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FUBiS Term II: 1517: Martin Luther & The Reformation

(Course # 2.13)

Credit Points6 ECTS-Credits
Number of Places18


Student Profile

This course is open to students from all disciplines and levels of study.

Course description

In light of its 500th commemoration in 2017, this course explores the Protestant Reformation in Germany that was initialized by the Augustinian monk Martin Luther and its legacy. The course´s main focus lies on the intellectual and religious dynamics during the era of Martin Luther and on the changes in the fields of religion, politics, economics, science, and art as a demonstrable consequence of the Reformation and its aftermath. We also discuss ambivalent aspects associated with the Reformation and its legacy, ranging from its political abuse to Luther´s stance on Jews.

The course begins with a historical, theological, and literary overview of the 16th century and an exploration of the roots of Reformation ideas in England and Bohemia. Luther´s biography and main theses are presented as well as the connections between the Humanist movement, the Renaissance, and the Reformation. Based on Martin Luther´s writings and thoughts, the course then explores several aspects of Reformation ideas, exposing how historical transformation of society was wrought or ignited by the Reformation. Each of these sessions gives an overview of Reformation-related literature, explores the historical setting, and discusses the processes of transformation in society. Two excursions help to visualize the main issues of the course: The exhibition “Luther Effect” deals with main aspects of the Reformation and its impact on early modern societies; the trip to the city of Wittenberg offers the possibility to gain an insight into this important place of German Reformation history.

At the end of the course, participants will know the basics of Reformation history in Germany and have gained a sufficient range of knowledge to be able to explore and discuss the societal processes that began with the Reformation era and (perhaps) still shape our age.




  • Participation: 30 %
  • Short reports: 40 %
  • Presentation: 30 %


A course reader will be provided.

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