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

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

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.

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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101 - 125 of 162 Reviews for A Journey through Western Christianity: from Persecuted Faith to Global Religion (200 - 1650)

By Damon T R

Sep 29, 2018

Absolutely loved this course! Could not recommend it more!

By wei l

Nov 9, 2017

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

By Lorena A

Jul 5, 2020


By Danilo M

Feb 14, 2020

The best online course that I ever did!!!! Amazing!!!

By Lee T

Nov 14, 2018

Clear explanation how western christianity developed

By Francisco J M

Jun 15, 2020

Genial, muy interesante, motivador y constructivo.

By Richard D M

Jun 14, 2020

Outstanding course ,it helped me get through covid

By Celmira A S

Oct 8, 2017

Excellent! A really journey throught the history.

By Lau C W

Feb 16, 2021

Very organized and clearly presented lectures!!

By carlos c

Jan 30, 2021

Great path through a passionate area of history


Feb 4, 2020

It's a great course, and I highly recommend it!

By Nese M

Jun 20, 2020

For theology interested strongly recommended.

By Jairo A

Aug 5, 2020

It was a wonderful course, I learnt a lot.

By Aniceto P y M

May 2, 2018

Great course. Clear content. Good teachers

By Markson E J

Apr 9, 2021

Every Christian should do this course,

By Gabriela S L T

Sep 8, 2019

Excellent and very interesting course.

By Mohamad Z A H

Oct 18, 2021

Well designed and executed, Well done

By Sanjy R

Jan 27, 2019

Thanks for all, it's a very good MOOC

By George m j

Oct 9, 2020

Very good course with great teachers

By Julio C N P

May 1, 2017

excellent mooc, thank you very much.

By Brent H

Jun 7, 2018

great course, very informative.

By Syeda D E Z J

Jan 1, 2021

Very thorough and detailed.

By Anılcan S

Aug 13, 2020

Perfect! Thank you so much.

By Ubaldo G E D V

Aug 8, 2020

Bruce Gordon is just great