Christmas: A Historical Perspective

Christians have celebrated Christmas each year on the 25th December since the reign of the Roman emperor Constantine in the 4th century AD. While it is a religious celebration for millions of Christians it is also a social event with many of its traditions originating in the ancient Roman Saturnalia festival and the Norse Yulefest celebrations. PreChristian Anglo Saxon traditions also appear in the Christmas story over the centuries. The banning of Christmas by Cromwell during the 17th c Interregnum is of great interest to historians.

DELIVERY MODE

  • Face-to-Face

SUGGESTED READING

  • Kelly, Joseph R, (2014) Origins of Christmas, Liturgical Press, ISBN10 : 0814648606
  • Miles, Clement,A, (2011) Christmas Customs and Traditions, Dover, ISBN10: 0486233545
  • Forbes, Bruce,(2008) Christmas, A Candid History, ISBN10: 978052058020

COURSE OUTLINE

  • Prehistoric origins of fertility cults and religious elements of prehistoric cultures in Northern Europe
  • Ancient Roman Saturnalia festival and the first 400 years of the Roman empire
  • Emergence of the Christian Christmas observances in the 4th C. AD and links to the Nativity story
  • Yulefest in Norse and Scandinavian cultures and the cross fertilization with the Christian Christmas stories
  • Krampus and Santa Claus, the emrgence of two non religious Christmas figures in the popular culture of the western world over centuries
  • Commericalisation of Christmas and links to the corporate world of advertising in the 20th and 21st C.

PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Appreciate the very long tradition of Christmas celebrations and its manifestations in various cultures over millennia.
  2. Critique various Christian origin theories, some of which have remained controversial over time.
$49 Limited

<p>Christians have celebrated Christmas each year on the 25th December since the reign of the Roman emperor Constantine in the 4th century AD. While it is a religious celebration for millions of

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06 Dec