Hist. 434/E
History of Christianity to 1500
Spring 2008

Dr. Karen Jolly

University of Hawaii at Manoa Department of History
mainpage: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~kjolly
Office: Sakamaki A408 956-7673
Office Hours: TBA

Hildegard of Bingen

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The emphasis of this course is on the historical development of western European Christianity within the context of world history. The course follows a chronological study of the religion from its beginnings to 1500, with an emphasis on the analysis and interpretation of primary sources (documents and artifacts). The course fulfills the History major world/comparative category and also the General Education Ethics Focus requirement.

Ethics in historiography (the study of history) involves both a respect for the past and an awareness of our present circumstances and modes of discourse. When treating a complex historical phenomenon such as religion, a number of ethical issues arise that have contemporary parallels or connections to current debates. Nonetheless, how we talk about past worldviews and their relationship to our own beliefs and values is as important as the historical and contemporary ethical issues that connect us to them.

Consequently, we will take two approaches to ethical issues in studying medieval Christianity in a global historical context:

  1. How to talk about religion in a secular academic setting (creating a “safe environment”) and take a historical approach to the material (accurate handling of the data).
  2. How to understand other points of view (“historical empathy”), specifically the relationships between medieval, modern, and post-modern mentalities.
Throughout the semester, we will explore issues of religion and history that have contemporary resonances: persecution, martyrdom, and religious freedom; spread of religions and cross-cultural interactions; politics and the “separation” of church and state; just war theory and the Crusades; faith and reason debates; worldviews, spirituality and materialism. We will use the theme of pilgrimage, expressed in the image CD-Rom, to make our journey through time and space and to develop new understandings of self in relation to the past (an ethic). Other primary sources are found in the Readings book and at the Internet Medieval Sourcebook online.



Paper Writing Guidelines:

Journal, Quizzes and Participation:

Since this class meets only once a week, it is vital that students not only attend but come prepared to discuss the material. Students are asked to keep a reading journal of responses to the assignments and to bring it to class. The in-class quizzes are “open notes” (journals but not books) and are designed to make sure students have a basic comprehension of the reading material. Students who miss class lose both participation and quiz points; those with a documented excuse may make up the quiz within one week (see instructor for details).

A Note on Plagiarism and Cheating:

Plagiarism, a form of cheating punishable under the UHM Student Conduct Code, is the use of someone else's words or ideas without citation or acknowledgement. This includes exact/unique phrases without quote marks; interpretive arguments (as opposed to general knowledge information) made to sound as your own when they are not; and sentences, paragraphs, or whole papers copied or downloaded into your paper. Any paper submitted to me that violates this standard will receive an automatic F (0 points) with no resubmission. We can discuss the case, but if we fail to agree on whether plagiarism occurred, the case will have to go to the Dean of Students, where the penalty if guilt is found is worse than an F on a paper.

Disability Access:

If you feel you need reasonable accommodations because of the impact of a disability, please 1) contact the KOKUA Program (V/T) at 956-7511 or 956-7612, QLCSS 013; 2) speak with me privately to discuss your specific needs. I will be happy to work with you and the KOKUA Program to meet you access needs related to your documented disability. Student Academic Services also provides a wide array of learning assistance, counseling, and support services to meet your needs.


First Day

Part I: Beginnings to circa 300 C.E.

Part II: 300-600 C.E.

Part III: 600-1000 C.E.

Part IV: 1000-1500 C.E.

Last Days

updated 4/25/07