IMG_7460The European Academy of Yuste Foundation is holding its third international summer course included in the Campus Yuste academic programme with the course ‘The World of Carlos V: 500 years of Protestantism. The impact of the Reformation on imperial Europe and today’s Europe’, held on 12 and 14 July.

The course, designed from a historical and theological perspective, aims to clarify some of the most debated questions in the history of the Reformation, and to do so will interweave three geopolitical settings: Europe, Spain, and America, where the effects of the Reformation were felt to varying degrees.

Rosa María Martínez de Codes, co-director of the course, said in her speech than the figure of Martin Luther continues to be prominent 500 years after his death, “due to his enormous personal strength, his inner plight that is the key to his whole life, and the seriousness of the questions he posed so passionately, as well as for being the main instigator of a reformist movement that spread through different geographical areas and eras”, at the time that he spread “the seeds of division that would grow throughout the whole of history”.

Martínez de Codes talked about how if the church had been divided into two, it was because of the work of Lutheranism, the Swiss reformists, and the birth of Anglicanism leading to successive divisions and reunifications.

Finally, the co-director ended her speech recalling how the Joint Declaration between Catholics and Lutherans on the Doctrine of Justification in Augsburg on 31 October 1999 was “a huge leap in the dialogue between both communities after five centuries of rupture about reaching agreement on the doctrine of justification, a central theme of Protestantism”.

On the second day of the course there was in-depth examination of the reception of the Protestant doctrines and the Spain of Carlos V, his followers and detractors, and the last day focused on America, offering a counterpoint of the projection of the Reformist movements in overseas territories.

The course also included two panels for debate and reflection. With their choice of course content the directors and speakers wanted to contribute to a clarification of the factors that made the Lutheran revolution possible, the triumph of Protestant reform, and the changed era it brought in – from Medieval Christianity in decline, to flourishing Modernity “where political factors such as grievances from the German nation against the Roman Curia, and the awakening of ecclesiastical nationalisms also brought about the right climate for the outbreak of this major religious crisis” explained Martínez de Codes.

The course was organised by César Chaparro, lecturer in Latin Philology at the University of Extremadura and Rosa María Martínez de Codes, lecturer in the History of America at Madrid Complutense University. Professors on the course included experts such as Gustaaf Janssens, member of the European Academy of Yuste, and Juan Gil Fernández, from the Spanish Royal Academy, as well as speakers from the University of Seville, Strasbourg, Leuven, Argentina, Salamanca, and Alcalá de Henares.
Students on the course came from the Universities of Burgos, Granada, Seville, Malaga, Jaén, Rey Juan Carlos, Cádiz, Extremadura, Pablo de Olavide, Valencia Polytechnic, Córdoba, Valladolid, Pompeu Fabra, Alcalá de Henares, Madrid Autonomous, and Madrid Polytechnic.