THE EARLY CHURCH

H8510A

 
Unit Weighting                       

9 cps

Type of Unit                

Foundational

Prerequisites                 

None

Academic Staff           
TBA

Curriculum Objectives

This course unit is designed to provide students with an overview of the early centuries of Christian history. It will furthermore equip them with the critical tools necessary in order to understand historical phenomena and circumstances related to the early Church.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Distinguish and assess the various social, cultural and religious factors in the history of the early Church.
  2. Critically expound the key contributions of leading figures and significant events in the early Church.
  3. Give a thorough analysis of the literary representation of Christians, both by themselves and others, in the early Church.
  4. Assess and construct the mentalities of the various religious and cultural groups in this historical period (Christian, Jewish, and pagan), especially in relation to their view of the early Church.
  5. Apply the findings of a study of primary sources and secondary studies on the early Church to present historical discussion on the period.

Content

  1. Studying the early Church in context; methodology and historiography.
  2. Religious, cultural and social backgrounds of the early Church.
  3. The relationship between the early Church and the Roman state; Jewish, pagan and Christian perceptions.
  4. Persecution and the phenomenon of martyrdom.
  5. Internal tensions within the early Church; orthodoxy and heresy.
  6. Aspects of an emerging Christian worldview.
  7. The ‘triumph’ of the Church: Constantine, Fathers, councils.
  8. The Church in a declining Empire.

Assessment Profile
Face to face

  1. Article or Chapter Review (1,500 words). Value: 30%
  2. Essay (2,500 words). Value: 50%
  3. Exam (55 mins). Value: 20%

Distance

  1. Article or Chapter Review (1,000 words). Value: 20%
  2. Primary Source Analysis (1,500 words). Value: 30%
  3. Essay (2,500 words). Value: 50%

Prescribed Text

Eusebius of Caesarea. The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine. Translated by G. A. Williamson. London: Penguin Classics, 1990.

Schedule

3hr lecture per week on campus, or via distance education