Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitHistory
Monash Passport categoryResearch Challenge (Investigate Program)
OfferedNot offered in 2014
Coordinator(s)Associate Professor Peter Howard


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 of the medieval and early 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.
  8. Be acquainted with the framework of conference-style presentation and engagement.


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

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

One 1-hour lecture per week in weeks 1-6 and one 2-hour seminar per week throughout the semester.

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


Two gateway units in History or Religion and Theology.


ATS4288, APG4288