THL132 The European Reformations (8)

This subject begins with an overview of fifteenth-century Western Christianity and society, emphasising the impact of scholasticism, Christian humanism and nascent nationalism. It then explores: the reformations in continental Europe and reform movements within Roman Catholicism; the radical reformations, inquisitions and the plight of religious minorities; English and Scottish reformations from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I; Puritan influence; and the Stuart, Commonwealth and Restoration settlements. Consistent attention is given throughout the subject to the broader context of early modern Europe and its interaction with the wider world, as well as socio-cultural issues such as gender and sexuality, death, witchcraft and moral discipline. Finally, attention is given to the reformations' long-term legacies to the present day.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Canberra Campus
United Theological College
Online *
Canberra Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: THL132. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Theology

Enrolment Restrictions

Not available to students who have completed subject THL419.

Subject Relationships

THL419 Paired Subject

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate a broad and coherent knowledge of the diverse political, intellectual and social contexts of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century reform movements;
  • be able to critically review and analyse the contribution of major figures in these movements;
  • be able to analyse and critically evaluate a range of views on controversial issues relating to theology, sacraments and church-state relations;
  • be able to demonstrate a broad knowledge of the successive settlements of religion in Britain;
  • be able to critically review and analyse the role of minority religious movements during this period;
  • be able to articulate aspects of Protestant and Roman Catholic thought, life and culture in the early modern period;
  • be able to critically review and analyse the contribution of historians and historiographical perspectives from a variety of denominational and historical contexts; and
  • be able to demonstrate self-guided and collaborative learning, including basic research, writing and communication skills relevant to history as a discipline.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • The context of late medieval Christendom: tensions and crises in the Western Church by 1500 CE; Wyclif and Hus; Erasmus, scholasticism and Christian humanism
  • Luther, the German Reformation and Lutheran movements in northern Europe
  • Zwingli, Bucer, Calvin and the progress of Reformed Protestantism
  • Changes in Roman Catholicism: reform, reaction and revival
  • The radical reformations and religious minorities
  • Religion, society and politics in Britain from the Tudors to the Stuarts
  • Puritanism and nonconformity in early modern Britain
  • The character and consequences of the Elizabethan, Stuart, Commonwealth and Restoration religious settlements
  • The character and consequences of the wars of religion and religious settlements in Europe
  • Patterns of life: death, gender, sexuality, the family and witchcraft in the Reformation period
  • The long-term legacies and worldwide impact of the reformations

Residential School

This subject contains a 2 day Optional Residential School.

The residential school for this introductory subject provides an orientation to the subject matter, methodology, assessment, library resources, and research tools pertaining to the study of church history.

Activities include lectures, tutorial discussion and library orientation.

Special Resources

Online students who choose to attend the optional residential school in Canberra will need to arrange and cover the costs of travel, accommodation and meals.


For further information about courses and subjects outlined in the CSU handbook please contact:

Current students

Future students

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: July 2019. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.