English 233:  Introduction to Western Humanities - Baroque & Enlightenment

Lyman Baker, Instructor

Reading List #2:

The Protestant Reformation
and the Catholic Counter-Reformation

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The material in this reading list, together with the class discussions pertaining to it, should put you on a sound footing to approach all but one of the questions you will encounter on the in-class portion of Exam #1.  You will find a link to the prep sheet for this portion of the exam on the general page on Examinations.  It would be a good idea to acquire a copy of that prep sheet to have on hand as you work your way through these readings.


This first reading could just as well be the last item on Reading List #1.   In "More on justification" we expand what we have so far said on salvation theory by introducing a perspective that was early on rejected as heresy by what succeeded in establishing itself as orthodox Christianity within the Roman Empire, but which will re-emerge, though marginally, within the Protestant Reformation, and become more and more prominent during the Enlightenment of the 18th Century.   This is the position known as Pelagianism.  We look at it from the standpoint of a Post-Reformation heir (the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913) of the schola antigua (Thomism) and from that of the most uncomromising Reformation heir (Calvinism) of the schola augustiniana.  Our purpose at this moment is to use it as a foil to throw into even sharper relief the features of the Augustinian and Thomistic pictures of God's plan for accomplishing his plan for history.


Next it is important to review the material in WH on the medieval sacramental system, monasticism, and scholasticism (3:215-220; 2:217-222), the Protestant Reformation (3:329-334; 2:329-335), and the Counter-Reformation (3:334-335; 2:335-337).


We then undertake to read some of the key writings of Martin Luther.  Among the items to which links are given from the page just cited, only the following are required reading:
(3.1)  the Ninety-Five Theses (1517)
(3.2)  the Study Guide to the "Ninety-Five Theses"
(3.3)  Luther's description (1543) of his moment of saving theological insight (c.1519) -- the so-called
"Tower Experience."
(3.4)  Luther's definition of "faith" in his Commentary on St. Paul's Letter to the Romans (1522)
(3.5)  his declaration before the Diet of Worms (1521)
(3.6) Luther's treatise "The Freedom of a Christian Man" (1520).
(3.7)  the Study Guide to Luther's mature theology


We read some important excerpts from the writings of John Calvin and some of his followers.  The required readings are the following:
(4.1)  review of relevant material in WH (pp.333-334).
(4.2)  an excerpt from The Institutes of the Christian Religion on the role of God in history (salvation & damnation).
(4.3)  a dispute between Calvin and Bishop Sadoleto over the proper end of man.
(4.4)  Study Guide to the previous item.



We look into some further divisions within the Protestant camp:  antinomians and anabaptists (or, as they called themselves, baptists).

(5.1) excerpt from Thomas Münzer's "Sermon to the Princes" (1524).
(5.2) excerpt from Münzer's call to the peasants to establish Christian justice
(5.3) excerpt from Luther's exhortation to the German Princes to crush the peasants in revolt.
(5.4) excerpt from Münzer's counter-attack upon Luther.
(5.5) Robert Browning, "Johannes Agricola in Meditation" (18  ) -- the mentality of a 16th-century antinomian, as imagined by a 19th-century English poet.



We try in two ways to bring into sharper focus our sense of the crisis in authority wrought by this religious conflict.   The first is to look closely at the implications of the concept of idolatry within the context of the schism.



The second is to consider effects of the multifarious civil conflicts and wars unleashed by the controversy.



We then turn to some results of the Council of Trent concerning beliefs required of Catholics in the wake of the Protestant Reformation.



Finally we take up the phenomenon of "Roman baroque art" (alias "the ecclesiastical baroque") as an expression of an increasingly confident Counter-Reformation.   By way of contrast, we will briefly look at a very few examples of High Renaissance and Mannerist painting. Then we will concentrate on a carefully selected set of works by Michaelangelo Caravaggio and Gianlorenzo Bernini.

(9.1)  WH (3:308-310, 316-317; 2:308-310, 314-315):  Leonardo DaVinci's The Last Supper (1495-98) and Raphael's The School of Athens (1510).
(9.2)  WH (3:328, 344-345, 348-349; 2:346-50):  El Greco's The Burial of Count Orgaz (1586) and Tintoretto's The Last Supper (1592-94).
(9.3)  WH (3:358-366; 2:359-67):  The florid baroque:  Bernini, Caravaggio, Artimesia Gentileschi, Andrea Pozzo, Rubens, Velazquez.
(9.4) Be sure to print out a copy of "The Logical Structure of an Art-Historical Period Style Concept."
(9.5) For links to lots of downloadable graphics, especially on Caravaggio and Bernini, go to our page on Roman baroque art.

  Return to Master List of Reading Lists.

  Go back to Reading List #1.

  Go forward to  Reading List#3.

  Go to the Home Page of the course.

  Suggestions are welcome.  Please send your comments to lyman@ksu.edu .

      Contents copyright © 1998 by Lyman A. Baker

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

      This page last updated 15 October 1997.