This unit examines the theological debates of the sixteenth century Reformation in Europe and their ongoing impact in western societies and churches, with particular attention to the implications for contemporary Australian experience. Students will explore the understandings of grace, salvation, creation, sacrament, scripture and church order using key texts and writers with a focus on the relationship between theological, historical and geographical contexts in shaping new forms of Christian identity and practice.

Unit code: CH8109P

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Church History

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Identify the historical and theological features of the doctrinal controversies of sixteenth-century Europe


Demonstrate an understanding of the evolution of one of these areas of doctrine


Describe the relationship between foundational documents and/or individuals and the ongoing development of particular Christian denominations or movements


Evaluate the significance of concepts of ‘centre’ and ‘periphery’ in the evolution of one or more of these Christian identities in Australia.

Unit sequence

15 points in CH and 15 points in CT


Lecture, seminar, workshop, discussion, online forum

Indicative Bibliography

  • Bagchi, David and David C. Steinmetz, eds. The Cambridge Companion to Reformation Theology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004.
  • Bos Robert, Geoff Thompson eds. Theology for Pilgrims: Selected Documents of the Uniting Church in Australia. Sydney: Uniting Church Press, 2008.
  • Gregory Brad S. The Unintended Reformation: how a religious revolution secularized society. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012.
  • von Greyerz, Kaspar. Religion and Culture in Early Modern Europe, 1500-1800. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
  • Hendrix, Scott H. ed. and trans., Early Protestant Spirituality, Classics of Western Spirituality. New York: Paulist Press, 2009.
  • Lindberg, Carter, ed. The European Reformations Sourcebook. Oxford: Blackwell, 2014.
  • ———. The Reformation Theologians: An Introduction to Theology in the Early Modern Period. Oxford: Blackwell, 2002.
  • MacCulloch, Diarmaid. Reformation: Europe’s House Divided 1490-1700. London: Penguin, 2004.
  • McGrath, Alister E. Reformation Thought: An Introduction. Rev. ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 1999.
  • Matheson, Peter ed., Reformation Christianity, A People’s History of Christianity, vol. 5. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006.
  • Muller, RA and JL Thompson, eds., Biblical Interpretation in the Era of the Reformation: Essays Presented to David C Steinmetz. Grand Rapids, 1996.
  • Po Chia Hsia, R. The World of Catholic Renewal, 1540-1770. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

2,500 words x Source analysis

0 40.0

1,500 words x Research Exercise

0 40.0

1,000 words x online conversation

0 20.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 19 Oct, 2014

Unit record last updated: 2020-11-04 14:19:31 +1100