Online Course: The Rending of Christendom | Homeschool Connections

An Online Course for Teens and Adults:

The Rending Of Christendom  

Taught by Phillip Campbell

Not since the birth of Christ has an event shaken the foundations of the Western world like the Reformation. Now, five hundreds years after Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door at Wittenberg - the sound of which served as the thunder presaging the storm to come - Phillip Campbell casts fresh eyes on that tumultuous time and its most influential characters.

This 12-week course will acquaint students with the pertinent people and ideologies that led directly or indirectly to the outbreak of the Protestant Revolt. Protestant ideas will be contrasted with Catholic theology throughout in order to give the course an apologetic dimension in addition to the historical. Students will see how the ideologies of Protestantism affected the various nations of Europe politically and how many of the attitudes and assumptions of modernity are rooted in 16th and 17th century developments. Students will also learn how the Church responded to these changes to the traditional order.


WEEK 1 Christendom Review of growth of the Christian Church in the Middle Ages and the establishment of "Christendom" as a united, political expression of a Catholic world view.

WEEK 2 Origins of the Revolt: A look at several religious and political factors that led to the revolt (the Avignon Papacy, Western Schism, growth of nationalism and the printing press).

WEEK 3 Martin Luther & Lutheranism: Biographical sketch of Luther, the historical origin of his ideas and Lutheran theology compared to the Church's teachings.

WEEK 4 Germany on Fire: 1525-1555: A look at how the incendiary writings of Luther led to the Peasant's Revolt of 1525 and ushered in a generation of warfare in Germany.

WEEK 5 Anglicanism: The origins of the Anglican schism in the divorce proceedings of Henry VIII and the manner in which the old Faith was eradicated in England.

WEEK 6 Calvin & Knox: The historical origin and theology of the more "Puritan" elements of Protestantism and their vision of society. 

WEEK 7 Consolidation of English Protestantism: Biographical sketch of Luther, the historical origin of his ideas and Lutheran theology compared to the Church's teachings.

WEEK 8 The True Reformation: A look at the true Reformation, the so-called "Counter Reformation" of the Church and the Council of Trent.

WEEK 9 French Wars of Religion: A look at the religious strife in late 16th century France between the Catholics and the Huguenots.

WEEK 10 The Spanish-English Wars: The dissolution of Anglo-Spanish relations, culminating in the defeat of the Spanish in 1588; the origin of the "Black Legend" of Spanish cruelty. 

WEEK 11 The Thirty Years' War: The final religious conflict in Europe that raged from 1618 to 1648 and how it changed the political and religious outlook of Europe.

WEEK 12 The Stalemate: Survey of the state of the revolt in various countries by 1648 and how the mentality of the revolt took root in the development of the American colonies.

About The Instructor

Phillip Campbell holds a BA in European History from Ave Maria University and a certificate in Secondary Education through Madonna University. He taught history and Scripture for the St. Augustine Homeschool Enrichment Program for ten years. Mr. Campbell is the author of the popular " Story of Civilization" series by TAN Books. He recently joined the Catholic History Textbook Project. Mr. Campbell's writings have appeared in the St. Austin Review and The Distributist Review. He is also the star of the YouTube sensation History in a Minute. Mr. Campbell served as the Mayor of Howell, MI from 2011 to 2015 and has been involved in homeschooling for more than 15 years. 

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