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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
489 ratings
158 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 5, 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 22, 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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51 - 75 of 155 Reviews for A Journey through Western Christianity: from Persecuted Faith to Global Religion (200 - 1650)

By Ruth

Mar 11, 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 4, 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 4, 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 Mary E

Dec 12, 2020

Course presentation by Dr. Gordon was above-average. Highly recommend for those who seek to improve knowledge of how Christianity developed over centuries.

By Adler S

Sep 17, 2020

A must take course for Christians who want to learn more about our illustrious history or non-Christians who want to learn some history for the heck of it.

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 4, 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 5, 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 Osvaldo R

Nov 4, 2020

Doy gracias a los excelentes instructores que han expuesto de forma apasionante todo la historia cristiana a partir del año 200

By Bart S

Aug 7, 2017

outstanding survey class: anyone that wants to understand Western Christianity would be well served to take this class!

By Diana L

May 29, 2017

Generously shared, vast exploration, deeply knowledgeable teaching, excellent references for further study. Thank you!

By Sophie W

Mar 30, 2019

Excellent thousand foot view of roughly 1400 years of Western Christianity, covering a huge number of critical events.

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 Christy L

Jun 17, 2017

I very much enjoyed this course and the in-depth look at various Christian personalities throughout history.

By Paul H

Apr 11, 2017

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

By Sissi D

Sep 17, 2020

Excellent! I loved content, resources, teachers and videos. Thank you very much for the opportunity.

By Isabella C

Aug 13, 2017

Great beginners' course to learn about Christianity. Very comprehensive content and easy to follow.

By Rania B

Dec 20, 2017

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

By Tony B

Apr 15, 2020

A terrific programme of study. Diligent and detailed. A professional team and quality work.

By monideepa m

Aug 24, 2020

I learnt a lot about the birth, growth, and spread of Christianity in the world from Asia.