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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Postgraduate - Unit

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2010
Coordinator(s)Peter Howard


The papacy has been central to the development of the modern world. A mysterious and powerful institution, it lies at the heart of European culture and the broader Catholic world. This unit explores the nature and role of the papacy in relation to changing political, social, intellectual and cultural circumstances from the medieval to modern periods. Topics include: understandings of papal polity, religious reform and revolt, the impact of humanism, cultural encounters and exchanges, Catholicism and modernity, the papacy on the world stage, as well as expressions of power in papal Rome.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will

  1. have acquainted themselves with the considerable body of knowledge on the changing nature of the papacy and religious reform and be able to evaluate it critically
  2. have some knowledge of the ways in which religion interacts with social, cultural and political experience in specific contexts
  3. be able to evaluate the various methodologies and the theoretical issues surrounding recent approaches to the study of religion and religious reform
  4. be able to engage in critical discussion of the issues raised by the subject
  5. have acquired critical and analytical skills, and the ability to communicate their views verbally and in writing (coherently, economically and rigorously), in a way which is appropriate to the advanced study of religious discourse within an historical framework
  6. be able to display an independent approach to research on the issues involved
  7. be able to demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the theoretical issues involved. Students taking the subject at Level 4 have the additional objectives of acquiring a greater degree of analytical skills and a greater understanding of the key conceptual and methodological issues involved in using different kinds of literary and historical works in the context of social history.


Essay related work: 60%
Critical journal: 20%
Seminar preparation and presentation: 20%

Contact hours

One 1-hour lecture and one 2-hour seminar per week


A History, International Studies or RLT Sequence


HSY3690, HSY4690