HIST253-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018

Renaissance and Reformation Europe

15 points
16 Jul 2018 - 18 Nov 2018


A thematic study of two major transformations in European History between c.1350 and c.1620.

This course examines two of the most important formative periods in European history: the artistic and intellectual changes that began in fifteenth-century Italy that are traditionally known as the ‘Renaissance’ and the radical and often violent religious reform movements that swept across Europe in the sixteenth century, normally referred to as the ‘Reformation’.

The political, religious, intellectual and cultural changes that occurred in this period contributed many of the characteristic features of European civilization still visible in the modern world. The ‘fall-out’ from both the Renaissance and the Reformation has shaped the political and cultural life of Aotearoa New Zealand as much as it has done those of the United States and western Europe.

The main focus of this course will be on exploring the intellectual, cultural and religious changes of this period, while paying careful attention to the social and political context in which they occurred. It will seek to explain what the Renaissance was and why it was significant. It will examine why the Reformation took place, what issues were at stake, and how questions of faith shaped society and politics.

Learning Outcomes

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Employable, innovative and enterprising

Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

Biculturally competent and confident

Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.


Either 15 points in HIST at B grade or better or 30 points in HIST or Ancient History (CLAS111, CLAS112, CLAS113) with a passing grade. Alternatively, a B average in 60 points.


Timetable 2018

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Wednesday 09:00 - 10:00 Psychology - Sociology 252 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Friday 10:00 - 11:00 A9 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
Tutorial A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 12:00 - 13:00 Jack Erskine 235 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct
02 Thursday 13:00 - 14:00 Meremere 105 Lecture Theatre 16 Jul - 26 Aug
10 Sep - 21 Oct

Course Coordinator

Chris Jones


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Multiple Choice Assessment Exercise (Optional) 10%
Essay - one only 20%
Exam - 2 hours 40%
Three tutorial papers 30%


Recommended Reading

Jones, Chris , Matthews, Bronwyn., Clement, Jennifer; Treasures of the University of Canterbury Library; Canterbury University Press, 2011.

Treasures of the University of Canterbury Library, ed. by Chris Jones and Bronwyn Matthews with Jennifer Clement (Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2011)

Diarmaid MacCulloch, Reformation: Europe’s House Divided 1490-1700 (London: Penguin, 2003)
Jonathan W. Zophy, A Short History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe: Dances over Fire and Water, 4th edn (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2008)


Image Caption:  Tree of Jesse, Maison d'Abraham, 16th c., Sens, France. Photo: Chris Jones.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $746.00

International fee $3,038.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts.

All HIST253 Occurrences

  • HIST253-18S2 (C) Semester Two 2018