History 434/WI 
History of European Christianity in a World Context to 1500

Summer Session I 2000
10:30-11:45 a.m. M-F Webster 103

Hildegard of Bingen, Egg of the Cosmos
Egg of the Cosmos
Hildegard of Bingen, 12th century abbess, composer, visionary, and philosopher

Dr. Karen Jolly
University of Hawai`i at Manoa
office: Sakamaki A408 956-7673
office hours: Tues and Thurs 1-2 p.m., Wed 2-3 p.m. or by appointment



Go to Medieval Main Page


The emphasis of this course is on the historical development of western European Christianity within the context of world history. Although our primary focus is the European cultural context for the religion, we will examine it in relation to other cultures and traditions.

Two major thematic constructs govern the class:

  1. tradition and diversity interacting over time and across cultures, explored in the primary source readings book
  2. prophecy and order as a creative tension in the development of European Christianity, discussed in the Russell and Lumsden textbook
As an upper division, writing-intensive history course, this class seeks to foster skills in historical analysis through reading, discussion, and writing. Class meetings will focus on the discussion and analysis of the primary source materials. The course uses writing as a tool for thinking and treats writing as a process.







The Russell/Lumsden ch. numbers at the beginning of each new section refer to the chapters in the book A History of Medieval Christianity. Numbers and titles for each class day refer to the chapters in the readings book, Tradition and Diversity.

Week 1: Foundations of Christianity c. 50-450

Week 2: Patterns of Accommodation in Late Antiquity c. 350-750

Week 3: Christian Society in the Early Middle Ages c. 600-1050

Synthesis Paper 1 Question: Examine the issue of tradition and diversity in Late Antique and early medieval Christianity: How and why does Christianity both maintain its identity as a religious belief system and yet change as it adapts to new cultural circumstances? due Tues 6/13 

Week 4: The Spirit of Order and Prophecy c. 1050-1200

Week 5: New Paths of Order and Prophecy c. 1200-1300

Synthesis Paper 2 Question: Examine the dynamic and creative tension between the spirit of prophecy and the spirit of order in medieval European Christianity. How is diversity of religious experience expressed in relation to the need for order and reform in society? How are religious identities created and maintained in an increasingly diverse world? due 6/30

Week 6: Change and Contact in the Late Middle Ages c. 1300-1500