HIST 414 European Wars of Religion, 1520-1660

Course Description

Welcome to Reformers, Heretics, and Soldiers: European Wars of Religion!  This course will be a journey into the excitement, division, chaos, and horror of religious reform and civil violence during the Wars of Religion in early modern Europe.   The course will focus on cultural and social aspects of religious and civil conflict during the German Peasants’ Revolt, Dutch Revolt, French Wars of Religion, Thirty Years’ War, and English Civil Wars.  Students will explore the religious conflicts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and the experiences of the people who lived through them.

Students will confront various faces of religious violence, from iconoclasm and book burning to executions of heretics and religious massacres.  We will explore the motivations and explanations for religious violence in early modern Europe, as well as the problems of peacemaking during religious conflict.  The course also offers students a chance to consider the difficult questions posed by religious violence outside the charged contexts of religious violence in contemporary societies like Bosnia, Kosovo, Algeria, Palestine, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq.  Highlights of the course will include the German Peasants’ War, Schmalkaldic War, Peace of Augsburg, “Spanish Fury”, Flooding of the Netherlands, Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, Blois Assassinations, Defenestration of Prague, Battle of White Mountain, Sack of Magdeburg, Peace of Westphalia, and beheading of king Charles I.

HIST 414 European Wars of Religion Syllabus: HIST414syllabus

See the European Wars of Religion category on the sidebar of this webpage for recent posts relating to this course.

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