A study of Christianity down to the opening of the eighth century, exploring the interaction between Hebraic, Oriental, Greek and Roman cultural elements, and the manner in which Christianity served to integrate these elements into a new religious culture.
• Render a detailed and articulate account of the main features of Christianity during the first seven centuries of the Church; evaluate Constantine’s relationship with the Church, and the Christianization of Roman culture; understand the role the Edict of Milan played in the the legalization of Christianity
• Understand the Christological and Trinitarian debates of the first few centuries of the Church, and the Councils of the Church that addressed these controversies; understand the Church’s reaction to heresy, and the development of the creeds
• Understand the development of monasticism, contrasting the monastic movements led by St. Anthony of Egypt and St. Benedict of Nursia, and evaluting the contribution of Benedictine monasticism to Western culture; understand how the biblical canon was formed; understand the key role Augustine played in the development of the Church’s sacramental theology
Course Details: Historiography; the problem of metahistory; Augustine’s City of God; the Roman Empire; the Classical tradition and Christianity; the development of the biblical canon; the barbarian invasion and the fall of the Roman Empire in the West; the Christian empire and the rise of Byzantine culture; councils and creeds
Image: Emperor Constantine and the foundation of Constantinople. By Workshop of Filippe Maëcht and Hans Taye (Comans-La Planche tapestry factory, France). Figural composition after Peter Paul Rubens. (www.philamuseum.org) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons