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Learner Reviews & Feedback for A Journey through Western Christianity: from Persecuted Faith to Global Religion (200 - 1650) by Yale University

4.7
248 ratings
77 reviews

About the Course

This course follows the extraordinary development of Western Christianity from its early persecution under the Roman Empire in the third century to its global expansion with the Jesuits of the early modern world. We explore the dynamic and diverse character of a religion with an enormous cast characters. We will meet men and women who tell stories of faith as well as of violence, suppression, and division. Along the way, we encounter Perpetua and her martyrdom in Carthage; the struggles of Augustine the bishop in North Africa; the zeal of Celtic monks and missionaries; the viciousness of the Crusades; the visions of Brigit of Sweden; and the fracturing of Christianity by Martin Luther’s protest. We hear the voices of great theologians as well as of those branded heretics by the Church, a powerful reminder that the growth of Christianity is a story with many narratives of competing visions of reform and ideals, powerful critiques of corruption and venality, and exclusion of the vanquished. The troubled history of Christian engagement with Jews and Muslims is found in pogroms and expulsions, but also in the astonishing ways in which the culture of the West was transformed by Jewish and Islamic learning. We shall explore the stunning beauty of the Book of Kells, exquisitely prepared by monks as the Vikings terrorized the coast of England. We will experience the blue light of the windows of Chartres, and ponder the opening questions of Thomas Aquinas’ great Summa. We will read from the Gutenberg Bible of the fifteenth century, which heralded the revolution brought by the printing press. We will travel from Calvin’s Geneva to Elizabeth’s England to Trent, where a Catholic Council met to inaugurate a modern, missionary Catholic church. We will walk through the great Escorial of Philip II of Spain, hear the poetry of John of the Cross, and follow the Jesuits to Brazil and China. Christianity in the West was forged in the fires of conflict and tumult, and it brought forth both creativity and violence. It echoed with calls for God’s world to be transformed, it inspired the most sublime art and architecture, yet it also revealed the power of the union of cross and sword to destroy. The course is a journey through the formation of the West as one strand of Christianity, as one chapter in a global story. It is a journey that has shaped our world....

Top reviews

ES

Mar 23, 2018

A great journey! Lots of information and bonus material! I'm very thankful for the course. It might be that the professor's speech is sometimes a bit difficult to follow, but it's a minor drawback

SN

May 27, 2019

I enjoyed this course so much!! I learned a lot about history and the church. It has kept me looking for more courses and books to learn more!!!!!\n\nThank you so much for offering this!

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1 - 25 of 76 Reviews for A Journey through Western Christianity: from Persecuted Faith to Global Religion (200 - 1650)

By Michael X

Jan 08, 2019

If you want a course super biased towards Catholicism, by all means, take this course. Completely glosses over the faults of Catholicism in history, like the failings of the peasant crusade, which is actually the 1st crusade. He named the 1st successful crusade as the 1st crusade. Just listen to the language and content. If you really know history, you'll know he skips over ugly stuff and tries to paint everything in a positive light.

By Qin L

Dec 30, 2018

Distinctive Christian scholarship is demonstrated throughout this course. A wealth of information is presented. Professor Bruce Gordon knows the things he teaches really well. His sincerity towards knowledge, combined with his cooperation with Nazanin and Maximilian, makes the course an enriching and inspirational experience.

By Kristi D

Nov 14, 2018

I have enjoyed Professor Gordon's class so much and could repeat it several times and still not absorb the vast amount of information that he has spent so many hours sharing with us.

Loved it!

Thank you Dr. Gordon, Nazanin and Max, for your time and talent.

By Rafael M

Jun 03, 2018

The course brings up a great and unknown view of Christianity throughout history. It was an execellent opportunity to take it.

By Christophe S

Mar 28, 2018

It was a great course to have a global overview of the role religion had in the history of europe and even some parts of other continents with the last week session about jesuits.

By Melody L

Oct 08, 2018

Recommend to anyone wanting to expand their knowledge on the growth of Christianity. The subtitles are a bit iffy at times, but if English is your first language you should be fine.

By Frank

Sep 04, 2018

Very good introduction (or re-introduction) to Christianity in the early world up until the Colonial Era. The instructors skillfully brought in elements from the arts, primary sources, and on-site visits to paint a cohesive image of Christianity through this time. The discussions between the staff were also very good in bringing out more subtle differences in some areas where opinion still differs.

By Sanjy R

Jan 27, 2019

Thanks for all, it's a very good MOOC

By Kate S

Jan 04, 2018

Very informative and engaging! The content of this course has helped me understand more of European history and will provide a good background for my upcoming travels.

By Rania B

Dec 20, 2017

Amazing course. Very well structured and rich with information. Exactly what i was looking for!

By erich n

Mar 26, 2018

This is a well thought out course, that offers real insight into the rise and growth of Christianity. It is well done, and offers great content.

By Charles E M

Apr 30, 2018

Everthing

By Mary C

Sep 10, 2017

This was an excellent course. The material was presented well and I learned so much about the subject matter.

By Syed A

Feb 05, 2018

It was a good course! It really gave insight into early Christianity and the relationship amongst different groups in Western Europe as well.

By Yannis K

Jun 21, 2017

The course was very good. I understand that describing the history of Christianity from the first century until the 16th is a great task. However as a theologian I would like to learn more facts about the recent history of christianity and especially the modern period Enlightenment and the 20th century. I understand that something like this requires even more work,but it would be great to learn about the modern history of Christianity too! Thank you for the graet course!

By alice

Oct 15, 2017

very insightful

By Luz M

Oct 23, 2017

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By Judi B

Nov 24, 2017

This is an outstanding course! Following the development of Christianity along its historical timeline within the regional and political context of each period clarifies the "hows" and "whys" of why it developed as it did. I've studied church history in "chunks" before, but this course made its historical development and sequence logical for me. I greatly enjoyed the course and have learned a lot. Thank you so much for creating it and making it available to us!

By Omacel

Jun 14, 2017

Excellent! Really worthy.

By Paul H

Apr 11, 2017

Excellent course. Very informative. Great survey of a lot of information. Excellent production quality.

By Julio C N P

May 01, 2017

excellent mooc, thank you very much.

By wei l

Nov 09, 2017

Great Course. Learned a lot from this course. Thank you!

By Eduardo J M S

Sep 25, 2017

Beautiful course as a Christian missionary in Spain it open my mind of the rich tradition of christianity in arts and other disciplines, i will try to pursuit graduates studies in medieval mediterranean history and specialize in church history. Thank you and hope to see you Profesor bring some other related themes.

By Neil K

Apr 17, 2018

Just superb. Engaging lucid speakers, vast scope of subject matter, lucidly spoken about.

By Celmira A S

Oct 08, 2017

Excellent! A really journey throught the history.