English 233:  Introduction to Western Humanities --
Baroque and Enlightenment
Spring 2000
Lyman Baker, Instructor
   Go to Part 2 of the Course Schedule.
   Go to Part 3 of the Course Schedule.

Course Schedule -- Part 1

Note:  The assignments here are provisional.  In the course of the semester it may be necessary or advisable to introduce changes in either assignments or due dates or both.  Such changes will be announced in class and through the course e-mail listserv.  Students at any university should make it a habit to check their e-mail at least once a day.  As changes are announced, they will be worked into this Course Schedule as well.
Also:  Unless otherwise noted, assignments are expected to be completed before class on the dates specified.  Come to class prepared to discuss the assigned reading.  If you are doing a writing assignment, you should submit it at the beginning of class on the date it is due, so that it can be incorporated into discussion.
Page references to texts are to the texts officially ordered for our course, which are available at Claflin Books and Copies.  You are welcome to use other editions, but you will need to consult with a fellow student to convert the page references given here into the ones corresponding to the edition of your choice.  The abbreviation WH refers to Matthews and Platt, The Western Humanities (3rd Ed.)

14 Jan (W):  Introduction to the course:  scope, theme, organization, grades, etc.

The first third of the course will cover the conflict between the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation.  We begin by getting acquainted with the shared world-view within which this conflict arose -- a perspective that extends back to the age of Saint Augustine (d. 432), near the end of the Roman Empire (or the beginning of the European "Middle Ages")..  Our window into this world-view will be what we shall call "the traditional Christian picture of history."  We see how the baroque style in art arose as an expression of the triumphalist phase of the Counter-Reformation.  Our focus will be on "Roman ecclesiastical baroque art," which emerged at the very end of the 16th Century and flourished during the first half of the 17th Century.  Throughout we will be reading one of the classics of Protestant literature:  John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (1678), an allegorical dream vision of the sprititual process of salvation according to Puritan understanding.  (Until early in our century, this was, excepting the Bible, the most widely reprinted book in the English language; it was an important common experience among people who grew up in quite scattered and various households, from pioneer settlements and remote farmsteads from Maine to Oregon, to working-class families in big cities from Baltimore to San Francisco.)

17 Jan (M):  No class held today, which is devoted to activities in connection with Martin Luther King Day on campus.  However there is an reading assignment, designed to further familiarize yourself with the nature of the course. 

Study the following to see what we are in for in the course of the semester.  Notice that in succession, these documents move from the more general to the more specific. 
(1) The Goals and Methods of the Course
(2) The Scope and Theme of the Course
(3) The Organizational Framework of the Course
This last in particular is a description you will want to return to repeatedly during the course, to refresh your sense of orientation and strengthen your feel for the integration of the course.

19 Jan (W):  How the "problem of evil" generates "theodicy"; how theories of providence (divine plan) entail a special type of picture of history.

(1) Work your way carefully through the "Outline of the Structure of the Problem of Evil" and our article on "The General Concept of Theodicy".  Try to get clear on the relationships among the various propositions (elements) of this problem.  Bring both documents with you to class.

(2) Work through the Biblical account (Genesis 1-4:16) of the Creation and Fall of Mankind.  After your first reading, work through the Study Guide to this passage, as you read it carefully through a couple more times.  (There is also a more extensive Study Guide on this reading that you will want to consult in the days to come, as you are re-reading and pondering this crucial Biblical narrative.)

21 Jan (F):  We will continue to develop a reading of the Biblical Creation and Fall narrative that reflects how Saint Augustine understood it.  Meanwhile you will need to get acquainted with Augustine and the sources of his comprehensive picture of history.

(1) Read about Saint Augustine (354-430 CE) in WH (pp. 161-3).  Recommended, but not required, are the following additional readings in Matthews and Platt:

(1a) Where did the Hebrew Bible (which Christians call the New Testament) come from?  See "The Bible" (WH 138-40).

(1b) St. Augustine lived at a time of great crisis in the Roman Empire, as the empire was disintegrating, on its way to its ultimate fall.  At the same time, Christianian's relationship to the political authority of the Empire was undergoing complex changes.  Augustine's theology is should be understood as a response to this political and cultural crisis.  You can read about it in WH 155-61 and 174-5.

(2) WH 133-8 introduces you to certain theological concepts developed by the ancient Jews show up in Augustine's picture of divine providence, though often with a changed application or interpretation.   This section also acquaints you with several episodes in Jewish history that played an important role in Augustine's picture of universal history.  You will find it useful to consult the Study Guide on this reading.

(3)  We also need to get acquainted with certain episodes and ideas from the writings Christians call the New Testament that play a crucial role in Augustine's picture of universal history.  Find out about these by reading "Christianity," "The Life of Jesus Christ and the New Testament," "Christians and Jews," "Christianity and Greco-Roman Religions and Philosophies" "The Great Persecution and Christian Toleration" (WH 143-6, 158).  You'll want to consult the Study Guide on this reading.

24 Jan (M):  How Saint Augustine elaborated Christian doctrine into a comprehensive picture of universal history:  the role of the ideas of Original Sin and Advent in the traditional Christian picture of history.

(1) Study the review called "Synthesizing the results of our explication of Genesis 1-3".  This is a detailed exposition, so you'll need to take some breaks in working through it.  You might begin by skimming the headings.

(2) On-line on the web, work your way through the network of pages on "The Traditional Christian Picture of History".

26 Jan (W):  God's plan for justification as a site of controversy within Christian tradition.

(1) Study carefully the article on Justification in Traditional Christianity.  Try to rewrite it in your own terms. 

(2) Read about the sacramental system that developed during the later middle ages, and formalized in the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 (WH, p. 215:  the section titled "Christian Beliefs and Practices").  What do you think Bunyan would think of this recipe for attaining salvation?

(3) Read about "Intellectual Controversy and Thomas Aquinas" in WH (p. 220).  How many years had elapsed between the death of Augustine and the death of Aquinas?  between the Fourth Lateran Council and the death of Aquinas?

(4) Read about the via antiqua and the via moderna in WH (p. 247-8).  Which was really older, and which more recent?  Which would Bunyan side with?

(5) Read the article on Justification:  a closer look at conflicts over the theory.  This essay looks both forward (towards some things we will only encounter later) and back (to the age of Augustine, who was a contemporary of Pelagius and his determinined theological opponent.  You are not required to explore the many links you find in it (though you may find it highly interesting to peek into some of them.) 

(6)  Begin your reading of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim’s Progress(We will be reading only what is now called "Part I" (about 120 pages) -- Bunyan's original story, the popularity of which led him to compose "Part II.").  Consult the Study Guide for Reading One in TPP.

Throughout your reading of The Pilgrim's Progress, be on the lookout for indications that bear on the following two questions, which touch on issues featured in other readings in today's assignment:

  1. Which position featured in reading (1), above, would you say John Bunyan would be more inclined to approve -- the Augustinian or the Thomistic?
  2. What do you think Bunyan would say about each of the positions described in reading (5), above --  i.e., about Pelagianism?  Socinianism?  Arminianism? 

28 Jan (F):  The human situation according to Martin Luther (1483-1546).  This is a long reading assignment.  You may want to get started early on it.

(1) Read the discussion in WH (pp 329-334) on the Protestant Reformation.

(2) Luther's description of his moment of saving theological insight, popularly known as his "Tower Experience".  (The "tower" was the name given by the monks in Luther's monastery for the privvy, where Luther was sitting when his sudden insight came to him.)

(3) Luther's definition of "faith" in his Commentary on St. Paul's Letter to the Romans

(4) Luther's declaration before the Diet of Worms.

(5) Even though you are not expected to study the materials cited on our page called "Introductory Readings on Martin Luther" (except for the 3 items just listed above), you should read through this memo, since it provides some useful context for understanding our required readings.  (For that reason, you might want to read it before you undertake items 2, 3, and 4, above.)

(6)  Continue with your reading of Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress:  (pp. 32-54).  Consult the Study Guide for Reading Two in TPP.

31 Jan (M):  The human situation according to John Calvin (1509-64).

(1) Calvin's teaching, in The Institutes of the Christian Religion, on original sin and justification (with specific reference to God's role in salvation and damnation).  This will be easier if you precede it with a succinct statement of the basic tenets of what has come to be known as "Calvinism" (this one provided by the Center for Reformed Theology and Apologetics).

(2) Calvin's statement about the ultimate end of providence, in his letter of rebuttal to Bishop Sadoleto of Geneva.  There is a Study Guide to this reading.

(5)  Continue with your reading of Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, up through Christian's adventures in the Valley of Humility (pp. 32-52).  Consult the Study Guide for Reading Three in TPP.

2 Feb (W): Some short poems.

(1) Anonymous, "A Religious Use of Taking Tobacco" (16th-century).

(2) A note on John Donne (1572-1631).

(3) Donne, "The Flea" (first published 1633, though written before 1610).

(4) Donne, Holy Sonnet XIV:  "Batter my heart, Three-Personed God" (1610).

(5) George Herbert (1593-1633), "Redemption" (1633).

(6) John Milton (1608-74), Sonnet XIX [on his blindness:  "When I consider how my light is spent"] (c. 1655).

(7) Milton's sonnet "On the Late Massacre in Piedmont" (1655).

(8) A look at a 16th-century Antinomian, from the standpoint of a 19th-century British liberal:  Robert Browning's "Johannes Agricola in Meditation" (1836).  (Johannes Agricola lived 1492-1566).

(9)  Continue with your reading of Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, from Christian's journey through the Valley of the Shadow of Death up through Faithful's dialogue with Talkative (pp.52 -70).  Consult the Study Guide for Reading Four in TPP.

4 Feb (F):  The Counter-Reformation:  the Council of Trent, the Society of Jesus, the Index, the Inquisition.

(1) In WH (pp. 334-7, 357), read about "The Catholic Counter-Reformation" and "Warfare as a Response to Religious Dissent, 1550-1603," and "The Thirty Years' War, 1618-1848)."

The authorities commissioned a ceremonial painting to commemorate the 25th Session of the Council of Trent (1562-63).  This was the session that passed new regulations governing the training of priests and their conduct in office.  No longer would priests be allowed to keep house with a housemaid (a closet mistress).  They were even admonished to set a modest table and be content with temperate repast.

Recommended, but not required:  More information bearing on the Council of Trent will be found here.

(2) Read our excerpt from the Council of Trent's Decree on Justification.

(3) Read our glossary article on the doctrine of Apostolic Succession.

(4) Read the excerpt from the Tridentine Creed.

(5) Work through our glossary article on the concept of idolatry in the Reformation/Counter-Reformation period.

(6) Have a look at some of the etchings (based on the original woodcuts) from John Foxe's Book of Martyrs (), which chronicled the persecution of the English Protestants during the reign (1553-58) of Queen Mary I.  (Actually the persecutions -- of some 300 individuals -- began only after her marriage in 1554 to Philip II of Spain.)  Foxe's book became a landmark in Protestant hagiography, and could be found in many households in America, into the 20th Century.  The illustrations here are from a late 17th-century copy lodged in the Hale Library Rare Book Room.  (To see the illustrations, click on the "med" or "large" next to the thumbnail images on the gateway page to which our link takes you.)

(7) John Milton (1608-74), Sonnet XVIII:  "On the Late Massacre in Piedmont" (1655).

(8) Continue with your reading of Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, (pp.70-87), up through the episode at  Vanity Fair and the encounter with By-ends.  Consult the Study Guide for Reading Five in TPP.

7 Feb (M):  The paintings of Michelangelo da Caravaggio.

(1) Read about the political and social background of the age in which the baroque style emerged in the arts (WH 353-358).

(2) Read the brief introduction to variations within the larger stylistic movement known as "the baroque" (WH 358).

(3) Read about the style known as the "florid baroque," which, in its application to religious art in the early decades of the 17th Century, is also known as "Roman ecclesiastical baroque" (WH: 358-366).

(4) Working from the links on our page on "Baroque Art Resources on the Web", make yourself acquainted with the following 3 works by Caravaggio: 

(5) Continue with your reading of Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, from the pilgrims' encounter with Demas up through their ordeal with the Giant Despair (pp.87-97).  Consult the Study Guide for Reading Six in TPP.

9 Feb (W):  More on Caravaggio.

(*) Continue with your reading of Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, from the pilgrims' passage through the Delectable Mountains to their rescue from the Net by "a shining One" (pp. 97-110).  Consult the Study Guide for Reading Seven in TPP.

11 Feb (F):  Gianlorenzo Bernini's sculptural and architectural contributions to the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Rome.

(1) Review the earlier history of the construction of St. Peter's Cathedral (aka the Basilica Petri) (WH 323-4) -- i.e., the contributions of Donato Bramante and Micaelangelo Buonarroti.

(2) Review the discussion (WH 359-60, and Figures 14.3, 14.4, 14.5) of Carlos Madero's and Gianlorenzo Bernini's contributions to St. Peter's.

(3) Explore some of the details of Bernini's work in the St. Peter's complex through links on our page on "Baroque Art Resources on the Web". In particular, you should be well familiar with

13 Feb (F): More on Bernini.

(*) Continue with your reading of Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, from the pilgrims' chastisement by the Shining One through their renewed incounter with Ignorance (pp. 110-122).  Consult the Study Guide for Reading Eight in TPP.

15 Feb (F):  The general concept of "Roman Ecclesiastical Baroque Art."

(1) Study the outline of our page on The Logical Structure of an Art-Historical Period-Style Concept.  Print off a copy and bring it with you to class.

(2) Complete your reading of The Pilgrim's Progress.  Consult the Study Guide for Reading Nine in TPP.

18 Feb (F):  John Bunyan's Puritan vision of the process of salvation.

Review The Pilgrim's Progress.

21 Feb (M):  Review for Exam #1.

22 Feb (W):  Exam #1.  You will want to consult the Prep Sheet for Exam #1.


  Go to Part 2 of the Course Schedule.
   Go to Part 3 of the Course Schedule.

  Go to the Home Page of the course.

  Suggestions, comments and questions are welcome.  Please send them to lyman@ksu.edu .

      Contents copyright 1999 by Lyman A. Baker

Permission is granted for non-commercial educational use; all other rights reserved.

      This page last updated 11 October 2000.