Renaissance and Reformation

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2013
Prothro-Yeager Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

TR 8 am

Dr. Sharon L. Arnoult (view Profile)

Course Attachments


T. More. Utopia.
M. Luther. The Freedom of a Christian
The Return of Martin Guerre.
The Cheese and the Worms.

Course Objectives

The purpose of this course is to provide a fairly in-depth examination, at the graduate level, of  European history from approximately 1400 to 1700, with a focus on two key events: the Renaissance and the Reformation.  The course is divided into three parts.  In the first third, we will look at the Renaissance, covering humanism and intellectual thought, art and politics.  The second third of the course looks at the first half-century of the Reformation, from Luther in 1517 to the Catholic Council of Trent in the 1560s.  Here we will primarily focus on the religious ideas of the period, both Protestant and Catholic.  The last third of the course looks at the impact of the Reformation: the religious wars, the growth of the power of the state, and changes in the family and the role of women.

Course Expectations

3 book reviews (60%): You will write scholarly, critical reviews of three books: the Davis book, the Ginzburg book, and a third book you chose with the instructor’s approval.  For each review, you will locate and read two scholarly reviews. Any major comments or critiques made by these other sources must be addressed in your analysis of the book, and you should include copies of the reviews attached to your review. This analysis, which will be written and handed in, is also to consider what type(s) of sources the author used and how the author utilized those sources.



Research paper (40%): You will write a research paper, utilizing primary and secondary sources.  By Thursday, February 7, a proposal for the paper must be submitted to the instructor, in the form of a question that will become the thesis of the paper, and this proposal must also have a tentative listing of sources.  The final paper will be expected to meet graduate standards in quality of research and analysis; at least 10 sources must be cited in the paper, of which at least 2 MUST be primary sources and NO MORE THAN 2 may be Internet sources.  This paper is due NO LATER than Thursday, May 2, and will constitute 40% of the student’s final grade.

Grading Standards

Each book review will count for 20% of the student’s final grade.

The final paper will be expected to meet graduate standards in quality of research and analysis

Submission Format Policy

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at