Started Out as a Conversation
The course started out as a conversation between Chaplain Rosie Magee and the Assist. Dean of Students, Becky Hammell nearly a year ago. "The Reformation is a movement rather than a one-off event. We are going to be looking at the events that are happening in mainland Europe from the perspective of Britain," says Chaplain Magee. The Reformation in Britain will examine how Henry VIII's conflict with Pope Clement VII set off a sequence of events resulting in England's break from Rome.
Examining Protestantism in England and Scotland
The broadly historical course emphasizes the emergence and development of Protestantism in England and Scotland. In addition to studying these movements within the European context, students will also study their legacies in Western culture, notably in the U.S., Chaplain Magee says, "All the Protestant denominations that we see at present can in some way trace their roots back to the Reformation…We are going to see what the legacy is in the U.S., because it is not some kind of far-off distant event…We are still living out the effects of that movement. "
The tuition cost for the course is the same as that of a standard J-term course and the travel price is $2,000. The travel component, centered in London and Edinburgh, consists of a guided walking tour of London with an emphasis on Reformation landmarks, like Westminster Abbey, Hampton Court Palace, the Tower of London and the Globe Theater, and a sightseeing tour of Edinburgh including the Walter Scott Monument and the Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace, Abbey ruins, Edinburgh Castle and much more. "Everywhere that we're going has got something to say about the Reformation in Britain and that is why we have chosen them," says Chaplain Magee.
Chaplain Magee believes that not only is this an important area of study for Wilson students, but the experiential learning involved brings learning to life and complements classroom learning. She states that the transformational elements that accompany cross-cultural experience are equally important. She says, "When we get to be in another culture, we broaden our world…we learn about ourselves as much as we learn about others."
Chaplain Magee is extremely excited at the prospect of looking back at this movement. "The whole topic is fascinating in itself. To get to retrace some of it is such an asset," she says. She hopes that this becomes a part of what Wilson routinely offers to its students.