Christian Europe Study Program

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The Christian Europe Study Program covers the histories of France, Italy and Germany from the Kingdom of the Franks to the Reformation. The first half of the program focuses primarily on France. Later units cover the Holy Roman Empire, the Church, and cultural aspects of European history. The Christian Europe study program includes:

Note: The Christian Europe program is being revised. Some study aids are unavailable.

About Christian Europe

The Christian Europe study Program covers twelve centuries of European history, from the fall of the Roman empire to the 17th century. During most of this period, Western Europe was a diverse collection of states and principalites with differing languages, laws, customs, and histories. Yet all were ruled by Christian princes and all of European culture was influenced by a Christian worldview.

Medieval Europe is fascinating but it is challenging to study such a diverse collection of peoples. Most conventional textbooks take a thematic approach and cover only the most important events effecting all of Europe (Christian conversion, feudalism, viking age, etc.), because it is impossible to cover national histories adequately in a single volume. Unfortunately, condensing so much history into such a narrow scope fails to give each nation its due or hold the interest of most students.

The Heritage Curriculum takes a different approach to European history that we believe is more likely to engage student interest. We offer a large collection of books that give adequate attention to the most interesting aspects of European history, and to simplify things somewhat the histories of Britain and Spain are covered in separate programs. We recommend, in fact, that students study British Middle Ages before tackling Christian Europe because it is the most accessible of our Medieval programs.

The Christian Europe program, therefore, focuses mainly on France and the Holy Roman Empire, the civilizations that arose from the Frankish Empire of Charlemagne. This limits the scope of European history enough for students to do an in depth study and gain a real appreciation of the subject.

Four of the eight units dedicated to Christian Europe, focus mainly on France. This is because France was the leading nation in continental Europe from Roman times to the 18th century,and its history is intimately associated with that of the Roman Church. Two units are dedicated to the Holy Roman Empire, and one covers the leading events in Church history. The final unit of Christian Europe is dedicatd to the the art, culture, and literature of Medieval Europe.

We believe the history and culture of Medieveal Europe are too vast to condense into a single text. The Heritage library and study program offer a broad selection of engaging histories, biographies, and adapted classics can really engage student interest and give European history its due.

Reading Recommendations

The following links provide information about reading options for Christian Europe.