International School History - International Baccalaureate - MYP History

MYP4 Last update - 07 January 2018  
Unit 2 - Lesson 6 - BBC Protestant Revolution
This is a story of a revolution which has affected every person in the West, and nearly every country in the world. It is a revolution which influences the very fabric of existence from what we do for a living, to who we vote for, who we go to war with and how we see ourselves as individuals and as nations. The series investigates the scientific, cultural, economic and political aspects of the movement with the aid of key academic witnesses, and concludes that the reach of Protestantism is so profound that it is impossible to imagine the modern world without it. When Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Church door, he unleashed a revolution in thought and events which would have both astonished and horrified him.

 


Episode One The Politics Of Belief

In the series opener, historian Tristram Hunt uncovers how a debate about religion in 16th-century Germany sparked a political revolution. From the bloody battlefields of medieval Germany, to the civil wars of the 1640s in Britain, Protestantism unleashed a series of revolutions and wars that rippled across Europe.

Protestantism inspired a new way of thinking; a challenge to authority that has crossed centuries and continents. Martin Luther's challenge to the Pope in the 16th century inspired conservatives and radicals alike, and its history is one of conflict, challenge and rebellion from the early religious radicals in Germany, to the founding of the British Labour Party and the Civil Rights movement in Fifties America.


 

Episode Two The Godly Family

The Protestant Revolution transformed people's experiences of sex, love, family life and the relationship between men and women. In the second episode, Tristram uncovers how Protestantism replaced the Catholic veneration of celibacy with a devotion to family life. The programme shows how Luther became the loving husband and father, and how the first Protestant Archbishop of Canterbury gave us our modern idea of marriage.

The programme traces the contradictory legacy of Protestantism on the one hand sexual equality, while, on the other, virulent patriarchy. Viewers meet the austere Puritan preacher who met his soul mate, and the programme also investigates radical, free-loving 17th-century sects as well as discovering how straight-laced Victorian mothers became the sexually liberated women of today



 

Episode Three A Reformation Of The Mind

Tristram explores how Protestantism has come to shape modern western art, literature and science, in the penultimate episode of Protestant Revolution. In 16th-century Britain, radical Protestants triggered one of the greatest acts of vandalism in British history, wiping out Catholic monasteries, churches and artwork. But the cultural revolution inspired by this religious movement went far further than the shattered statues of 16th-century Britain.

The legacy of the Protestant Revolution lies unseen around us. Tristram follows a trail that leads from the monasteries of Catholic England to modern art galleries and explores how Protestantism lay at the heart of one of our greatest art forms the novel.

Tristram also uncovers how a Protestant culture of inquiry and discovery drove on a new scientific age that spanned from the discovery of gravity to the Industrial Revolution.

 


Episode Four No Rest For The Wicked

Capitalism and an increasingly active anti-global movement are two of the most powerful forces on the planet, and Tristram reveals how both phenomena developed out of Protestantism, in the final episode of The Protestant Revolution. The journey begins with Jean Calvin who, desperate for a sign of God's favour, found it in the world of work and money. Tristram explores how Puritans, anxious to worship God at every opportunity, introduced the world of the ticking clock and shaped the architecture of the working week.

Puritans on both sides of the Atlantic developed modern work and business practices, and provided the intellectual and financial impetus to launch the Industrial Revolution. The push for profit could go too far, however. The sugar plantations of the Caribbean divided the Protestant church, giving rise to an anti-capitalist voice that campaigned first against slavery and then against the excesses of factory labour.

 

 

 

 

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