8.1.2 Revising your historical learning

Back to 8.1.1

Unit 8 Contents

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

This module has taken a historical approach throughout.  Here is a reminder of the main ways in which this has been done:

Unit 1     A (very rapid) run through biblical history

Unit 2     Historical background of modern CST, from 1500 to 2000

Unit 3     Emergence of concern about ecological crisis since c.1950

Unit 4     The historical context of Rerum Novarum (building on material in Unit 2)

Unit 5     Twentieth century debate about capitalism and socialism

Unit 6     Statistics showing some changes in family life since c.1950

Unit 7     Historical development of human rights discourse

As that summary makes clear, the focus has been very much on what historians call the ‘modern’ period of history, i.e. since about the seventeenth century.  Granted that we did look very cursorily through ancient Israelite history in Unit 1, one really huge gap in what we have covered is Christian history before about 1500.  One main reason for this is simply that, while the module has taken a historical approach, it is not a course in Church history – so it certainly doesn’t aim to cover all of it.  A second reason is that Module B does give an outline of Christian social teaching during that long period (Unit 2, part 3).

In a moment you’ll be asked to do an exercise designed to enable you to review and revise the historical material that the module has covered.  For this exercise, you are asked to focus on the period since the year 1776 (I give the reason for this starting date in a moment).  As background, here is a chronological list of the events/developments before that date which have been referred to earlier in the module.

C2          The Church rejects ‘Gnostic’ teaching that the material world is evil (1.2.3).

C4          The Church moves from suffering severe persecution to Christianity being the official religion of the Roman Empire (7.2.5).

C12-13   Life of St Francis of Assisi, now patron saint of ecology (3.3.2)

C13        Life of St Thomas Aquinas, subsequently seen as the Catholic Church’s greatest theologian and philosopher (2.2.9, 3.3.4 and 6.2.2)

C16        Reformation and ‘Counter-Reformation’: the division of Western Christianity (2.1.2)

C16-17   Growth of intellectual scepticism about Christianity and a new search for knowledge: Descartes (2.1.2)

C17        The ‘scientific revolution’; Bacon, Newton (2.1.2)

C18        The ‘Enlightenment’: major works by ‘Enlightenment’ writers (e.g. Hume, Voltaire and Rousseau) were published c.1725-1775 (2.1.2)

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Reflection

Can you think of any other significant historical events between the first century and the mid-eighteenth century to which the module has given attention?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Now do the following Exercise.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

EXERCISE

Make a chronology of historical events since 1776, including significant dates in the development of CST.

I give the start-date 1776 because two events of massive significance for the future occurred in that year.  One was the publication of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations, which inspired economic liberalism.  The second was the American Declaration of Independence from Britain.

In doing this Exercise there is no need to start at the beginning, i.e. with 1776.  In making notes, just start with what you think of first, e.g. World War Two.  To try to fill in your chronology, you might wish to think in terms of the outlines of historical events/developments given in each module (as referred to on this screen above).

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

RESPONSE TO EXERCISE: Click here

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

End of 8.1.2

Go to 8.1.3 The Compendium’s summary of CST’s history

Copyright © Newman University.  If you wish to quote from this page, see Citation Information. N.B. If you are a student and make use of material on this page in an assignment, you are obliged to reference the source in line with the citation information.

Go to Top