About this Course
In this course we will discuss the history of some ideas that have been hugely influential in the modern west and that were taken out to the rest of the world. The discussion centers on an extraordinary and historically important figure, a sixteenth century German man named Martin Luther. Luther is recognized today as the originator of many of the most significant ideas that continue to affect and shape who we as modern people are and how we see the world and ourselves for better and for worse. In the first section, we will explore why Luther thought the Bible was the most important volume for everyone to have and read. Included here will be a careful consideration of Luther's anti-Judaism, which contributed to western antisemitism and some of the greatest horrors of the twentieth century. In the second section, we will talk about the idea of freedom and how Luther's understanding of freedom in Christ affected the way modern thinkers understood what it means to be human in community. Important in this section is the consequential contradiction between freedom and slavery in western thought and their co-existence in western societies. The third section will be all about the many complicated relations between religion and politics. NOTE: Students wishing to sign up for free access to all instructional course content should click on the "Sign-In" button in the upper right hand corner. Those who wish to take the course and complete a certificate that requires payment, please click the Enroll button on the left side of this page.
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Clock

Approx. 12 hours to complete

Suggested: 3 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Clock

Approx. 12 hours to complete

Suggested: 3 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English, Spanish

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Luther, the Bible, and Antijudaism - Part 1

...
Reading
8 videos (Total 28 min), 9 readings, 3 quizzes
Video8 videos
Learning Objectives1m
How to Talk About Religion1m
Introduction to Luther and the Bible4m
Luther’s Translation of the Bible5m
Christ in the Bible4m
Law and Gospel3m
Christ in the Old Testament3m
Reading9 readings
Course Contributors10m
Copyright Permissions & Works Cited10m
Lecture 1 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 2 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 3 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 4 Guided Reading10m
Lecture 4 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 5 Guided Reading10m
Lecture 5 Supplemental Reading10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Lecture 22m
Lecture 32m
Lecture 54m

2

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Luther, the Bible, and Antijudaism - Part 2

...
Reading
6 videos (Total 24 min), 6 readings, 2 quizzes
Video6 videos
Luther, the Old Testament, and Anti-Judaism3m
Lutheran Theologians and Antisemitism in Nazi Germany4m
The Bible and Its Literal Sense4m
Luther and Spinoza on Genesis4m
Spinoza and the Tractatus3m
Reading6 readings
Lecture 6 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 7 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 8 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 9 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 10 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 11 Supplemental Reading10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Lecture 72m
Lecture 104m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Freedom: Self and Community - Part 1

...
Reading
5 videos (Total 19 min), 8 readings, 4 quizzes
Video5 videos
Key Moments in Luther's Life4m
Luther and Freedom: What's in a Name?3m
Freedom and the Individual3m
Christ and Freedom3m
Reading8 readings
Lecture 12 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 13 Supplemental Movie10m
Lecture 13 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 14 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 15 Guided Reading10m
Lecture 15 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 16 Guided Reading10m
Lecture 16 Supplemental Reading10m
Quiz4 practice exercises
Lecture 122m
Lecture 132m
Lecture 142m
Lecture 162m

4

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

Freedom: Self and Community - Part 2

...
Reading
6 videos (Total 26 min), 7 readings, 6 quizzes
Video6 videos
Kant and the Bible3m
Kant and Morality4m
Martin Luther King, Jr. Theologian of Freedom4m
King and the Inner and Outer Distinction4m
Freedom and Love4m
Reading7 readings
Lecture 17 Supplemental Reading10m
Lesson 18 Guided Reading10m
Lecture 18 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 19 Guided Reading10m
Lecture 20 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 21 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 22 Supplemental Reading10m
Quiz5 practice exercises
Lecture 172m
Lecture 182m
Lecture 192m
Lecture 202m
Lecture 224m

5

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Religion and Politics: The Two Swords - Part 1

...
Reading
5 videos (Total 20 min), 5 readings, 3 quizzes
Video5 videos
Luther on Vocation and Community4m
Christendom and the Holy Roman Empire4m
The Two Swords3m
Luther and Church Reform3m
Reading5 readings
Lecture 23 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 24 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 25 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 26: Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 27: Supplemental Reading10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Lecture 242m
Lecture 266m
Lecture 272m

6

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Religion and Politics: The Two Swords - Part 2

...
Reading
6 videos (Total 27 min), 8 readings, 5 quizzes
Video6 videos
Money in the Church4m
Luther’s Reform of Marriage4m
Luther’s Reform of Sex4m
Art4m
Music4m
Reading8 readings
Lecture 28 Guided Reading10m
Lecture 29 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 30 Guided Reading10m
Lecture 30 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 32 Guided Reflection10m
Lecture 32 Supplemental Reading10m
Lecture 33 Supplemental Reading10m
Thank You!10m
Quiz5 practice exercises
Lecture 282m
Lecture 292m
Lecture 302m
Lecture 312m
Lecture 332m
4.4

Top Reviews

By HSNov 3rd 2017

This is a well-planned course that I learned a whole lot from. I was curious about Luther and church history to begin with, and this course satisfied that curiosity.

By GMMar 27th 2017

I really enjoyed the course, and think it is very well thought out and paced. I appreciate the access to additional reading materials.

Instructor

Avatar

Christine Helmer

Arthur E. Andersen Teaching and Research Professor, Professor of Religious Studies and German

About Northwestern University

Northwestern University is a private research and teaching university with campuses in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois, and Doha, Qatar. Northwestern combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment that transcends traditional academic boundaries. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • If you pay for this course, you will have access to all of the features and content you need to earn a Course Certificate. If you complete the course successfully, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. Note that the Course Certificate does not represent official academic credit from the partner institution offering the course.

  • Yes! Coursera provides financial aid to learners who would like to complete a course but cannot afford the course fee. To apply for aid, select "Learn more and apply" in the Financial Aid section below the "Enroll" button. You'll be prompted to complete a simple application; no other paperwork is required.

  • Students wishing to sign up for free access to all instructional course content should click on the "Sign-In" button in the upper right hand corner. Those who wish to take the course and complete a certificate that requires payment, please click the Enroll button on the left side of this page.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center