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Christmas: A Historical Perspective

$36 Limited inc GST
Christmas: A Historical Perspective

<p>Christmas is a religious commemoration but it is also a social event with many traditions from various cultures woven into the Christmas fabric since the 4th century AD. The links with the ancient

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Christmas is a religious commemoration but it is also a social event with many traditions from various cultures woven into the Christmas fabric since the 4th century AD. The links with the ancient Roman pagan Saturnalia festivals are much debated. The banning of Christmas by Cromwell’s 10 military governors during the Interregnum in the 17th century is still of great interest to historians.


SUGGESTED READING

  • Joseph R Kelly, Origins of Christmas, Liturgical Press, 2004
  • Bruce Forbes, Christmas; A Candid History, Uni of California Press, 2008


COURSE OUTLINE

  • The winter solstice celebrations in Neolithic and Bronze age cultures
  • The ancient Roman Saturnalia and related festivals and the development of a Christmas tradition in the early Christian church from the 4th century AD
  • Mediaeval, Tudor and Stuart celebrations of Christmas and the emergence of various traditions and practices
  • Christmas in the 21st century and links with the past


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

  1. Explain the features of the very early aspects of Christmas celebrations including the winter solstice practices.
  2. Compare and contrast Christmas traditions in various parts of western Europe.
  3. Appreciate the complexity over centuries of the rich history of various Christmas traditions and their many features.