THIS course will introduce the history, theology, and spirituality of the Christian Church from the death of the apostles to 1500 AD. The rich ethnic and cultural diversity of Christian thought during this period will be highlighted through study of primary sources from the Jewish, Roman, Greek, Celtic, Anglo-European, Slavic, Middle-Eastern (Syriac), and Egyptian (Coptic) traditions. In order to profit from the cultural and ethnic diversity of the student body, students are encouraged to bring to classroom discussion the early and medieval origins of their cultural traditions: including, for example, the theological, liturgical, and spiritual emphases that distinguish Western Catholicism from Eastern traditions such as the Maronite, Chaldean, Melchite, Malabar, and Ruthenian churches.
During each class selected primary and secondary texts will be studied and discussed: a large proportion of the primary texts will be taken from the Office of Readings. In this way students’ ongoing prayerful study of these texts in the liturgy will provide a deepening re-acquaintance with the early and medieval sources of Christian spirituality and doctrine.
THE student will be able to identify important persons, events, and schools of thought that influenced the development of Christian doctrine and the diversity of Christian spiritual traditions. The student will learn to make use of primary and secondary sources available in both printed and electronic formats, and will become familiar with appropriate reference tools in church history.
1. This course will combine lecture and class discussion. In order to maximize the effectiveness of lectures in our culturally diverse student population, representing a wide range of different linguistic experience and ability, all audio-visual materials presented in lectures will be available through the course website or on DVD in the library. Lecture/discussion will be based on assigned readings that may be downloaded from the course website. Active participation in class discussions is essential, and will figure into the final evaluation.
2. The midterm and final examinations will consist of “take-home” essay questions. The questions will be made available on the day scheduled for the midterm, and are due one week later: the exam must be typed and double-spaced.
3. Research will be undertaken using primary sources studied in class or cited in the bibliography below. Possible topics for a paper or Powerpoint/webpage-based presentation include: (1) any historical, spiritual or theological subject raised during the first fifteen hundred years of Christian history; or (2) a comparison of any theme in two or more Christian writers. The goal of the research is to demonstrate familiarity with Christian primary sources. The paper or presentation will be due on or before Wednesday, April 5, 2017.
3.a. The student will write a research paper at least eight pages in length, double-spaced and including appropriate references.
3.b. Students who prefer the medium of verbal presentation may submit the results of their research as a 15-20 minute PowerPoint or web-page presentation. In order for these presentations to have pedagogical value they may not simply duplicate material presented in class or taken from the course website. Citations must be accompanied by appropriate references. Students must submit a recorded narrative intended to accompany the presentation: both presentation and narrative are due on Wednesday, April 5, 2017.
4. Late work will be accepted for a grade only if the professor grants an extension. Out of fairness to those who submit their work on time, late work will normally be graded down by one-half letter grade for each day it is late.
5. Students must clearly distinguish between: (a) their own work; and (b) ideas or text they have taken from other sources, including the Internet, published texts or audio-visual materials. The requirement to distinguish clearly between one’s own work and the research of others applies equally to written and oral presentations. Failure to give credit to cited sources constitutes plagiarism and will result in a grade of “F” for both the material presented and the course. “Wikipedia” is not a reliable source for historical study and should not be cited in exams or research projects.
6. The final course grade will be computed as follows:
2. Walker ,Williston, A History of the Christian Church, (General Books LLC, 2009)
3. Pope Benedict XVI, Patristic and Medieval Christian Authors (text of weekly audiences).
4. Chadwick, Henry The Early Church, Revised Edition (Viking Penguin, June 1993.
5. Deansly, Margaret, A History of the Medieval Church, 590-1500. (Routledge. London. 1989)
6. Davis, Leo Donald, S.J. The First Seven Ecumenical Councils, (325-787), Their History And Theology (Michael Glazier, Inc., 1987)
7. Hughes, Philip, The Church in Crisis: A History of the General Councils, 325-1870, (NY: Hanover House, 1961)
8. Logan, F. Donald, A History of the Church in the Middle Ages, (Routledge, London. 2002)
9. Vauchez, Andre, The Spirituality of the Medieval West from the Eighth to the Twelfth Century.
THESE are available in four downloadable texts: Patristic Primary Sources, Medieval Primary Sources, Ecumenical Councils 1-7 and Ecumenical Councils 8-16. Assigned texts should be reviewed before the class at which they will be discussed.
Bell, David N., A Cloud of Witnesses, (Cistercian Publications, Cistercian Studies Series, No 109).
Brown, The Body and Society.
Comby, J. How to Read Church History: From the Beginnings to the Fifteenth Century, (Crossroad, 1990).
Cross, F. L., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, (Oxford University Press).
Danielou, J. and Marrou, H., The Christian Centuries, vol. 1:T he First Six Hundred Years, (Darton Longman, and Todd, 1964).
Frend, W.H.C., The Rise of Christianity, (Fortress: 1984)
Hitchcock, James, History of the Catholic Church from the Apostolic Age to the Third Millenium, (Ignatius, 2012).
Kelly, J.N.D., Early Christian Doctrine, (Harper, San Francisco, March 1991)
Louth, Andrew, The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition from Plato to Pseudo-Dionysius, (Clarendon, Oxford University Press, 1981).
MacCulloch, Diarmaid, Christianity, the First Three Thousand Years, (Viking, Penguin, 2009)
McGinn, Bernard, The Foundations of Mysticism, Origins to the Fifth Century: The Presence of God, A History of Western Christian Mysticism, vol. 1 (Crossroad, 1991).
Quasten, Johannes, Patrology (4 vol.).
Southern, R.W., Western Society and the Church in the Middle Ages, (Penguin, 1983).
The Church Fathers in Translation: Fathers of the Church (Catholic Univ. of America Press);
Ancient Christian Writers (Paulist Press); Ante‑Nicene, Nicene, and Post‑Nicene Fathers (Eerdmans: download from Christian Classics Ethereal Library at http://www.ccel.org)
Classes will meet in Lecture Room 6 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:00-9:50.
Please note that numbers in brackets refer to CH 501 textbook (downloadable from the link above). [Suggested readings from Macculloch (“Mac.”) and Hitchcock (“Hitch.”), in brackets, are optional].
[1.1]. The General Situation; [1.2]. The Jewish Background; [1.3]. Jesus and the Disciples. ”. [Macculloch (“Mac.”), Christianity, 1st 3000 Yrs, ch. 1-2. Hitchcock, (“Hitch”) Hist.Cath.Ch, ch. 1]
Patr.1°Txt: “Book of Enoch”; ”Philo”.
[2.1]. The Palestinian Christian Communities; [2.2]. Paul and Gentile Christianity; [2.3]. The Close of the Apostolic Age; [2.4]. The Interpretation of Jesus. [Mac. Ch. 3]
Patr.1°Txt: “Clement of Rome,”; “Letter of Barnabas”. Ben.XVI: “Clement of Rome”.
[3.1]. Gentile Christianity of the Second Century; [3.2]. Early Clerical Orders; [3.3]. Relations of Christianity to the Roman Government; [3.4]. The Apologists. [Hitch. Ch. 2]
Patr.1°Txt: “Cicero”, “Ignatius of Antioch”, “The Didache”, “Justin Martyr”, “Martyrdom of Polycarp”, “Pliny and Trajan”. Ben.XVI: “Ignatius of Antioch”, “Justin Martyr”.
4. THE GNOSTIC CRISIS (2 hrs.)
[4.1]. Gnosticism; [4.2]. Marcion; [4.3]. Montanism; [4.4]. The Catholic Church; [4.5]. The Growing Importance of Rome; [4.6]. Irenæus
Patr.1°Txt: “Irenaeus”. Ben.XVI: “Irenaeus”.
5. CARTHAGE and ALEXANDRIA (3 hrs.)
[5.1]. Tertullian and Cyprian; [5.2]. The Triumph of the Logos Christology in the West; [5.3]. The Alexandrian School; [5.4]. Church And State from 180 To 260
“Tertullian”, “Cyprian”, “Plotinus”, Clement of Alexandria”, “Origen”.
6. LEADERSHIP and LITURGY (2 hrs.)
[6.1]. The Hierarchical Development Of The Church; [6.2]. Public Worship And Sacred Seasons; [6.3]. Baptism; [6.4]. The Eucharist; [6.5]. Forgiveness Of Sins; [6.6]. Sinners in the Church
Patr.1°Txt: “Hippolytus”, “The Didache”.
7. PERSECUTION and TRANSFORMATION (1 hr.)
[7.1]. Rest And Growth, 260-303; [7.2]. Rival Religious Forces; [7.3]. The Final Struggle; [7.4]. The Changed Situation. [Mac. Ch. 4]
Patr.1°Txt: “The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicity”.
8. THE ARIAN EMPIRE (2 hrs.)
[8.1]. The Arian Controversy To The Death Of Constantine; [8.2]. Controversy Under Constantine's Sons; [8.3]. The Later Nicene Struggle. [Mac. Ch. 5]
Patr.1°Txt: “Athanasius”. Ben.XVI “Athanasius”. Ecum.Cncl.1-7: “Nicaea”
9. THE ORTHODOX EMPIRE (1 hr.)
[9.1]. Arian Missions and the Germanic Invasions; [9.2]. The Growth of the Papacy; [9.3]. Ambrose And Chrysostom. [Hitch. Ch. 3]
Patr.1Txt: “Basil”, “Gregory Nazianzen”. Ben.XVI: “Athanasius”. Ecum.Cncl.1-7: “Constantinople 1”
10. CHRISTIAN MONASTICISM (2 hrs.)
[10.1]. The Ascetic Movement; [10.2]. Egyptian, Byzantine, and Palestinian Monasticism; [10.3]. Evagrius, Cassian, and Benedict.
Patr.1°Txt: “Evagrius and Cassian”, “The Desert Fathers”, “Benedict”. Ben.XVI: “Boethius”, “Cassiodorus”. Ecum.Cncl.1-7: “Anathemas Against Origen”
11. CHRISTOLOGY and DIVISIONS (2 hrs.)
[11.1]. The Christological Controversies; [11.2]. The East Divided; [11.3]. Catastrophes And Further Controversies In The East.
Ben.XVI: “Leo the Great”. Ecum.Cncl.1-7: “Ephesus”, “Chalcedon”.
12. WORSHIP and PIETY (1 hr.)
[12.1]. Developing Hierarchies; [12.2]. Public Worship And Sacred Seasons; [12.3]. Developing Eucharistic Liturgy; [12.4]. The Liturgy of the Hours; [12.5]. Popular Christian Piety. [Mac. Ch. 9; Hitch. Ch. 5]
Patr.1°Txt: “Dionysius the Aereopagite”. Ben.XVI: “Cyril of Jerusalem”, “Pseudo-Dionysius the Aereopagite”.
13. WESTERN THEOLOGY and ISOLATION (2 hrs.)
[13.1]. Some Western Characteristics; [13.2]. Jerome; [13.3]. Augustine; [13.4]. The Pelagian Controversy; [13.5]. Semi-Pelagianism; [13.6]. Gregory the Great
Patr.1°Txt:: “Augustine”, “Gregory the Great”. Ben.XVI: “Jerome”, Augustine”, “Gregory the Great”.
14. BYZANTIUM and the RISE of ISLAM (2 hrs.)
[14.1] Justinian [14.2]; The Lombards; [14.3]. The Rise of Islam; [14.4].The Constitutional Development of the Church. [Mac. Ch. 8]
Ecum.Cncl.1-7: “Constantinople 2”, “Constantinople 3”.
15. MONASTIC MISSION and the TRANSMISSION of LEARNING (2 hrs.)
[15.1]. Missions in the British Islands; [15.2]. Continental Missions and Papal Growth; [15.3] The Transmission of Learning. [Mac. Ch. 10]
Ben.XVI: “Columban”, “Bede the Venerable”, “Boniface”.
16. THE CAROLINGIAN EMPIRE (2 hrs.)
.1. The Franks and The Papacy; .2.. Charlemagne; .3. Ecclesiastical Institutions; .4.. Collapsing Empire and Rising Papacy. [Mac. Ch. 11]
Ben.XVI: “Scotus Erigena”, “Hrabanus Maurus”.
17. INVASION, DECAY, and REFORM (2 hrs.)
[17.1] Viking Invasions; [17.2] Papal Decline and Renewal by the Revived Empire; [17.3] Reform Movements; [17.4] The Reform Party Secures the Papacy. [Hitch. Ch. 6]
18. MEDIEVAL CHURCH and STATE in CONFLICT (2 hrs.)
[18.1] The Papacy Breaks With the Empire; [18.2] Hildebrand and Henry IV; [18.3] The Struggle Ends in Compromise. [Mac. Ch. 12]
19. EXPANSION and CONFLICT (1 hr.)
[19.1] The Greek Church after the Iconoclastic Controversy; [19.2] The Spread of the Church. [Mac. ch. 13-15]
20. NEW MOVEMENTS AND SECTS (2 hrs.)
[20.1] The Crusades; [20.2] New Religious Movements; [20.3] Heretical Sects. Cathari and Waldenses. The Inquisition
21. FRIARS and LEARNING (2 hrs.)
[21.1] The Dominicans And Franciscans; [21.2] Early Scholasticism; [21.3] The Universities; [21.4] High Scholasticism and its Theology
22. MYSTICS and SPIRITUAL WRITERS (2 hrs.)
[22.1] Medieval Mysticism; [22.2] From Eckhart to the Devotio Moderna
Vauchez: “Medieval Man in Search of God”
23. PAPAL LEADERSHIP and SCHISM (1 hr.)
[23.1] Missions And Defeats; [23.2] The Papacy At Its Height And Its Decline; [23.3] The Papacy In Avignon, Criticism. The Schism . [Mac. Ch. 16; Hitch. Ch. 7]
24. NATIONALISM and CONCILIARISM (2 hrs.)
[24.1] Wyclif And Huss; [24.2] The Reforming Councils; [24.3]. The Italian Renaissance And Its Popes; [24.4] The New National Powers; [24.5]. Renaissance and other Influences North of the Alps. [Hitch. Ch. 8]