THL235 Medieval Church History (8)

This subject surveys the history of Christianity in the countries of the classical Roman Empire and their immediate neighbours in north-western and eastern Europe and the Middle East. It covers the period from the breakup of the Western empire in the fifth century to the conquest of the Eastern Empire in the fifteenth century. Themes explored include church-state relations, concepts of Christian leadership, Christian scholarship, evangelism, pastoral care, the spiritual life in community and religious orders, and the tense relations between Eastern and Western Christendom.

No offerings have been identified for this subject in 2021.

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

Assumed Knowledge

Students are recommended to have prior knowledge equivalent to or studied THL131.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate broad and coherent knowledge of the development of the Christian Church from 500 to 1500 CE in both Western and Eastern traditions;
  • be able to analyse and critically evaluate historiographical approaches to the Christian faith across different cultures and ecclesial communities;
  • be able to demonstrate a knowledge of the primary source documents of this period and be able to analyse, interpret, and critically review these documents;
  • be able to critically review and analyse the contribution of historians from a variety of denominational and historical contexts;
  • be able to research and communicate the relevance of historical documents for understanding the historical origins of contemporary churches in Australia and Asia; and
  • be able to demonstrate self-guided and collaborative learning, including sound research, writing and communication skills relevant to history as a discipline.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Western monasticism and later monastic reforms
  • The evangelisation and re-evangelisation of Europe
  • Gregory the Great and the European role of the Papacy
  • The Christian ruler (Charlemagne) and the later conflict between Pope and Caesar
  • The Emperor Justinian and the consolidation of the Byzantine tradition
  • The scholar saint: the twelfth-century renaissance
  • Relations between East and West and the Crusades
  • Friars and heretics: preaching, piety and pastoral care
  • Scholastic and monastic learning: intellectual crises of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries
  • The Conciliar movement and opposition to the papacy
  • The fall of Byzantium: Orthodox traditions by the fifteenth century
  • New scholarship and new devotion: lay piety and Christian humanism

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of THL235 in Session 1 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Discussion/forum postings
Essay 1
Essay 2

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.