RL 220 - The Popes of Rome
This course explores the history of the Catholic Church and the Papacy within the historical framework of Christianity and how the Church became a major religious, cultural and political force within Western society. We will also introduce the major historical and institutional steps that mark the expansion of Christianity from antiquity to modern times.
Students will have the opportunity to discuss and analyze historical developments and crucial themes, such as the creation of the Roman Papacy; the religious and temporal power of the Church; the monastic experience; the relationship between the Church of Rome and the Byzantine Church; the East-West Schism; the political conspiracies at the court of Renaissance and Baroque Popes; the political influence of the Church in Europe; the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Reforms; the Church and the Ottoman Empire; the political/religious currents of thought shaping papal action in modern times. Through coverage of primary sources, students will be able to verify directly crucial issues in the complex development of the Papacy.