European Thought and Culture

Portrait of Martin Luther, 1520.

Portrait of Martin Luther from Luther's On the Babylonian Captivity of the Church, 1520. (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.)


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Spring 2008



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This course features links to many downloadable readings.

Course Description

This subject surveys main currents of European cultural and intellectual history in the modern period. Such a foundation course is central to the humanities in Europe. The curriculum introduces a set of ideas and arguments that have played a formative role in European cultural history, and acquaints them with some exemplars of critical thought. Among the topics to be considered: the critique of religion, the promise of independence, the advance of capitalism, the temptations of Marxism, the origins of totalitarianism, and the dialects of enlightenment. In addition to texts, we will also discuss pieces of art, incl. paintings and film.

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Thomas Nolden. 21G.059 European Thought and Culture. Spring 2008. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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