A textual and contextual study of representative writings on topics such as violence and the state, pacifism, whether a Christian is allowed to be a judge, soldier, etc., during the Reformation in German and Dutch regions of continental Europe. Chronologically the study will begin with writings from the pre-Reformation period and will end around the year 1540. The course uses lectures and seminar discussions to approach figures and texts of a wide-spread debate concerning the use of the sword in matters of religion that occurred throughout all Christian traditions in Europe as well as within those traditions. It will also examine how the arguments and positions of each document are related to others, alongside a study of the documents’ contexts, using presentations and two papers. The first paper will be a comparison of Luther and Erasmus, the second a research paper to be determined in consultation with the instructor.
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