The History of the Orthodox Churches since 1453

This unit examines the place of the Orthodox Church(es) in the historical context of the pre-modern and modern eras (1453-today). It studies historical method, themes, concepts and sources of the period and examines the aftermath of 1453 and the new world order, and the life for Orthodox Christians under Turkish rule. It also considers the Reformation in the West and its repercussions in the East, the phenomenon of competing missionaries (Catholic and Protestant) in the East, the age of reason and its effect on the Orthodox Church. Nationalism and its consequences are addressed as well as Orthodoxy under threat at home (Communism and Kemalism) and its blossoming abroad. Ecumenism, Union, Uniatism, and biographical studies of major personalities: leaders, intellectuals, saints, and women receive consideration.

Study Level



Humanities in the Christian Tradition

Sub Discipline

Church History

Credit Points



H7231 – Later Byzantine History

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of important historical events and concepts of the period
  2. appraise the role that major personalities have played in the flow of history
  3. exhibit the capacity to critically interpret primary and secondary sources relating to this period
  4. construct an argument that is supported with historical evidence
  5. apply what is learned from a study of this period to the present experience of the Orthodox Churches.
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