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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
stars
369 ratings
120 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

HU

Jun 06, 2020

A very comprehensive, cohesive and resourceful overview of all the crucial events, main characters and key ecclesiastical developments that consolidated the Catholic Church in Europe and the Americas.

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

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26 - 50 of 119 Reviews for A Journey through Western Christianity: from Persecuted Faith to Global Religion (200 - 1650)

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 Huijia W

Jul 27, 2020

This is absolutely an excellent course! The course gives a strong sense of mainline development of the faith instead of overemphasizing on memorizing details, and it is easily comprehensible and perfectly suitable for students who know the basic timeline of European history but want to know more about the faith.

By James H

May 22, 2020

I really enjoyed the course and all of the bonus content. Dr. Gordon is very passionate in his lectures. Nazanin and Max also did a great job. I wish there was some follow up courses or a certificate to earn with this series. Thank you for the hard work in putting the course together.

By Jack B

Feb 21, 2018

As someone who has grown up going to church, but not knowing anything about this subject, I found it an extremely useful and insightful introduction. The course covers the wide scope of Christian history in Europe and is very revealing. Thoroughly enjoyable and easy to follow.

By Christo S

Jun 13, 2020

What a fantastic Journey for 1500 years. Without meticulous effort and commitment this course execution is impossible. I sincerely appreciate the Professor and team. Thank you so much for carrying this course without any boring figures in middle. I thoroughly enjoyed.

By Yury A M

Jun 09, 2020

Quiero expresar mis felicitaciones por el curso, fue un buen repaso por la historia medieval, abordado con mucha seriedad desde diferentes contextos, filosofía, teología, historia, arte y lleno de apreciaciones personales que enriquecen el curso.

muchas gracias.

By Joshua Y

Jun 02, 2020

An excellent course for anyone interested in the development of Christianity through the ages. The lectures provided a very balanced and unbiased view and detailed analysis of Christianity as it spread from Jerusalem to other parts of the world.

By German c

May 12, 2020

Best one I have taken in this platform. Content was well researched and presented in an engaging manner. I was surprised by the number of things I did not understand or appreciated of my faith eventhough I have been a Xtian for 40 years.

By Agustin R

Jun 12, 2020

Un agradecimiento para los que hicieron posible que pueda disfrutar de este curso, que me brindó una visión amplia del desarrollo y crecimiento del cristianismo a lo largo de la historia, con sus aciertos y errores. Muchas gracias!

By Zacarias G S

Aug 04, 2020

Excelente curso, muy didáctico e instructivo, Mr. Gordon es un extraordinario instructor con mucho dominio del tema y muy didáctico. Lo recomiendo para todo aquel que le guste la historia antigua y los temas del la religión.

By Molly B

Jun 30, 2020

A great course and very interesting if you want to learn Theology and its history into further education.

It is easy to keep up to the lessons and they are very interesting you learn new interesting facts and knowledge.

By Pinco P

Jun 13, 2020

This course was great, perhaps one of the most interesting I've taken here on Coursera. Thank you professor Gordon and your assistants. Too bad it stops at 1650, I'd love to listen to more of the Christianity history.

By Sylvia S M

Nov 07, 2018

I enjoyed the notes, the references the videos and professor. I learned a great deal about a subject I had some awareness of. A subject I am keenly interested in, as I pursue a career as a minister. Thank you.

By Hugo C U

Jun 06, 2020

A very comprehensive, cohesive and resourceful overview of all the crucial events, main characters and key ecclesiastical developments that consolidated the Catholic Church in Europe and the Americas.

By Ruth

Mar 12, 2018

This is a really good course. While the readings were occasionally overwhelming (and dull), the content was generally interesting. I found the main lecturer to be particularly engaging.

By Alma W

Jun 20, 2017

Well developed and presented course.. It'll be good to have it continued from 1650 to where the Christian faith is today. I'll be very interested to be part of it if it is developed.

By Candice T

Aug 04, 2020

Loved the content as I am a woman of faith but also teach in a public school so learning the religious side of these events paired with the historical facts I teach was pretty cool.

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 hendra m a

Oct 11, 2017

Interested course. I learned a lot fro this course. I will recommend this course to my friends. So they will have a better understanding in history of Christianity.

By Giusi F

Mar 24, 2018

Thank you for this course. I appreciated in particular the teaching of Prof. Gordon. Very clear also for a non English mother tongue and very expert of the theme.

By Pablo M

Jun 28, 2020

I enjoyed very much learning about the history of my faith teached with such knowledge and passion.

Tranks Bruce and team!

A big hug from Buenos Aires

PABLO MILLER

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 Patricia N W

Oct 04, 2018

The presentation is superb and attention holding. I'm enjoying this class so very much. I would love more by this University and this Professor.

By Gerard K R

Jan 26, 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed it! Liked its independent, no denominational leanings. Well paced. And good estimates of time commitments for the student.

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.