ATS3288 - Renaissance Rome: The papacy and the world - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit



Associate Professor Peter Howard

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons and more recently, the accession of Pope Francis I, have ushered the papacy into the 21st century. The papacy has been central to the development of the modern world. A powerful and often seemingly mysterious 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 the 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. 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;
  5. be able to display an independent approach to research on the issues involved;
  6. be acquainted with the framework of conference-style presentation and engagement.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

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


Twelve credit points of second-year Arts units.


ATS4288, APG4288