How was our western society formed? Where did our norms and values come from? Why do we have seven days in the week? What gave Europe its core identity? On what do we base the concept of human rights?
What inspired the emergence of many of the institutions of our western way of life, including hospitals and universities, trade unions and political parties, women’s emancipation and the abolition of slavery, or movements like the Red Cross, Amnesty International and Alcoholics Anonymous?
How can we respond to today’s challenges like Islam, secularism, new spirituality?
How can we recover vision, faith and hope for tomorrow’s Europe?
These questions and many more are addressed at the European Studies Course, which you can follow online and on your own schedule.
The twelve two-our sessions can be supplemented by four Saturday ‘historical trail’ excursions in Utrecht, Amsterdam and Dokkum/Pingjum and Zwolle/Deventer.
The aim of this course is to offer after-hours study to enable participants:
• to understand how the Bible’s message shaped Europe’s foundations;
• to explore biblical responses to major influences in Europe today, including secularism, Islam, new spirituality and the EU;
• to investigate our task–as ‘people of hope’–in shaping Europe’s future.
Jeff Fountain, director of the Schuman Centre for European Studies, and visiting lecturers will provide the course content.
Reading assignments are involved. No academic qualifications required.
The online course involves downloading notes, audio- and video-recordings, screenshows and other resource materials covering the following topics (see below).
Skype-tutorial sessions can be arranged with each participant to discuss course content.
Costs for the online course are €100. Historical trail excursions are extra (between €10-€30, depending on travel).
After registration and transfer of course fees, participants will receive access to website pages for downloading materials.
The course can be taken as an evening school, with classes held in Amsterdam every two weeks on a Thursday evening in Samaritan's Inn, Prins Hendrikkade 50, right opposite the Central Station. The costs for the evening school are €250, including historial trails and course books.
Module one: Europe yesterday, recovering the past
Session1: 30- 1000 – Apostles & Storytellers
How the story of Jesus spread across Europe and shaped western society in the first millennium.
Session 2: 1000-1500 – Monks & Scholars
How a movement born in Egypt’‘s desert brought learning to the European peoples, and agitated for reform.
Session 3: 1500-1800 – Reformers & Revivalists
Reform came – but not as everyone wanted it. The blessings and failings of reformation and revival.
Session 4: 1800-2010 – Dreamers & Visionaries
The dreams and visions that shaped our modern age– for better or for worse.
Module two: Europe today, responding to the present
Session 5: A Secular continent?
How secularism became the faith of Europe and what now undermines that faith
Session 6: Islam in Europe
How real is the ‘threat’ of a growing Islamic presence in Europe?
Session 7: New spirituality
Is the growing interest in alternative spiritualities a threat ... or an opportunity?
Session 8: The EU story – a forgotten vision
Can a biblical vision that inspired Europe’s recovery after the war inspired us again for tomorrow’s Europe?
Module three: Europe tomorrow, shaping the future
Session 9: Signs of hope?
The ‘bad’ news is not the only news. God is at work in many spheres and new ways
Session 10: Recovering faith, hope and vision – 10 imperatives
A history of the future: recovering faith, hope and vision for tomorrow’s Europe
Session 11: The R-factor – the way forward for Europe?
How the Great Commandment to love God and neighbour offers a practical framework for social reform
Session 12: Dreams & visions – networking for transformation
How can we release dreams and new visions for each sphere of society, and for networking locally, nationally & across Europe?