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Social Studies

Knights of God--The Military Orders of the Middle Ages

In this four-week class, students will learn about monks and knights in the Middle Ages, and how the "military orders" such as the Templars combined the two roles during the time of the Crusades.
Edwin Woodruff Tait
8 total reviews for this teacher
2 reviews for this class
Completed by 10 learners
  There are no upcoming classes.
55 minutes
per class
Once per week
over 4 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per class

How does a "Multi-Day" course work?

Meets multiple times at scheduled times
Live video chats, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great for engaging projects and interacting with diverse classmates from other states and countries

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Class Experience

Students will learn about basic roles in medieval society and how religion and warfare interacted. They will read some (short) texts from the Middle Ages and will learn how to read and interpret texts from the past. They will also gain in understanding of the very difficult and complex topic of "religious violence," and will learn to think about the past critically and sympathetically, seeing the humanity in people of a very different historical era while not romanticizing them. 
Each week there will be a text of no more than a couple of pages to read, together with discussion questions.  I will also post a short video lecture and additional, optional background material. 

At the end of the course, I will ask each student to create a character template for a member of the Templar order at some point in its history.
I will post pdfs of the four primary sources I'll ask them to read.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
 Once I receive the final project (the character bio template), I will write a response identifying ways in which they have shown an understanding of what it was like to be a member of a military order and also ways in which they could improve, as well as any necessary points about grammar and writing style. 
55 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 1 - 2 hours per week outside of class.
The course is about the interaction of religion and warfare, so there will be considerable discussion both of religion (mostly Christianity but also Islam) and of violence: primarily violence in war but also, ultimately, the execution by burning of a number of Templars as heretics in the 14th century. The accusations of heresy against the Templars included sexual accusations. That is not something I intend to bring up in lecture or discussion, but one of the online resources I'm using mentions it briefly.


Edwin Woodruff TaitOld stuff is cool!
8 total reviews
11 completed classes

About Me

I have a Ph.D. in religion from Duke University (2005) focusing on the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century. I also took classes at Duke in the English, history, and philosophy departments. I was a double English and history major in... 
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