SUndays, September 23 - November 4

4:00 - 6:00 pm, Fellowship Hall

The Reformation—and then what?!

We know what happened in the Reformation: Martin Luther stood firm, Catherine Zell took Luther's ideas to heart and interpreted scripture, John Calvin transformed Geneva . . . but what happened afterwards? Did people shake hands and agree? Or agree to disagree? Not so much. This fall, we will look at the aftermath of the Reformation in both the Catholic and Protestant churches—in Europe and around the world. Dr. Becky King Cerling, Lead Teacher

Topics will include:

September 23: Reformed Consequences: the context and issues facing post-Reformation Europe (class ends early at 5:00 pm).

When we look back at the Reformation, we have much to celebrate: the correction of some theological abuses that had grown up in the church—like the sale of indulgences to raise money, and some positive developments—like the restoration of scripture to ordinary lay people. But the Reformation also caused huge fissures in society that continue to have ramifications today. In this first session, we will look at the immediate aftermath of the Reformation—how did people manage the new religious and political situation? Did they continue to pray for their dear ones who had died—even without paying for the indulgences that could release them from purgatory? What did they do if their Lutheran prince died and his heir was a Catholic? Or vice versa? Join us as we begin our journey through post-Reformation Europe.

Listen to 9/23 Lecture

September 30: The (never-ending) 30 Years War. The Peace of Augsburg failed. In spite of rulers' attempts to maintain peace after the religious classes of the Reformation, war erupted. The 30 Years' War lasted from 1618-1648 and involved almost the entirety of Europe. This week we will look at the devastation involved in the lives of ordinary people, and some extraordinary prayers prayed on all sides in the face of enemies.

Who Was Involved


Listen to 9/30 Lecture

October 7: The emphasis on orthodox beliefs—as a way of guaranteeing belief and belonging. Everyone in post-Reformation Europe experienced huge changes in their lives. Last week we talked about the church’s relationship to external power. This week we’ll look at the change from the perspective inside the church. Join us as we explore the ways Christians tried to establish their identity in the new religious landscape of 16th and 17th-century Europe, including creating catechisms like the one entitled, Milk for Babes, or, A Mother’s Catechism for Her Children.

Listen to Lecture

October 14: The swing toward warm-hearted pietism—focused more on love of God and neighbor than on strict beliefs. After all the post-Reformation wars, people were tired. And the precise thinking of orthodox theologians didn’t help. People, in a nutshell, wanted a return to the earlier evangelical fervor they had experienced at the start of the Reformation. This desire engendered Pietism—a focus more on love of God and neighbor rather than on strict beliefs. This week we’ll see two publishing ministries that have continued for over 300 years. And we’ll meet a man who, although he specialized in teaching Hebrew and Greek, is remembered for his ministry with children who continued to suffer after the trauma of the 30 Years War. Join us!



October 21: Reforming Catholics: The Council of Trent and the Jesuits. Many Catholics recognized that the church needed reform in the 16th century.  Unlike their Protestant neighbors, however, many of them chose to remain in the Roman Catholic Church.  Join us this week as we consider the Catholic Reformation and its aftermath.  We’ll look at the substance of the Catholic reform from the Council of Trent, as well as the amazing art that resulted.  And—just in time for the “Dinner in Spain” event, we’ll meet some renowned Spanish reformers, like Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Avila.  

Listen to Lecture

October 28: There will be no class due to the Dinner in Spain Event, now closed.

November 4: The Church moves on—and out from Europe...

The Church moves on—and out from Europe Post-reformation: Europe was not only a time of war and turmoil and identity formation for both Protestants and Catholics, it was also a time of exploration.  The same year that the Catholic Spanish defeated the Islamic ruler of Granada, Columbus sailed for the "new" world.  And, at the same time the Moravians interacted with John Wesley en route to America, they sent missionaries to South Africa.  And, shortly after the Jesuits were officially founded in Rome, some brothers were sent to the "uttermost parts of the earth."  Join us as we conclude our survey of the Post-Reformation Church.  We'll look at the ways Christians moved out of Europe--and examine again the question of whether the world and the church were "falling apart--or moving together." 

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