HIS-221: The Reformation
Third Exam study guide
Spring Term 2009
This exam includes all material since the last exam, including the April 16 reading on the Council of
Section One (25% of grade): Write an essay on the following topic:
In a controversial 1991 article, “The Future of the Reformation,” published in the Catholic periodical
(There’s no trick here. This is exactly the way the question will appear on the exam. You must answer it. You will not have a choice of questions in this section.)
Section Two (25% of grade): In this section, you will write one short essay. I will put three topics on the exam from which you will choose one. In order to prepare for this section, be sure that you can briefly and clearly do the things described below. I will design questions based on these tasks. What appears in the following bullet-pointed items is not the exact wording of the exam questions; these are just suggestions to guide your study.
► The “reformation of the laity” is a term historians often use to talk about the Reformation issues and themes that were emphasized by lay writers, magistrates, etc. Be able to describe what they emphasized, what main themes of the clergy reformers like Luther were largely absent from lay sources, and possible implications of those differences.
► Catechisms, confessions, and hymns for congregational singing are all texts that were essentially invented by the Reformation and remain important in the Lutheran churches even today. Be able to explain what they are, why they came into use, and why they were/are so important.
► Art and architecture were important tools for Protestants and Catholics to promote their ideas and build support. Review the themes from the PowerPoint presentations on art and architecture. I will give you some images (which may not be ones that I used in class) and ask you to explain how they reflect the priorities and ideas of the church for which they were produced.
► Education became a major goal of Protestant and Catholic leaders. Be able to explain what they wanted education to achieve, how they set about educating people, what effects education had, and to what extent it achieved its objectives. Think about how Protestant and Catholic approaches were similar and how they differed. Be sure to think about education in broader terms that just “school”.
► Historians generally consider gender to be an important category of analysis. In other words, we think it is meaningful to ask whether men and women experienced things in the same way and not to assume that the experience of one is going to be the same as that of the other. (We would equally agree that other things, such as race and class, are also important to consider.) Apply this to the Reformation (Protestant and Catholic). Be able to discuss whether it meant different things to women and men, whether it effected them differently, and whether they had different reasons for choosing one confession over another.
Section Three (50% of grade): In this section, you will write one essay. I will select two of the following topics. The wording of the two that I select for the actual exam will be exactly the same as below.
1. It is a sad fact of human nature that religious fervor is often supported by violence and bloodshed. That was certainly the case with the Reformation. In this essay, address three forms of violence: iconoclasm, the Peasants Revolt, and the Saint Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. Describe what each was, discuss its connection to the Reformation, and explain why, in each case, the situation became so violent. Given the mentality of the time, was violence effectively unavoidable in these situations? Explain.
2. If the previous exam was about what the Reformers taught, since then we have looked at what happened when the Reformation was implemented at the local level. In this essay, describe the long term effects of the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic response that would have been perceived at the local level. In doing so, discuss how those would vary according to confession (Lutheran, Reformed, Catholic) and gender. In your view, were the significant long term effects the result of things imposed from the top down, things derived from popular initiatives and objectives, or a combination of both? Explain.
3. When what became known as the Reformation began, Martin Luther did not intend to divide Christianity. Rather, he hoped and expected to redirect and transform the doctrine and practices of the only church he knew. In this essay, examine how the Catholic church responded to the challenge of Luther and the other reformers. To what extent did the doctrine and practices of the church change in the century following 1517? Did they change along lines that addressed the concerns and criticisms of the reformers? Would 21st century Catholic teaching on justification and indulgences satisfy Luther? Explain.
Honor Code instructions:
In order to remain in compliance with the honor code statement that you will sign on the exam book, here's what you may and may not do in preparing for this exam. You may (and perhaps should) discuss these topics with other members of the class and/or with me. Make sure that you have the details straight, gaps in your notes filled, etc. in conversation with others. Also, you might want to debate different possible responses. This is all preparation which is appropriate to do with others. However, you may not write a common answer with other people which you then try to memorize for the exam. That would be a violation of the honor code since I consider it "unauthorized aid." Discuss, debate -- but then draw up an outline or write out an answer on your own.