Western Culture - Christendom
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Western Culture 3: Complete Set

Old Western Culture: Christendom is a full-year literature and history curriculum for high school students (and above). Hosted by storyteller and veteran teacher Wesley Callihan and other classical educators, learn about the greatest and most influential works in Western Civilization.


Old Western Culture: Christendom is a full-year literature and history curriculum for high school students (and above). Hosted by storyteller and veteran teacher Wesley Callihan and other classical educators, learn about the greatest and most influential works in Western Civilization. Learn about St. Benedict, Charlemagne, and Alfred the Great in the first unit, Early Medievals. Discover the real story behind the Crusades in the second unit, The Defense of the Faith. Travel through Dante’s Divine Comedy in the third unit, The Medieval Mind. And finally, sit down with John Calvin and other Reformers and learn about the Reformation in the final unit, The Reformation.

When you purchase Old Western Culture: Christendom you receive access to the online streaming portal for Christendom.

Accompanying materials include:
– A Student Workbook and Answer Key in PDF format for each unit (optional physical versions available).
– An A and B exam with teacher guide and answer key for each unit.
– All required texts in eText (PDF and Kindle edition). Physical books recommended for the pleasure of the reader.

The workbook gives the student questions to answer for every reading assignment and lecture, discussion questions to think about, and a host of further resources for the student that wants to go further (or study for a paper!). The Answer Key at the back of the textbook will give the recommended answer to all the essay questions. We encourage students to answer the questions on their own before referencing the Answer Key.

License: This product is licensed for use by one family.

Additional information




2 HS Literature and Social Studies




Wesley Callihan





1. Historical Overview of Christendom
2. Benedict’s Rule and Monasticism
3. Transition to the Middle Ages
4. Procopius and Gregory
5. Maximus the Confessor
6. Celtic Christians
7. Beowulf
8. Bede I: Early History of England
9. Bede II: The Coming of Christianity
10. Bede III: The Confirming of Christianity
11. Lives of Charlemagne and Alfred
12. John of Damascus


1. Historical Overview of the High Middle Ages
2. Anselm’s Ontological Argument
3. Anselm’s Monologium 1
4. Anselm’s Monologium 2
5. Anselm’s Why God Became Man 1
6. Anselm’s Why God Became Man 2
7. History of the Kings of Britain 1
8. History of the Kings of Britain 2
9. The Golden Legend
10. Historical Overview of the Crusades
11. The Conquest of Constantinople
12. The Life of St. Louis


1. Introduction to The Medieval Mind
2. Aquinas’ Compendium I
3. Aquinas’ Compendium II
4. Aquinas’ Compendium III
5. Introduction to Dante
6. The Inferno I
7. The Inferno II
8. Purgatorio I
9. Purgatorio II
10. Paradiso I
11. Paradiso II
12. Conclusion


1. Introduction to Renaissance and Reformation
2. Canterbury Tales 1
3. Canterbury Tales 2
4. Canterbury Tales 3
5. From Premodern to Modern Times
6. Predecessors to the Reformation
7. Luther and 16th Century Reform
8. International Calvinism
9. The Reformation in England
10. Spenser 1
11. Spenser 2
12. Spenser 3

Sample Lesson


What is “Old Western Culture”?

“Old Western Culture” is a literature curriculum named after a term coined by C.S. Lewis to describe the fabric of ideas that shaped Western Civilization. For centuries, a “Great Books” education lay at the heart of what it meant to be educated. It was the education of the Church Fathers, of the Medieval Church, of the Reformers, and of all the Founding Fathers of the Unites States.

– It is a CLASSICAL EDUCATION, based on the great books of western civilization.
– It is a CHRISTIAN EDUCATION, which sees the history and literature of the West through the eyes of the Bible and historic Christianity.
– It is an INTEGRATED HUMANITIES CURRICULUM, bringing together literature, history, philosophy, doctrine, geography, and art.
– It is a HOMESCHOOL oriented curriculum, made by homeschoolers with the needs of homeschooled in mind, including flexibility, affordability, and ease-of-use.
We bring a master-teacher into your home, and encourage parents to gain an overview of Western Civilization themselves by watching the video lessons with their children.

How does Old Western Culture work?

Old Western Culture is a video course. It is built around a master teacher, Wes Callihan. With decades of teaching experience, he guides students through the story of Western civilization. Early Medievals contains 12 video lessons.
Each lesson begins with a brief review before jumping into summary, commentary, analysis, and inter-disciplnary connections of the works covered. After each lesson, students complete the assigned readings, and asnswer comprehension questions in the Student Workbook or online workbook.

What books are covered in Year 3, Christendom?

Christendom is divided into 4 units:

1. ​Early Medievals Booklist:
– The Rule of St. Benedict
– Beowulf
– The Confession of Saint Patrick
– Life of St. Columba
– Ecclesiastical History of the English People
– Two Lives of Charlemagne
– Asser’s Life of King Alfred the Great
– John of Damascus

​2. Defense of the Faith Book List:
– Anselm’s Works
– History of the Kings of Britain
– The Golden Legend
– Chronicles of the Crusades

​3. The Medieval Mind Book List:
​– Compendium, by Thomas Aquinas
– The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

4. The Reformation Book List:
– ​Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales (1387-1400)
– Boniface VIII, Clericis Laicos (1296) & Unam Sanctam (1302)
– Marsilius of Padua, Defensor Pacis
– The Council of Constance, Sacrosancta (1414) & Frequens (1417)
– Erasmus of Rotterdam, Julius Exclusus (1517)
– Martin Luther, Ninety-Five Theses (1517), Letter to the Christian Nobility (1520), Babylonian Captivity of the Church (1520), & The Freedom of the Christian (1520)
– Leo X, Exsurge Domine (1520)
– Machael Sattler, The Schleitheim Articles (1527)
– Philip Melanchthon, Apology of the Augsburg Confession (1531)
– John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536-1559)
– The Council of Trent, The Decree of Trent (1545)
– Ignatius of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises (1548)
– Zacharias Ursinus, Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism (1585)
– Church of England, Book of Common Prayer (1559)
– John Foxe, Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (1563)
– Field and Wilcox, An Admonition to Parliment (1572)
– Richard Hooker, The Laws of Ecclesastical Politie (1586-1597)
– Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Amoretti, Epithalimion (1590)

Why do people love Wes Callihan?

Wes Callihan is a master story teller! With a remarkable ability to communicate a passion for history and literature, he makes profound ideas accessible, relevent, and interesting. Also known for his distinctive “rabbit trailers,” forays into funny and obscure historical anactodes, which have a way of showing up at the dinner table. (After all, rabbit trails are “hooks for the imagination and memory.”) Wes Callihan is a true classical scholar, fluent in both Latin and Greek. He lectures only from the notes in the margins of his worn copies of the Great Books. “Meet him” through THIS VIDEO TOUR of his personal library, which doubled as a mini-lecture!

Are there any prerequisites?

Old Western Culture is intended for mature and discerning students. We recommend this course for ages 14 and up. The course will deal with mature themes such as paganism, sexual immorality, battle scenes (mostly in actual reading), and classical paintings. Old Western Culture is meant to equip your child with a Biblical lens from which to process these themes. We assume your child has a working knowledge of the Bible and basic Christian doctrine.

How many credits is this course worth?

Each year of Old Western Culture is a double-credit Humanities course which is most commonly broken down into 1 Literature credit and 1 History credit. The double-credit assumes that the student will watch all the videos, read the required reading, answer the daily worksheets, and take 4 exams (one for each unit). This a robust course academically, and requires a fair bit of reading. Wesley Callihan will coach your student on how to approach the reading in the video. Average daily reading load is 30-40 pages.
As an “integrated humanities” course, Old Western Culture will constantly be incorporating history, literature, theology, philosophy, art, and art history, all through the eyes of the Great Books.


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