This Option aims to provide students with a thorough grounding in key aspects of medieval history. The module will explore religion and politics in the Medieval West during the High and Late Middle Ages (1050-1492) from both a moral and a real-politik perspective. It will examine religious emotion and devotion in medieval Europe, the growth of the power of the medieval Church, the inevitable clashes which arose between spiritual and secular powers over temporal and spiritual jurisdiction, and the highs and lows of the medieval papacy. The module will include seminars on key topics such as popular lay piety and devotion, the eleventh-century Gregorian Reform movement, the Crusades, the Investiture Contest, the growth of new Religious Orders including the friars, the position of minority groups in medieval society, the controversial pontificates of Innocent III and Boniface VIII, the Avignon Papacy, the Conciliar Movement and the beginnings of the Renaissance Papacy - including the notorious Borgias. Seminars will examine medieval ideas of penance, pilgrimage and crusade, concepts of papal primacy and monarchy, and the rhetoric of religious and political discourse. They will include discussion of important medieval texts in translation including chronicles, sermons, hagiographies, devotional texts and political narratives.

Term(s) offered: Autumn term module; 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Credit: 3.0
General Education: III B 2