TTC Video - The History of Christianity II From the Reformation to the Modern Megachurch

TTC Video - The History of Christianity II: From the Reformation to the Modern Megachurch
Course No. 6620 | .MP4, AVC, 2000 kbps, 1280x720 | English, AAC, 192 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 16.82 GB
Lecturer: Molly Worthen, Ph.D.

When you think about Christian history, you might think of the first thousand years-the events of Jesus' life, the acts of the apostles, the establishment of the church, and the various councils that established theological doctrine. But the history of Christianity from the Reformation to the present is equally dramatic and profoundly relevant. It's a story about people as much as theology-our cultures, our politics, our relationship to the world.

As the world's largest religion, Christianity is enmeshed in the history of the world. Consider the question of the Christian mission: is it about saving souls, or about saving society? Is it about holding the right beliefs, or about doing good works? The answer to these questions over the past 500 years has defined politics and policies, and led to wars and revolutions.

The History of Christianity II: From the Reformation to the Modern Megachurch picks up where The Great Courses' first history of Christianity left off: with the Protestant Reformation. Taught by Dr. Molly Worthen, a professor of history at the University of North Carolina, these 36 fascinating lectures trace the story of Christianity as it transformed from the end of the Middle Ages into the diverse global religion of today.

A careful study of this history allows you to:

appreciate the complexity of the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation;
understand the myriad Protestant sects that emerged in the 16th and 17th centuries;
reflect on the role of the church during the Enlightenment and its relationship to the scientific revolution;
gain insight into religion in America, from Mormons and Fundamentalists to Evangelicals and the "Christian right"; and
see the challenges of the 21st century and the Global South in a different light.

While Professor Worthen gives you plenty of insight into theology, her primary focus is to place Christianity in its historical context. She personalizes history with stories of individual players and blends their narratives with larger trends to give you the full history of momentous events. You'll meet characters ranging from David Strauss, whose biblical scholarship in the 19th century rocked the church's world, to Zhang Rongliang, a Chinese Christian who kept preaching the gospel even when communist officials locked him up.

Explore 500 Years of Dramatic History

For many people, knowledge of Christianity after the time of Jesus is incomplete-a vague timeline scattered with assorted names, events, and councils but no guiding sense of how it all connects. As you'll discover in this course, Europe in 1500 stood on the brink of a religious upheaval that would alter the continent's destiny. Over the next 500 years, Christianity has been at the center of momentous transformations around the globe and is now the largest religion in the world.

How did this happen? How did Christianity go from being a mainly European religion in 1500 to a global powerhouse? And how did it happen despite the alleged "decline in religion" in our modern era? Professor Worthen unpacks these key questions as she sketches out the Description of one of the great dramas in world history. Among other things, you will:

Discover the central beliefs of Lutherans, Anabaptists, Puritans, Anglicans, and other groups that broke away from the Catholic Church during the Reformation.
Consider life for Christians under Muslim rule in the Ottoman Empire, including Coptic and Syriac Christians in Egypt and Syria.
Study the founding of the Eastern Orthodox Church and witness its growth, particularly throughout Russia.
Examine the phenomenon of revivals and their relationship to the church.
Explore the relationship between Christianity and the geopolitical dynamics of the Cold War-including the rise of the Christian Right in America.

These different facets of Christianity-and the political and cultural drama around them-represent just a fraction of the story of Christianity in this course. You will also discover the religion's growth in Latin and South America, Africa, China, and other neglected histories to understand Christianity as a global phenomenon.

The History of Christianity II takes you beyond the basic who-what-when of historical events and places them in their cultural and political context, giving you the how and the why of history. For example, you will:

Unpack the messy events of the Thirty Years' War to understand the politics of the Holy Roman Empire-and the witch-hunting craze that obsessed Europeans at the time.
Reflect on the Counter-Reformation and the role of orders like the Dominicans and the Jesuits in the spread of European empire.
See how the "social gospel" movement connected with a broader push for social services and political reform in the 19th century.
Find out why the Russian Revolution was one of the most cataclysmic events for religion in the 20th century.
Consider the 20th century missionary battles in Latin America-and the political emergence of Jorge Bergoglio, who is now Pope Francis.

Discover Common Threads across Time

The past 500 years have been an era of monumental change, from the discovery and colonization of new lands to astounding scientific achievements to the emergence of a global-capitalist world order. Despite all of these upheavals-and the anxieties that have accompanied them-many patterns in the history of Christianity repeat themselves again and again. Some of the key trends you will study include:

Faith and Reason: The tension between faith and reason within Christianity existed long before the debates over evolution versus creationism. You might be surprised, however, to discover how Christian history reveals a story of mutual influence between faith and reason, not just competition. One thing is certain: from Galileo to Darwin, the rise of modern science has altered religious debate around the world.
Revivals & Awakenings: What makes a good preacher? Professor Worthen surveys the origins and nature of revivals and looks at the two Great Awakenings in the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as the Pentecostal revivals that have rocked the Global South in more recent decades. You'll discover how the best preachers blended charisma, connection with people, and the willingness to leave the formal sanctuary to meet listeners where they are.
Political Activity: In the 16th century, Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand secured power through a unified Catholic state. Four hundred years later, the United States and Western Europe fought Communism by enlisting Christianity in their political cause. As you'll discover again and again in this course, religion can almost never be divorced from politics.
Christian Mission: Throughout this course, you'll explore the varying types of missions, from Christians' overseas ventures in search of new converts to civil rights activists' efforts to change society and promote social justice. You'll also explore the ideal of sola fide, "by faith alone," and the way many Christians in recent years have retreated to a more private, individually focused religion.
Cultural Pluralism: When missionaries arrive in a new land, they usually find people who already have a religion. And if missionaries are successful, their converts tend not to be "purely" Christian but rather retain fragments of their original religion. The result is a pluralism of practices and ideas that has yielded not "one" Christianity around the world, but many.

Focus on the People of History

Finally, in studying these broad themes, you will meet some truly fascinating people. Professor Worthen is a marvelous storyteller who brings individuals to life as she shares broader points in the story. For example, in a lecture on the Cold War, she considers how Pope John Paul II's moral courage helped bring about the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. In another lecture, she shares the story of Rebecca, an American slave whose story offers a representative glimpse of religion among people whose stories have largely gone untold.

Whether it's Mormons in the American West, Catholics in Latin America, or a Nigerian megachurch, this course examines the actors and ideas that have made Christianity a global religion-and offers a clearer perspective on our own time and place. Professor Worthen introduces you to scientists and theologians, revolutionaries and social justice crusaders, intellectuals and ordinary people living out the great drama of Christian history. From Martin Luther's 95 Theses to Latin American liberation theology, The History of Christianity II is a magisterial course, and a must-have for students of history and religion, as well as philosophy, literature, culture, and life.

More Info

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