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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
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503 ratings
163 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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151 - 160 of 160 Reviews for A Journey through Western Christianity: from Persecuted Faith to Global Religion (200 - 1650)

By Keith S

Sep 5, 2017

Very interesting themes developed which are described in an engaging and empathetic manner.

By Sonia S K

Nov 19, 2020

I loved this course. I got to know a lot more about Christianity.

By Robert B C

Oct 9, 2017

Good course-High quality and university-level material.

By Sola A

May 5, 2020

Good course for basic foundations of Christianity

By SHERIN A

Nov 2, 2020

Well structured course for a deep understanding

By Mir P

Jun 21, 2018

Good overview, good sources.

By Andrew Z B

Jun 27, 2021

Very well planned Syllabus

By Marcelino T

May 19, 2017

Muito bom.

By Laxman T

Oct 25, 2020

very well

By Philip C

Sep 24, 2017

Very enjoyable course. The graded tasks could have been more challenging though.