Heresy and Authority in the Middle Ages

This course was about “false beliefs” in medieval Europe, the individuals and groups who adhered to them, and the authorities who prosecuted them. The course was structured around case studies and primary materials, and its goal was to shed light on legal, institutional, intellectual, and cultural developments in the West: it began chronologically with the Athenian condemnation of Socrates and concluded with the Catholic Church’s seventeenth-century condemnation of Galileo. Intervening topics included medieval heresy, civil suppression of heresy, judicial torture, and the Inquisition. This course (HIST 342) was taught by David J. Collins, Department of History, as a Doyle Seminar (small upper-level classes that foster deepened student learning about diversity and difference through research and dialogue).

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