EH243B History of the Church in the Modern Age

Module Level

Level 8 (undergraduate)

Related Department


Time Allowance

1 x 45 minute lecture per week (second semester). Private study for prescribed readings and assignments.


Essay (80%) + Continuous assessment - engagement with readings, source criticism, biographical entry (20%)

Module Aims

  • To introduce students to the history of the Church in the Modern Period
  • Provide students with a good overview of the most up to date scholarship on the history of Modern Christianity

Learning Outcomes

  • Be able to fluently discuss the principal events and personalities of modern Christianity from the French Revolution up to and including Vatican Council II
  • Comprehend the evolving relationship between secular and religious authorities in the modern period and how these developments have shaped our world to the present day
  • Appreciate the effect of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era on the Christian Church in general and the evolution of the papacy in the nineteenth century in particular
  • Be able to discuss with confidence and with a critical mindset the complexities of the tensions between Ultramontanism and Liberalism in the nineteenth century and the condemnations of Modernism which followed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
  • Be familiar with the historical contexts of the First and Second Vatican Councils
  • Have gained a good historical sense of the period and display a willingness to “attentively listen to” the diverse arguments / positions of a range of individuals / groups in key historical debates, a skill which is readily transferable to a wide range of situations in ministerial practice or in the workplace


  • This will be provided on the course's Moodle page


We're always fundraising to improve Saint Patrick’s College so why not donate and help make us better!