Summer 2016 - HIST 388 D100

Christianity and Globalization (4)

Class Number: 4737

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    BLU 10655, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units, including nine units of lower division history credit.



An examination of select topics in Christianity and globalization, with an emphasis on the early-modern period. Students will explore the connections between regions rather than individual regional histories.


Globalization can be seen as the sum of three expansions—of empire, of commerce, and of religion. This course looks at the global growth of Christianity, the most widespread of religions, in the context of imperialism and the world economy. We will survey the history of Christian missions through twenty centuries (with an emphasis on the last 500 years), from Jerusalem to Antarctica. We will consider the collision of cultures, the role of the mission in modernization and the spread of literacy, the evolution of diverse syncretic Christianities, and the tensions and harmonies between the local and the global, and between the particular and the universal. This semester will include a module on the Latin language (you'll learn enough to understand the Pater Noster).

Our primary sources will include scripture, church histories, letters and lives of missionaries, papal pronouncements, non-Christian sources, and Christian propaganda in writings, film, and art. Secondary historical materials may draw from public history, biblical hermeneutics, sociological, anthropological, and cultural history, postcolonial and women’s-history perspectives, case studies, and historical missiology.

PREREQUISITE: 9 hours of History credit, or the equivalent; you cannot earn credit for both this course and the HIST 368W I taught in 2010. Prerequisites might be waived for highly motivated students, at the instructor's discretion.

Tutorials will meet the first week of class. For your information, a previous year's syllabus is available online (subject to change):


  • Tutorial participation 15%
  • First paper (4 pages) 20%
  • Second paper (8 pages) 35%
  • 3 quizzes 30%



Hudson Taylor, Hudson Taylor (ISBN 9780871239518)

Brother Andrew, God’s Smuggler (ISBN 9780800793012)

Other readings will be made available online


John McManners, The Oxford Illustrated History of Christianity [optional]

Registrar Notes:

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site contains information on what is meant by academic dishonesty and where you can find resources to help with your studies.  There is also a section on tutoring.