Church History in the Era of the Renaissance and Reformation
Start Date: Monday, September 12, 2016. This is a 25 week course.
Location: Room 205 in the Parish Life Building
Times: Monday Evenings 7:00PM to 9:00PM
If this is the first Church history class in the series that you have taken, the registration fee of $25 is due at the first class. If you are returning history buffs, $5 per person per year. Advance regististration is available online.
Questions about online registration? Email F1Support@staoptw.org
If this is the first Church history class in the series that you have taken, a $25 fee is due at the first class. If you are returning history buffs, $5 per person per year.
This year’s Church History offering is a study of the Late Medieval World, exploring the setting for the advent of the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation (or Revolution!), as well as the glorious Catholic Reformation, the Age of Exploration and Evangelization (at this time in history, a totally Catholic phenomenon!), and Enlightenment (a largely anti-Catholic phenomenon). This is one of the most misunderstood chapters in the epic Journey of the Bride of Christ through the past 2000 years.
- Learn about the Mendicant orders (the begging orders) such as the Franciscans, the Dominicans, and the Carmelites, that arose during the period of the Crusades, and truly transformed the Church. Meet some of the great saints of these Orders such as St Dominic, St Francis, St Clare, and St Bonaventure.
- Experience the trauma of the Hundred Years War, and meet St Joan of Arc in the context of her times. Go with her to war, to dungeon, to trial, and to execution, and study in detail, through her own words how a saint is made. Weep at the inability of sinful men to comprehend her holiness. Glory in the later trial of her rehabilitation, when the charge of heresy received a resounding defeat!
- Investigate the heresies of the age, and discover the true history of the Inquisition, as well as exposing those who sought to abuse its authority for their own gain.You will find some real surprises here! It was the result of the policies and procedures of Mother Church that courts in Europe became more fair than they had ever been before. For instance, did you know that most people of that day preferred to be tried by the Inquisition than by the secular courts! And that St Teresa of Avila, and St John of the Cross as well as other saints were tried before the Inquisition and successfully acquitted?
- Expand your mind through study of the Age of Scholastic Inquiry. This Age is the foundation of all Modern Sciences, and you will find that not only is the Church not opposed to science, but literally was the fertile field where the young Sciences grew up! Observe the rise of the great European universities, a truly Catholic phenomenon.
- Spend time at the feet of the great Doctors of the Faith, and such giants of the Faith as St. Anthony of Padua, and St Thomas Aquinas, and St Albert Magnus (who's that you ask? Come and see!)
- Learn about the chaos of the Great Western Schism, when there were 3 men claiming to be Pope, and even many of the saints were not sure who was the real Pope.
- We think today that the Popes and Rome go together like peanut butter and jelly, but we'll study a time when for many decades, the Popes never even visited Rome, in fact for years were not even in Italy! Why? What were they doing in exile?
- Follow the aggressive onslaught of Islamic rulers and regimes against Christian lands, and the heroic Popes and Kings and military troops who successfully defended Europe, while in the East, Constantinople was lost forever to Christianity.
- Explore the treasures of the age through architecture, art and music. Meet the great artists and heroes of the Renaissance and Reformation, like Raphael, Michelangelo, Dante, Machiavelli, Sir Thomas More, Bishop John Fisher, and Erasmus.
- Weep at the corruption in the Papacy during the Renaissance, but see how in the end, God is in control of the integrity of his Church, in spite of what evil men may do. Marvel at the holiness of popes who became saints!
- Uncover the underlying causes leading to the Protestant Revolution, usually known as the Reformation, in many ways more a political phenomenon than a religion one! And the religious factions were far from united. In fact there were at least 4 major Protestant revolts, each with very different outcomes.
- Meet the leaders of the Protestant movements and the Princes who either opposed or aided their cause. Struggle through the decimation of Europe during the Thirty Years War, largely the result of the Protestant Reformation.
- Marvel at the "Miracle of Trent," the great council that redefined and consolidated all the teachings of Holy Mother Church and triggered the glorious Catholic Reformation with it's amazing artistic, liturgical, scientific, and doctrinal developments.
- Immerse yourself in the “Communion of Saints” as we meet literally dozens of saints in the Catholic Reformation. Follow many of them as they travel to distant lands to take the Gospel to people who had never heard the name of Jesus Christ
- Expose the sad story of the Scientific Revolution leading to the Enlightenment, and watch Mother Church shepherd those who would be led to holiness in spite of trying times.
It was a tumultuous period for Mother Church, but in spite of the opposition, and the odds against her, she proved her holiness and clear affiliation with her Lord. Throughout history, Mother Church, though plagued at times by scandal and rebellion, always reveals her great Glory for those who have eyes to see. We have much to learn at her hand about holiness, dedication, beauty, and charity that will be extremely useful in our contemporary age of dissent, confusion, and insecurity - lessons that can help us flourish today, in spite of scandal, relativism, foolish leaders, lack of faith and gross ignorance in the world around us.
This special website for the course will allow you to catch up when you have to miss a class. After each class, there will be a new page added to summarize what we covered that week. If you have participated in the virtual pilgrimage for Lent, or last year's course, the format will be similar, with pictures, maps, etc, to help you grasp the concepts we are studying.
The purpose of the Church History Class is two-fold:
- Fellowship – for both believers/nonbelievers, for members/ non-members. An opportunity to explore how our own personal journeys blend into the picture of the Church as a whole.
- Discipleship – growth in understanding of the Gospel and the Church, as well as growth in Christian maturity as we come to understand the counsel of our Lord to us through the pages of History
1) Main Course Book:
History of the Church (Didache Series) $60
Available from: Amazon(rent/buy-new or used) hardcover
(I do NOT recommend the red paperback parish edition of this)
2) Recommended Second Text:
History of the Catholic Church by James Hitchcock $25
Available from: Amazon, Ignatius Press
Triumph: Power and Glory of the Catholic Church,
Available from: Amazon