Introduction to Protestant Tradition

Introduction to Protestant Tradition

This course helps us to get in touch and explore with the this 16th century religious movement the originated in western Europe over against the prevailing Roman Catholicism. Conceived originally by its leaders in northern Europe and British Isles as a reform of Catholicism, it soon broke with the Catholic Church. This course explores and studies various documents like The Augsburg Confession, the Second Helvetic Confession, the Strassburg Liturgy to get an appreciation of of the reformed theological and liturgical trends.

ECTS Credits: 3

Professor: Jesmond Micallef

The World Alliance of Reformed Churches reckons that some 47 million people throughout the world belong to churches of the "Reformed" tradition, i.e., churches that derive from the reforms associated with Ulrich Zwingli (1484-1531) and John Calvin (1509-1564) in Switzerland. Present-day churches in the Reformed tradition include Presbyterian and Congregationalist denominations (including the United Church of Christ in the United States). The reforms of Zwingli and Calvin took on a somewhat different character than those of Luther, with developing stresses on sanctification (and the role of the moral law in sanctification) and the role of the community in discipline (among other things) as prominent features in their vision of Christian faith.

The Reformed churches have had a lasting impact on global culture; for example, their influence on North American religion (by way of Puritanism) was in many respects decisive for the early culture of the United States. Reformed communities have also been active in the ecumenical movement from the twentieth century forward. 
Protestant is shorthand for a spreading family tree of church and theological traditions. Each tradition embodies a historically shaped perspective on the beliefs, practices and priorities that make up a Christian community.

Whether you are an insider to one tradition, a hybrid of two or three, or--as many Christians today--an outsider to all, Exploring Protestant Traditions is a richly informative field guide to eight prominent Protestant theological traditions: Lutheran, Anabaptist, Reformed, Anglican, Baptist, Wesleyan, Dispensational and Pentecostal.

This course traces the histories of each tradition, explains their interpretive approaches to Scripture and identifies their salient beliefs. As a result one gains a sense of what it is to believe and worship as a Reformed or Pentecostal Christian, who the traditions' heroes are and where the "theological accents" are placed. Besides the reading of various documents and the Reformed liturgical documents in this course as well as the Lutheran documents read in the previous block, help us to understand the distinctive elements of Reformed worship in the sixteenth century .