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Lecture and Seminar Programme

'Germany in the Age of the Reformation' is structured in four parts:

I. Germany on the Eve of the Reformation

II. Reformation Culture

III. Social Impact

IV. Legacies





Autumn Week 1

No meetings for Year 2 options yet - but this video message provides a brief introduction to the module.


Autumn Week 2

Seminar week 2: Module introduction and organization

We have four seminar groups, one taught by Maria Tauber and the other three by Beat Kümin, all with identical materials & questions. Group 2 will be taught face-to-face, with the recommended Covid safety measures, in the timetabled slots and campus rooms in even weeks, while meetings in odd weeks will take place synchronously (at the same times) online via MS Teams. Groups 1, 3 & 4 will be taught online with the exception of F2F classes in weeks 8/10. For virtual sessions just accept the respective meeting invites or join via the appropriate group channel link below. The scheduled days / times are:

Group 1: Tuesdays, 11-12 (with Beat) - on Teams (channel)
Group 2: Thursdays, 9-10 (with Maria) - Oculus 0.01 (weeks 2, 4, 8); on Teams (weeks 3, 5, 7, 9-10; channel)
Group 3: Thursdays, 10-11 (with Beat) - on Teams (channel)
Group 4: Thursdays 11-12 (with Beat) - on Teams (channel)

Online lecture materials for 'The political landscape of the Holy Roman Empire' (for seminar in week 3)
Part I: Introduction & Holy Roman Empire / Part II: Political Developments around 1500 / Lecture Handout
[NB: these powerpoint files are large and will take some time to download/open]
Due to the pandemic, there are no face-to-face lectures in the university this year; instead, 1-2 powerpoint files with relevant materials & narration plus a 'handout' will be posted on this webpage by the start of each week for asynchronous consultation before the resepective seminars. Please bring any questions & comments to our weekly sessions or raise them in your seminar tutor's office hours.

Autumn Week 3

Seminar week 3: Politics and Tensions

This week all groups meet virtually on their respective Teams channels 1 2 3 4

Lecture: 'Socio-economic and cultural life in the late Middle Ages' (for seminar in week 4)
Segments: Part I: German Society, II: The Late Medieval Economy III. Cultural Life around 1500
Handout with key points & terms


Autumn Week 4

Lecture: The late medieval Church Part I: Organization, Theology & Activities (for seminar in week 5)
Handout with principal messages, terms and illustrations (2 pages)


Autumn Week 5

Lecture: Late medieval Church, Part II: Internal Challenges & Part III: External Challenges (for debate in week 7)
Handout with key messages / points, terms and figures (2 pages)


[Reading Week]


Autumn Week 7

Lecture (for seminar in week 8):
Martin Luther - a restless monk. Part I: Early Life, Part II: Theology, Part III: Facing the Challenges
Handout with lecture structure and extracts from sources (2 pages)

[Shorter assignment / book review due by the deadline specified on Tabula]




Autumn Week 8

Seminar week 8: Luther - man & myth

Lecture (for seminar in week 9): Reformation doctrines - Part I: Ideas, Part II: Impact
Handout with key points and names/terms


Autumn Week 9

Seminar week 9: Luther's message

Lecture (for seminar in week 10): Lutheran liturgy and rituals -
Part I: A new religious culture; Part II: Sacraments & rites as communication media
Handout with lecture structure / notes and illustrations


Autumn Week 10

Seminar week 10: Communication and media

Recapitulation on disseminating Reformation ideas (weeks 9-10) - Part I: Man Media; Part II: Other Media
Handout with structure and illustrations

[Title / materials for extended essay to be discussed with tutor early in the Spring Term; there should be no 'significant' overlap with exam questions / long essay topics in any module]


Spring Week 11

Lecture for week 11: Part I: Doctrinal divisions among Protestants; Part II: The Swiss Reformers
Handout with key points and portraits

Seminar week 11: The Reformed


Spring Week 12

'Lecture' for week 12: Guide to extended writing
Essay Writing handout




Spring Week 13

Lecture for week 13: Part I - Rural Reformation, Part II: Causes & Conceptualizations of the Peasants' War

Handout with map

Seminar week 13: The Peasants' War


Spring Week 14

Lectures for week 14: Part I - The Radical Reformation; Part II: The Kingdom of Münster
Handout & the e-resources on our seminar page include 2 cinematic representations of Felix Manz's drowning

Seminar week 14: The Kingdom of Münster

Spring Week 15

No lecture - focus on presentation / writing of extended essay

Seminar week 15: Essay presentations & surgery


[Reading Week]


Spring Week 17

Lecture for week 17: Urban Reformation - Part I: Background & Case Studies; II: Comparison & Conclusions

Handout with outline, terms, select bibliography and illustration

[Longer assignment / essay due by the deadline specified on Tabula]


Spring Week 18

Lecture for week 18: Gender roles, with handout containing main points and readings


Spring week 19

Lectures for week 19: The Princes' Reformation and their Clergy Part I & Part II: Case Studies
Handout with outline, key terms and a table on the chronology of the princely reformation




Spring week 20

Lectures for week 20: Relations with other faiths - Part I: Protestants & Catholics; II: Protestants & Jews
Pilgrimage to Altötting (procession video, website) & Simon Schama on Bernini's St Teresa sculpture
Handout with outline, references & illustration

Seminar week 20: Confessional identities

Summer Week 21

Lecture for week 21: Imperial Politics - Part I: Knights & Emperor, Part II: From Worms 1521 to Augsburg 1555
Handout with outline, terms and illustrations
Two clips from the 'Luther' movie by Eric Till (2003): Frederick the Wise and Spalatin discuss how to respond to Church pressure & the 'Here I stand' scene at the Diet of Worms 1521

Seminar week 21: Charles V - a failure?


Summer Week 22

Lecture for week 22: Long-term effects, with handout

Seminar week 22: Conclusion


[Seminar contribution self-assessment due by the deadline specified on Tabula]


Revision class: tba


[2 hour / 2 question 'take home' exam at a time & for the duration to be communicated by the department]



Model exam paper:

Recent model exam papers for this module can be found at:

Title Page of the Twelve Articles (1525)

Title page of the Twelve Articles by the Peasants of Upper Swabia (1525)
[Library of Congress]