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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedClayton Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Kathleen Neal


Previously coded HSY3690


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 more sophisticated understanding of the theoretical issues involved.


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

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Peter Howard

Contact hours

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

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Religion and theology


A History or RLT Sequence


ATS4288, APG4288