The Protestant Reformation, which took place in Europe during the first half of the sixteenth century, was first and foremost a religious revolution. However, its far-reaching implications were also felt in the political, social, and cultural domains. This course will discuss the history of the German Reformation while focusing on the linguistic-cultural domain: we shall examine the place of the German language in the thought and work of Martin Luther, the role it played in the advancement of the Reformation in the German lands, and the Reformation’s contribution to the rise of German as a “civilized language” from the sixteenth century onward.
On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
- Explain the main outlines of Luther's theological teaching
- Describe the evolution of German up to the beginning of the modern era
- Assess the significance of the printing press for the dissemination of the Reformation and for the consolidation of German
- Assess the contribution of Luther's Bible to the success of the Reformation and to the evolution of German
- Analyze historical documents
- Discuss items of research literature