Chevron Left
Back to A Journey through Western Christianity: from Persecuted Faith to Global Religion (200 - 1650)

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

4.7
stars
507 ratings
165 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

Filter by:

26 - 50 of 162 Reviews for A Journey through Western Christianity: from Persecuted Faith to Global Religion (200 - 1650)

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 Juan R M L

Oct 15, 2021

mAn amazing collection of talks that introduce us to the fascinating study of Christianity as the generating force of our western society. The successes and failures and the spiritual force behind it. This course is a screen of knowledge of our spiritual values and the importance of knowing our spiritual richness in a process that has taken centuries and has bequeathed us a treasure of enormous transcendence. The lectures by Professor Bruce and his colleagues, Nazarine and Max, are enormously enlightening and go beyond mere information, they are discussions and forums in themselves always providing a thorough analysis of sometimes antagonistic sources. Very important to take this fascinating course.

The annexed material is also of unparalleled value, as it allows those who wish to deepen their knowledge on each subject to go deeper in each topic.

​Una asombrosa coleccion de charlas que nos introducen en el estudio fascinante del cristianismo como la fuerza generadora de nuestra sociedad occidental. Los exitos y fracasos y la fuerza espiritual detras de ello. Este curso es una pantalla de conocimiento de nuestros valores espirituales y la importancia de conocer nuestra riqueza espiritual en un proceso que ha tomado siglos y nos ha legado un tesoro de enorme trascendencia. Las charlas del profesor Bruce y sus colegas, Nazarine y Max, son enormemente esclarecedoras y van mas alla de la mera informacion, son discusiones y foros en si mismos proveyendo siempre un analisis acucioso de fuentes a veces antagonicas. Muy importante tomar este fascinante curso.

E​l material anexo es tambien de inigualable valor, pues permite profundizar en cada tema a quienquiera explayarse en determinado conocimiento.

By Pamela B

Mar 29, 2021

I really enjoyed this course. I have a degree in Art History. This course would have been an excellent addition to my curriculum. even many years later it put many things I knew in perspective. I have had a number of courses in general European History but the emphasis on Christianity added another piece to the puzzle. I am not a Christian but I have always been interested in religions other than my own. I am very curious about what people believe and why and the customs and rituals the go along with those beliefs.

By John C

Oct 31, 2017

I really enjoyed following this well-presented course. Despite the limitations of the format, the instructors came over very well. I had some knowledge of the subject from a particular viewpoint but I found I gained a broader understanding and more complete perspective on the development of Western Christianity through this course. Unfortunately the discussion forums really are not working well, with limited participation and virtually no responses from learners or instructors.

By Yap y k

Feb 4, 2021

A very comprehensive course .. i do need to find out more on certain event in the history of church as it is mentioned only in passing .. All in all , the course enable me to see how christianity theory and dogma are developed from the 1400 years time range due to different political and social issue and the rise of individual christian figure to correct the situation when they deem as something that is lacking and/or not correct n their impact on christian theology ...

By Ande D

May 6, 2020

This course contains a great deal of information which can be overwhelming when taken as a whole but works perfectly in the bite-size pieces offered. I learned so much and feel like I've been on an amazing journey that encouraged me to branch out and learn more about some of the covered topics. I would love to take another course with this group in the future. Most assuredly one of the best online classes of this type that I have taken.

By Марат Б

Jun 26, 2021

Dear Professor Bruce, Nazanin, and Max! I thank you and your team from the bottom of my heart for your work! For me as a Christian, it was not just interesting, it enriched my understanding of the Christian world and God's ways. I will be thinking over many things and making conclusions for myself! May God bless you, your families and keep you for yourself! Bless you! Regards, Marat!

By Penny P

Apr 18, 2021

Excellent introduction to Church History! Thank you to the instructors. I will miss hearing your erudite lectures. I feel as if I have got to know you a little over the weeks.

I'm just starting studying Christian Doctrine and it was very helpful to have this background in church history to help me understand the zigzagging from heresy to heresy of the early church!

By Florencia T M

Jan 10, 2021

The course contents are almost similar to Church History. It is very relevant in teaching Church History. The video presentation is excellent. The transcript below the video is very helpful. The questions in the quizzes are valid. The questions demonstrate the measure of the depth of knowledge. I achieved my goal in taking this course.

Thank you very much.

By Gloria V

May 21, 2020

muchas gracias por compartir excelente conocimiento, en mi idioma, en una forma clara de entender, buena metodología y dinámica, fue para mi gratificante tener el viaje a través del cristianismo occidental, con buen detalle, un abrazo y quedo muy agradecida. Felicidades a los que trabajaron para lograr mi oportunidad de estudiar.

By Marcelo B

Jun 9, 2020

Excelente el Curso. Hace reflexionar sobre la historia del Cristianismo, en variados ámbitos: espiritual, político, sacramental, colonial, etc. Brinda mucha información, muy bien organizada y secuenciada. Un placer recorrerlo y mucho agradecimiento al profesor Gordon, a Nazanin y a Max.

Por muchos éxitos más.

Cordialmente.

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 M

Aug 14, 2021

A​n illuminating course on a topic that is so rarely covered but so fundamental to Western civilization. Dr. Gordon, Max and Nazanin do an incredible job with the material to make it memorable and clear. One of the best courses I have ever taken, and also among the ones that I have learned the most from!

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 Sara H

Nov 1, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this course and would recommend it to anyone who wishes to explore the history of Christianity so as to get an overview of the subject. The material and the content of the lectures were very relevant and the course has sparked an interest to delve further.

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 8, 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 Lloyd H

Sep 12, 2020

The course is a comprehensive feast with huge amounts of information, broken down into edible pieces. It is not overwhelming. The mix of presentation, discussion and written information is balanced and ensures it does not get boring. Recommended.

By Joshua Y

Jun 2, 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 thomas c

Feb 27, 2021

Excellent course for those who want to gain foundational knowledge on spread of christianity between 200AD and early 17th century, and from where one can compound on this knowledge.will definitely recommend it to friends and colleagues.

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 4, 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.