Character of Medieval Catholicism - Grounds for Luther’s Protest against Catholic practices
Week 2) Reformation and Government – Catholic Monarchies versus Protestant Republics: English, American, Swiss, & Dutch
Week 3) Reformation and Economics – Traditional rewards for Financial Extravagance - Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
Week 4) Reformation and Science – Inhibiting effects of the Catholic Holy Inquisition - Protestant support for the Scientific Revolution
Week 5) Cultural Contrasts – Art of the Reformation: Rembrandt, Cranach & Vermeer - Art of Counter-Reformation: El Greco, Rubens, & Caravaggio
Week 6) Secularization of Society – Freedom of Thought and Worship - Separation of Church and State - Social Ethics versus Religious Morality