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Class Level: All levels
Age Requirements: 21 and older
Average Class Size: 14
Teacher: Liane Carlson

Flexible Reschedule Policy: This provider has flexible, free rescheduling for any-in person workshop. Please see the cancellation policy for more details

What you'll learn in this history lesson:

The Protestant Reformation: Theology, History, and Modernity

In 1517, the Augustinian monk Martin Luther nailed a set of 95 Theses protesting the corruption of the Catholic Church to the door of his local church in Wittenberg, Germany, starting the Protestant Reformation that would radically transform the religious and political landscape of Europe. That, at least, is the usual story.

This course complicates that story, looking at the historical causes of the Reformation, the theological doctrines at stake for Luther, John Calvin, and their most famous interlocutors, and the influence of the Reformation beliefs on culture. Questions we’ll address include the following: What were the historical conditions that made Reformation possible—and successful? What were the major disputes and ideas, like justification by faith and predestination, and how radical were they? How did Calvinists committed to the idea of predestination—i.e., that God chooses who will be damned and saved—justify the point of striving to live ethically in the world? Why did zealous followers of the Reformation go through periodic sprees across Europe burning icons and religious art? How did the doctrines of the Reformation give rise to the Peasant Revolt and increased anti-semitism? And, finally, how did Protestant Christianity develop from a seemingly minor dispute to become a dominant force in Western and, indeed, global life—not merely religiously, but as, in Max Weber’s words, the “spirit” of capitalist modernity? Readings will include works by Luther, Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, Peter J. Arnade, and Weber.

There *is* no physical Brooklyn Institute. We hold our classes all over (thus far) Brooklyn and Manhattan, in alternative spaces ranging from the back rooms of bars to bookstores to spaces in cultural centers, including the Center for Jewish History, the Goethe-Institut, and the Barnard Center for Research on Women. We can (and do) turn any space into a classroom. You will be notified of the exact location when you register for a class.

Remote Learning

This course is available for "remote" learning and will be available to anyone with access to an internet device with a microphone (this includes most models of computers, tablets). Classes will take place with a "Live" instructor at the date/times listed below.

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Refund Policy

Upon request, we will refund the entire cost of a class up until 1 week before its start date. Students who withdraw after that point but before the first class are entitled to a 75% refund. After the first class: 50%. After the second: 25%. No refunds will be given after the third class.

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School: Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research was established in 2011 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Its mission is to extend liberal arts education and research far beyond the borders of the traditional university, supporting community education needs and opening up new possibilities for scholarship in the...

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