The Medieval Reformation: Sources (HIH3277)

StaffProfessor Sarah Hamilton - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesAt least 90 credits of History at Level 1 and/or Level 2.
Co-requisitesThe Medieval Reformation: Context
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module will focus on the sources available for studying the changes which occurred in how Christianity was delivered to, and practiced by the laity, and the role which the laity played as active agents in promoting such changes, in the European Latin West in the period c. 900 – c. 1215. It will use a range of medieval sources in translation, including church law and other prescriptive texts, saints’ lives, chronicles, charters, and letters.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Evaluate the different and complex types of sources available for the study of the medieval reformation
  • 2. Analyse the complex diversity of the sources studied.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Analyse closely original sources and to assess their reliability as historical evidence. Ability to focus on and comprehend complex texts
  • 4. Understand and deploy relevant historical terminology in a comprehensible manner.
  • 5. Employ critical understanding and evaluate the often complex reasoning of contemporary discourses

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Conduct independent and autonomous study and group work, including presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning.
  • 7. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment
  • 8. Present complex arguments orally.

Syllabus plan

1) Parish church and local community (policing the local community; foundation of local churches)
2) Reform of the pastoral clergy (distinguishing the clergy from the laity: clerical celibacy and other expectations of clerical behaviour; clerical roles in secular life)
3) Reform of the regular clergy (monastic and canonical reform; new orders; hermits; nuns)
4) Lay piety (public rites; private prayers; confraternities)
5) Lay enthusiasm (cult of saints; pilgrimage; crusade)
6) Discipline and belief (heretical beliefs; penance and excommunication)
7) Lateran IV

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities44Seminars (22 x 2 hours)
Guided independent study256Reading and preparation for seminars, coursework and presentations.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar discussionOngoing through course.1-6, 8Oral from tutor and fellow students.

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Portfolio702 assignments totalling 4000 words1-7Verbal and written.
Individual Presentation3020-30 minutes1-8Verbal and written.

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
PortfolioPortfolio1-7Referral/deferral period.
PresentationWritten transcript of 20 minute presentation1-8

Re-assessment notes

The re-assessment consists of a 4,000 word portfolio of source work, as in the original assessment, but replaces the individual presentation with a written script that could be delivered in such a presentation and which is the equivalent of 20 minutes of speech.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

M. C. Miller (ed.), Power and the holy in the age of the investiture conflict: a brief history with documents (Boston, MA: Bedford/St Martins, 2005)

R. I. Moore (ed.), The birth of popular heresy (London, Edward Arnold, 1975; repr. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995)

J. R. Shinners, (ed.), Medieval popular religion, 1000-1500: a reader (Peterborough, Ont: Broadview Press, 1997)

W.L. Wakefield and A.P.Evans (eds), Heresies of the high Middle Ages (New York: Columbia UP, 1969)

P. Sheingorn, trans, The Book of Sainte Foy (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995)

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