HIST253-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023

Renaissance and Reformation Europe

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 17 July 2023
End Date: Sunday, 12 November 2023
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 30 July 2023
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 1 October 2023


A thematic study of two major transformations in European History between c.1350 and c.1620.

This course examines two of the most important formative periods in European history: the artistic and intellectual changes that began in fifteenth-century Italy that are traditionally known as the ‘Renaissance’ and the radical and often violent religious reform movements that swept across Europe in the sixteenth century, normally referred to as the ‘Reformation’.

The political, religious, intellectual and cultural changes that occurred in this period contributed many of the characteristic features of European civilization still visible in the modern world. The ‘fall-out’ from both the Renaissance and the Reformation has shaped the political and cultural life of Aotearoa New Zealand as much as it has done those of the United States and western Europe.

The main focus of this course will be on exploring the intellectual, cultural and religious changes of this period, while paying careful attention to the social and political context in which they occurred. It will seek to explain what the Renaissance was and why it was significant. It will examine why the Reformation took place, what issues were at stake, and how questions of faith shaped society and politics.

Learning Outcomes

University Graduate Attributes

This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

Biculturally competent and confident

Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.

Globally aware

Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Any 15 points at 100 level in HIST or CLAS120, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.


Course Coordinator

Chris Jones


Assessment Due Date Percentage  Description
Multiple Choice Assessment Exercise (Optional) 10% 10%
Essay1 20%
Tutorial paper 30% Three tutorial papers (total 30%)
Final exam 40% 2 hours

Please check the course Learn page for further details and updates.

Textbooks / Resources

Treasures of the University of Canterbury Library, ed. by Chris Jones and Bronwyn Matthews with Jennifer Clement (Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2011)

Diarmaid MacCulloch, Reformation: Europe’s House Divided 1490-1700 (London: Penguin, 2003)
Jonathan W. Zophy, A Short History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe: Dances over Fire and Water, 4th edn (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2008)


Image Caption:  Tree of Jesse, Maison d'Abraham, 16th c., Sens, France. Photo: Chris Jones.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $821.00

International fee $3,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Humanities .

All HIST253 Occurrences

  • HIST253-23S2 (C) Semester Two 2023